Jean de Brunhoff (9 December 1899 – 16 October 1937) was a French writer and illustrator remembered for creating the Babar books, the first of which appeared in 1931.
The Babar books began as a bedtime story that Cécile de Brunhoff invented for their children, Mathieu and Laurent, when they were four and five years old, respectively. She was trying to comfort Mathieu, who was sick. The boys liked the story of the little elephant who left the jungle for a city resembling Paris so much that they took it to their father, a painter, and asked him to illustrate it. He turned it into a picture book, with text, which was published by a family-run publishing house, Le Jardin des Modes. Originally, it was planned that the book’s title page would describe the story as told by Jean and Cécile de Brunhoff. However, she had her name removed. Due to the role she played in the genesis of the Babar story, many sources continue to refer to her as the creator of the Babar story.