Remembering Babette

      832 468 Babette Cole

      Today marks the 1 year anniversary of Babette Cole’s sad passing, so we wanted to take a moment to remember her brilliance, her awesome talent and her sparkling personality.

      If you have a story you’d like to share, we’d love to hear from you. It might be your favourite book and the special memories it holds, passing on the books that you loved as a child to a new generation, or even meeting Babette herself.

      Let’s celebrate Babette’s amazing life by sharing tales of the joy she brought to others.



        One of my earliest memories of primary school was during “Free Time”, where we could do whatever we wanted to do, be it reading, playing with toys, drawing, etc. I remember going straight for the books and picking up a copy of “Princess Smarty Pants” and just being dazed in amazement. I must have been 6 or 7 but it was a huge deal. I remember being hypnotized by Babette’s illustrations and so wanted to draw them and draw my own versions and just draw! I also remember thinking, “WOW!!! Someone drew all these?! How?!”. I fell in love with Babette’s illustrations from that day on and they inspired me. They still make me giggle and smile and become hypnotized in sheer amazement, to this day and always will.
        Thank you dear Babette, xx.

      • Janiceperkin

        Babe tote came to my infant school where I washeadteacher in frodsham. When I picked her up from Runcorn station she never stopped talking! She was so engaging and she had these enormous dangling earrings that she told me she wore because she thought the children would like them! She was totally captivating and hypnotised staff, children and parents! I had always adored her books and had ponies so we talked horses non stop. She was a totally gorgeous person and was totally talented and loving. This was all about 20years ago but have never forgotten her wit, humour and total gregariousness

      • Alice

        Princess Smartypants was (and in many ways, still is) my idol – in fact, I even call my horse Smartypants now. What a relief to have a princess that rode a motorbike and was the exact opposite of princessy. My sister and I were also huge fans of ‘Beware of the Vet’ and ‘The Trouble with…’ series.

      • Rosey english caplice

        Babette came to my rescue at sidesaddle hunt in Nobber co Meath ireland when my bit broke in half at start of hunt in middle of great big field of spectators seeing us off my bridle was left dangling around horses neck thank god horse pulled up and babette ran over and caught hold of us before horse changed his mind and charged off after rest of field .A new bit was found in minutes and after I was rebridled up and babette the experienced sidesaddle she was shortened my stirrup leather to ensure I wouldn’t fall off and fixed my apron off we went . Thanks for your help Babette . You were first one who came to help me and best one ! I didn’t realise at time how famous you were !

      • Ceri Baker

        Babette ran a masterclass in illustration and getting published from her home a few years ago.. It was awesomely bonkers. I’d been a huge fan of hers for years so to get to meet her put everything in place. Brimming and over flowing with ideas and energy she was all over the place. In our climate of corporate everything it was lovely to meet an artist , living and sharing her gloriously bonkers world xxx

      • Loretta

        I only had the privelege of knowing Babette for less than a year before her very sad passing. Her amazing warm personality and great support of our little ballet company meant as much to me as her talent as an artist and storyteller. My first memory of Babette will always stay firmly in my mind when an amazing lady in a floral frock bounded up to me and gave me an enormous hug at JSLN Dance Company’s performance I;Shaftesbury. So touched also by her pledge to support the company by auctioning one of her paintings.
        Will always remember your kind heart and giggles! Xx

      • Amanda Cooper

        I was fortunate to meet Babette twice. The first time was 20 odd years ago in Melbourne Australia where I live.she was so great to talk to, signed my collection of her books, which still stand proudly on their very own shelf and are read with much enjoyment. I met her again at the Bookfair in Bologna in 2013. I approached her and told her how much I’d enjoyed meeting her all those years ago. She was SO friendly and talkative just so much fun. She wore a gorgeous red dotted dress and a hat that she told me belonged to Lady so and so. We had a good laugh. A couple of Australian author illustrators were there. Alison Lester and Babette knew each other and had a great chat about horses. Isobelle Carmody asked me to introduce her to Babette and asked if I would take a photo of them together. So I happily took photos of the three of them. I will always remember that moment, outside the Irish stand. Pure magic for me.
        I came home from Bologna and realised that Babette had a web site and you could buy her art work!, oh joy. I have quite a large,beautiful collection of the original artwork from Australian picture books, but I didn’t know how to access overseas artists. I bought 3 preliminary drawings fromPrincess Smarty PantsBreaks the Rules. Heaven. My son said the next year that he would like to buy me something special for my birthday. What would I like? An original from Babette. So I now proudly have on my wall the original artwork from one of her Christmas cards. A row of robins tweeting away. I kept the card that Babette wrote and sent with the artwork and even the packaging! Babette will always be remembered and loved for her books, a marvellous legacy to leave, and for all her fans, like me, who were lucky enough to meet her.. well, I’ll never forget those meetings.

      • Zoe Jeffery

        Princess Smartypants is one of my favourite books that will be passed on to my daughters. What a great thought provoking story about a princess for little girls to take on board.

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