From the beautiful illustrations, to the charming characters, everything about Babar reminds you of a time when we took the intelligence of our children seriously. The first thing anyone who grew-up on more modern fare will notice is the delightful and literate prose. The reason children could speak latin by 5th grade 80 years ago, was that they weren't condescended-to; and Babar doesn't either. You won't get the modern "barney-speak" here, this generation had more confidence in your children, believe me. Although the prose may be too difficult for the average 5 or 6 yr-old to read on their own, they will have no difficulty at all in understanding it perfectly when read to them. Now my 5 yr-old daughter knows what a "perambulator" is, you won't get that from the Wiggles. As far as the complaints in regard to "scariness", all I can say is, if this is scary because Babar's mother is killed by a hunter, then you'd better take Bambi, The Lion King and close to all of the fairy tales off of the reading list as well. The subject is handled compassionately and tastefully. Of course I want to sheild my child from horrific content, but if we refuse to gently ease them in to life's realities, such as the loss of loved-ones, then their entertainment turns from safe into vacuous pretty quickly. I won't even waste bandwidth on the silly, leftist nonsense regarding imperialism. There is no political content here, subtle or otherwise. If you really want the kind of western culture "self-flagellation" that these aging hippies seem to thrive on, try Disney's Pocahontas, or a Cartoon version of The Life of Che Guevara. Assume the best of your kids and try the Babar series, particularly the older ones.