Laurent de Brunhoff (born August 30, 1925) is an author and illustrator, known primarily for continuing the Babar the Elephant series of children’s books, created by his father, Jean de Brunhoff.
The children’s classic, Babar, began as a bedtime story that Cécile de Brunhoff told her young sons, Laurent and Mathieu, in 1930, when they were five and four years old, respectively. They loved the story about the little elephant so much that they asked their father, who was an artist, to draw pictures for them of the elephant world their mother had described. He did and eventually created a book, Histoire de Babar: le petit éléphant (The Story of Babar), which was published by Jardin des Modes, a family-run publishing house. Jean de Brunhoff created six more Babar books and had one more son, Thierry, but died of tuberculosis at age 37 in 1937.
After the war, Laurent, who inherited his father’s artistic gift, trained at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière under the painter Othon Friesz and began living as an artist in Montparnasse. But, wishing to maintain his tie to his father and the imaginative world of his childhood, he turned back to the character his father had drawn and taught himself to draw in his father’s style.