Maquette consists of 36 numbered pages plus additional front and back matter.
Dimensions of individual pages vary slightly.
Written on sheets of Johannot et Cie Annonay paper folded to approximate a book. The cover features a frontal view of Babar (in green, yellow, and red crayon); there is a rear view of Babar on the back.
On the title page of this maquette, Jean de Brunhoff listed himself and his wife, Cécile de Brunhoff, as co-authors because Cécile was responsible for the bedtime story that inspired the book. But she preferred not to be publicly acknowledged for her initial concept and Jean was thus ultimately credited as the sole author of the published book.
The maquette opens with the death of Babar's mother; however, de Brunhoff ultimately decided to add a three-page opening sequence showing the infant Babar in a hammock and a group of young elephants playing. While the maquette concludes with the marriage and coronation of Babar and Celeste, the published book ends with the newly married couple reflecting on their good fortune before taking off for their honeymoon in a yellow balloon.
The maquette is part of a larger collection of drafts and drawings for "Histoire de Babar" (MA 6304).
A handmade booklet with front and back cover, endpapers, text, and illustrations that served as de Brunhoff's prototype for "Histoire de Babar, le petit éléphant" (1931), the first book in the Babar series of children's books. After creating this maquette, de Brunhoff made significant changes in plot, structure, and text before creating the final drawings and manuscript for the published book.