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Mad about Madeline Hardcover – October 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Hardcover: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile; 1st edition (October 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670851876
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670851874
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This elegant volume--perhaps one of the best gift books on the planet--contains all six adventures of the irrepressible, mischievous Madeline (the smallest and spunkiest of the twelve little girls in two straight lines). Ludwig Bemelmans's Madeline was first published in 1939, and its five sequels have all become classics. In Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anna Quindlen's introduction to Mad About Madeline she writes, "Amid a childhood full of children's books, amid glorious pictures and imaginative plots, it is worth wondering why this story is among a handful of books that now-grown children invariably buy for their own more than half a century after Ludwig Bemelmans began writing it on the back of a restaurant menu."

Inside this hefty, richly illustrated edition, you'll find Madeline, Madeline and the Bad Hat, Madeline's Rescue, Madeline and the Gypsies, Madeline in London, and Madeline's Christmas, in addition to Quindlen's splendidly insightful introduction, an essay by Bemelmans on how he invented Madeline, never-before-published working sketches of Madeline, and photos of the Bemelmans family. The perfect gift for anyone who has made friends with--or should be introduced to--the precocious Madeline. (The jaunty verse makes Madeline perfect for reading aloud, and readers ages 6 and older will enjoy sounding out names such as Lord Cucuface.)

About the Author

Ludwig Bemelmans (1898-1962) was the author of the beloved Madeline books, including Madeline, a Caldecott Honor Book, and Madeline's Rescue, winner of the Caldecott Medal. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Ludwig Bemelmans (April 27, 1898-October 1, 1962), Austro-American essayist, humorist, novelist, artist, and author of books for children, was born in Meran, in the Tyrol, in territory that was then Austrian and is now Italian. In 1914, he arrived in New York with letters of introduction to managers of several large hotels. Having worked his way up to a position as a waiter at the Ritz-Carlton, he left to enlist in the United States Army in 1917. Eventually he opened his own restaurant; only in 1934 did he turn to writing, at the suggestion of a friend in publishing who, noticing the whimsical paintings with which he covered the walls of his apartment, urged him to undertake a children's book. Hansi, the first of Bemelmans' fifteen books for children, beguiled most reviewers with its simple watercolor illustrations and nostalgic story of two children and their dog in the Austrian Tyrol. His greatest success, however, was Madeline, a rhymed picture book about a Parisian schoolgirl who becomes the envy of her classmates when her appendix is removed. Indeed, the Madeline books, of which there were five, remain the work that Bemelmans is primarily remembered for. The inspired amateurishness of the illustrations and the sophisticated doggerel verses have been an influence on later juvenile literature. Madeline's Rescue, the second book in the series, was awarded the Caldecott Medal in 1953. Bemelmans claimed to have no imagination, and all his books were the more or less direct product of his experience. He described his life as a restaurateur in Life Class and Hotel Splendide, his travels to Ecuador and Italy in The Donkey Inside and Italian Holiday, and his stint as a Hollywood screenwriter in the novel Dirty Eddie. At the time of his death he was working on the story of his childhood. Bemelmans was a genial satirist and lover of life, but a serious intent often underlay his humor, especially in his novels. A case in point is Blue Danube, a fanciful story set on an island of the Danube, the comedy of which is very much clouded by the appearance of a band of odious Nazis. A somewhat more successful novel was Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, concerning the unusual journey of an elderly Ecuadorian general from his villa in Biarritz to his home in South America. From the time of his marriage to Madeline Freund in 1935 (they had one daughter, Barbara) until his death in New York of pancreatic cancer, Bemelmans traveled, painted, and generally wrote a book or two a year. Reviewing his posthumous novel, the comic love story The Street Where the Heart Lies, Burling Lowrey in Saturday Review called Bemelmans "a superb craftsman with a sure eye for atmospheric detail and a supremely accurate ear for the speech of Adult Innocents madly in love with the unattainable.. . He was a complete original, with an absolutely unique temperament and view toward the world."

