The Book

A random comment by Mike Baker on Steve and Amanda Offfut’s wordcast prompted me to remember one of my favorite books from when I was a kid – BARBAPAPA! Who remembers the awesomeness that Barbapapa was? I have not met many people who have even heard of him, so I’d be really interested to find out who knows what I’m talkin’ about.

Barbapapa meets Barbamama

Barbapapa was a creature who could form his body into any shape he wanted. He met a Barbamama and they had a family (which grew out of the ground like plants – just how Barbapapa and Barbamama also came into existence). The books tell of the adventures they have and the humans who love them. It does not get any better than this.

The Barbapapa Family is born

I read that book every day for years when I was little. It opened up my imagination and satisfied my itch for the bizzare as a creative 5 year-old. This picture below of the Barbapapa’s house especially intrigued me and I drew many additional, equally zany renditions of it myself and plastered them on the fridge.

Barbapapa's House

This picture below always troubled me, for obvious reasons. I remember the strange feelings it evoked in me as I tried to comprehend how Barbapapa was going to live in this house.

Barbapapa, how do you do it?

Barbapapa books are very hard to find these days. They sell on Ebay once in a while, but for quite a bit of cheese. What I wouldn’t do to get my hands on one of these! Well, actually, there’s probably a lot I wouldn’t do to get my hands on these, but I would maybe do something…at any rate, here’s to Barbapapa! Oh, the memories

with love, the Barbapapas


  1. Oh..I remember Barbapapa! Actually Barbapapa en barbamama were so famous here in Holland! I even remember the barbapapa and barbamama song… never liked it 😀

  2. you know what…when i come to ihop i’ll bring you a barbapapa book, how ’bout that?

    you just have to do a speedy course dutch…or you can be satisfied with just the pictures and make up the story yourself 🙂

  3. kylegebhart

    i totally remember this – it totally gave me that warm fuzzy feeling of being a child again.

  4. No earthly idea. Bummer!!

  5. Ruth – I am jealous of your Barbapapa-saturated upbringing! We American kids only got the Barbapapa crumbs. If you were to bring me a book, I would be the happiest girl alive!

    Kyle – I’m so glad you know. Somehow I’m not surprised. 🙂

    Robin – Tis a bummer indeed. 🙂

  6. Well, let’s make you happy then! 🙂

    It would be so much fun to be able to give you that book!
    You’re gonna be happy even if it’s a dutch version? Maybe I can get you an English version…not sure…it’ll be a surprise!

  7. I love surprises!!! 🙂 I would love English to be able to remember the story line (though I could probably figure it out) but Dutch would be so fun as well! You would be my hero.

  8. Tash

    OMG!!!! It is so wonderful to see people remember these adorable little guys!! I only had one book – Barbamama’s Kitchen, and to this day I remember it!! I was just in an asian stationary and gift store today and saw they had some stationary with the Barba Family on it and it all came flooding back – I want to start a collection of all the cute Barba merchandise I can!!!

  9. TraMat

    Oooo i have mama Barba up in my loft gathering spiders! loved it!

  10. elvira

    LOOOOOOOOVE barbapapa.Talking about bringing back nice childhood memories!! Does any one know where to get any d.v.d’s or vhs of theese guys in English? I would just love to bring this experience to them.

  11. Naf


    It has been YEARS since I’ve thought of Barbapapa and the Barba family! It was one of my favorite books as a child, I would read it constantly. I wonder if I could still dig the book up…can’t remember which it was.

    I also had no idea how big they were outside the U.S.

    Thanks for bringing back some happy memories, and keeping the Barbas alive!

  12. elenamac

    Wow! I can’t believe there is actually information about Barbapapa on the internet. I was born in the early 70’s and I had two of the books. My mom keeps everything, so the other day my daughter (age 4) and son (age 6) brought home the Barbapapa New House book from grandma’s house. They have requested that I read it to them daily for the past 3 weeks (sometimes multiple times per day). I thought I would try to find more Barbapapa books to buy on the internet, I had no idea they would be hard to find! I guess my kids are as fascinated as I was with Barbapapa.

  13. Melissa

    For Years I have asked friends if they remember the BARBAPAPA’S and all my friends think I’m mad and they say have you been dreaming. As a young girl I remember all the shapes and different things that they chaged into. At last I can stop worrying ha ha they are real (yes)

  14. Lynn

    I am so glad I found this. I couldn’t remember the name of the shape-shifting creatures for the longest time…BARBAPAPA! Thank you! I had one book as a kid and it was awesome. Wish I still had it.

  15. judi

    yes, i remember it too. when i was a chid it was may favorite cartoon. it was very interesting that they could solve any problem. but i cant remember the names of barbapapa family members. babrbapapa ,barbamama, barbazoo,…??

  16. Steve

    Hi I have nearly all the books some cost nearly £50 like New House and I have all the TV show 30 episodes transfered on to dvd . I did it myself off of 5 VHS Volumes they are in English. You can find them on CQOUT site for sale from claypole(seller). Do not get them from i miss my favorite show as I tried this a long time ago and they were blank then it took months for them to send them out again and they were blank again. I eventually got a refund all around about 3 months frustating. Then I was lucky enough to see and win all the 5 VHS off of e-bay.I transfered them all on to 5 DVD’s. My 4 and 6 years kids love them and reading the books they are all out of print in English now but if you speak German you can still get them new.

    • Giulia

      Dear Steve,

      I see right now you have the english vhs series for Barbapapa and you transferred it on dvd by yourself. I am looking for it desperatly….I got it from I miss my tv show and they were blank so they gave me the refund IMMEDIATELY :-))
      I have searched the website CQOUT but I couldn’t find anything….
      Could you send me a copy of them…I will pay of course…I live in Italy…

      Kindest regards

  17. Steve

    There were 7 the names were Barbapapa(Pink), Barbamama(black), Barbabright(blue), Barbazoo(Yellow),Barbabravo(red), Barbabeau(black hairy), Barbalib(purple), Barbalala(green), Barbabelle(orange). I hope that this has satisfied you request for names.Cheers

  18. REV777

    where are the ENGLISH production copies? i remember some of the theme song: “here is the star it’s barbapapa…….all of the other barbapapas……..they can change their shapes and sizes…….into anything you see…….here is the star it’s barbapapa” sketchy memorie, but it’s close.

  19. paris Ima

    i love barbapapa family

  20. G Sernich

    Hi! My son (who is now an adult) Loves Barbapapas, and especially Barbabeau. I was recently in Montreal, and the books and merchandise are for sale at Renaud-Bray. I live 2000 miles from Montreal, and now want to buy a Barbabeau plate from the series with one character on each plate. No luck on Renaud-Bray website. Did you find a merchandise distributor? There must be one in France. If so, could you please send me the email address where I can place an order? Love those little shape-shifters. They are kind of Zen.

  21. Amina

    Omg…have been looking for this cartoon for so long….used to watch it when I was a kid and loved it….could not remember the name and was searching yahoo for a long time just to get a clue….wish u cud get dvd’s of this now….

  22. Amina

    Hey everyone if anyone is looking for the DVD complete series of barbapapa u can buy it from dvdsforcancer.com. They have the complete series in English and the proceeds go for cancer. I just found it myself….good luck!

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