Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The "Madeline" Books by Ludwig Bemelmans
The original "Madeline" was first published in 1939
Source: All five books purchased for my daughter
"In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines."
So begins the book Madeline, the first in a series of books written first by Ludwig Bemelmans and more recently by his grandson John Bemelmans Mariano. The books are charming for their poetry, lovely drawings but most of all for the plucy little Madeline, "the smallest of all." The girls are shepherded by Miss Clavel and enjoy great adventures throughout Paris but the biggest excitement of the book was Madeline's appendicitis attack.
Madeline's Rescue is the story of what happens when Madeline is rescued from the Seine River by a dog and won the Caldecott Medal in 1954. In Madeline and the Bad Hat readers are introduced to Pepito, the son of the Spanish Ambassador who moves into the house next door to the girls. Madeline and Pepito head off for great adventures in Madeline and the Gypsies. "Madeline in America" is a collection of stories that include stories started by Bemelmans but finished by Marciano. It also includes a lovely story about Christmas with Bemelmans written by his daughter.
I read the books as part of the "You've Got Mail" Challenge. In that movie, Meg Ryan played a character that owned a children's book store. All of the books/authors for the challenge were shown or mentioned in the movie. It was a pleasure to revisit "Madeline;" I just may have to rewatch the movie, starring Frances McDormand as well!