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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These Madeline stories are absolutely wonderful!
Kurt A. Johnson
They have the same classic layout and wonderful artwork as the original books.
Joshua P Pellittieri
Our little boy loves and has read all the Madeline stories many times.
Lawrence M. Sanger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 6, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Our two little girls, three and two years old, LOVE Madeline. Daddy reads them one story each night -- they always get to pick which. For Christmas they got two new books which are still almost unread, since every night they want Madeline! The stories are exciting, but gentle and sweet; they are moral but not preachy. And the poetry is wonderful! Also the stories are not too long for a tired parent's voice at bedtime. But with only two little ones of my own, I wonder how DOES Miss Clavel keep TWELVE little girls in two straight lines?
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I am sitting here with a young lady four years old who is also called Madeline and a large part of her being named Madeline was that I as her father - am "Mad about Madeline" too.
It is the flow and rythmn of the stories plus the beautiful water color illustrations. My four year old's favorite is "Madeline's Rescue". My favorite is "Madeline and the Gypsies" but they are all outstanding. A childhood without one of these books - buy one of the paperbacks if you you are new to Madeline and don't want to buy the complete selection yet- is incomprehensible.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By caroline.e.walsh@dartmouth.edu on March 19, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Though MAD ABOUT MADELINE weighs almost as much as our little girl did on her second birthday -- the day she was given this book -- there was no detering Emily from reading it. Comfortably situating herself on her tummy with the book propped up on a pillow, Emily did not stop turning the pages until she had reached the end, and uttered, "Uh-oh." Discovering the beauty of an appendix scar in one book, to the thrill of walking the tightrope in another, and feeling the sadness at the loss of Genevieve in yet another, our daughter was mesmerized with Madeline. Madeline is good, but not without being curious and even sometimes mischievous. She is clever and determined, but never at the expense of proper reverence. She is a wonderful character whose personality endears her to both children and adults alike. Madeline is a must -- she inspires and she entertains -- and you can't help but be "Mad About Madeline!"
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dai-keag-ity on October 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Okay, so my title is cutesy, but so is this glorious book. Why it is the publishers waited through four generations of appreciative readers to give little girls (and not so little girls) all the Madeline stories in one volume is beyond me, but who's to complain now that they're finally here? I bought this on first sight. In fact my hand was reaching for it at Borders before my brain had quite coordinated with my eyes what I was seeing. These tales of the spirited little Madeline and her life at the French orphanage are full of the sort of lovely, bright illustrations children react to and remember. (I've written about it before but there's something about vivid colors in a book that stimulates a young mind as little else can, and Madeline is brimming with them.) Now that all Madeline tales can be held in two hands, the opportunity is finally there to settle into bed for the night and read through these beloved little stories until sleep carries you away. Simply grand!

Apprécier!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As the title indicates, "Mad About Madeline: The Complete Tales" has the virtue of providing all six of Ludwig Bemelmans stories about the irrepressible Madeline, who first made her appearance way back in 1939. There is also an introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anna Quindlen; an essay by Bemelmans on how he invented Madeline entitled "The Isle of God"; and never-before-published photographs of the Bemelmans family and working sketches of Madeline. I was rather surprised to learn Madeline was celebrating her 60th birthday and even more surprised to learn these stories were not originally written and published in France (I thought it was obvious they were).

Ludwig Bemelmans was actually born in Merano, Italy, and came to the United States in 1914. A painter and illustrator, Bemelmans contributed covers to "The New Yorker," and also started writing fiction. A world traveler and true cosmopolite, Bemelmans wrote and illustrated "Madeline" in 1939, naming his most popular creation for his wife, Madeleine Freund. They had a daughter named Barbara, who would provide inspiration for some of the six Madeline books. In addition to the rhyming descriptions of "the old house in Paris that was covered with vines" and the "twelve little girls in two straight lines," for me the chief attraction were the Paris scenes that Bemelmans worked into his stories. He takes full advantage of the complete palette when he does most of those scenes. Plus, children like him because he colors outside the lines, just like they do.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By "misty_marie" on December 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I just bought this for my 3 year old daughter as I wanted to introduce her to Madeline.
Madeline and Miss. Clavel (are) brilliantly brought to life in each of the six short stories. There are are bright, vivid pictures with not too many lines which hold the little one's attention (If the wonderful story lines didn't!)
My daughter and I are really pleased!
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