Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Parisienne Annette Tilson met Frisco kid and expat Talus Taylor in France and made kyewt history when they created and published the first Barbapapa book in 1970. Tilson and Taylor are married, live in Paris and still churn out out Barbagoodness.
Barbapapa grow out of the ground and are squishy, amorphous shape shifters. They can turn into anything - ferris wheels, stairways, musical instruments, houses, letters, heck....anything. The big pink one is the Barbapapa, his lady is the all black Barbamama and together they have seven Barbababies, all with distinct and lovable personalities.
The Barbas became cult favorites through countless books published in many languages and a shortlived, Netherlands-produced animated series in the 70s. In newly produced Japanese merchandise (yes the Japanese are ALWAYS on it) Barbapapas are still out there living it up.
I had these books when I was young and was always obsessed with their originality and squeal-inducing illustrations. I really wanted more than anything to go chill with these guys, if only for a little while. They always had a great time, even when dealing with adversity. Shape shifting solves so many problems. Need to go to the Riviera? I'll be a boat and let's go!
When I was in Japan, I picked up Barbapapa toe separators for pedicures. They make Barbapapa everything over there. If you're in the states, you can shop Kid Robot for the occasional import.
Hit up the official Barbawebsite for Barbagames and a most excellent Barbababyscreensaver.