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Madeline and the Bad Hat Hardcover – March 8, 1957

269 customer reviews
Book 3 of 7 in the Madeline Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

One day the Spanish ambassador moves into the Parisian house next door to Miss Clavel, Madeline, and her 11 classmates. And, His Excellency has a boy! Pepito, as he is named, is not just any boy: according to Madeline, he is a "bad hat"--for starters, he's equipped with an irksome slingshot, he "ghosts," and he boasts. And when Miss Clavel gives him a box of tools to function as an "outlet for his energy," he makes a guillotine for the cook's chickens. ("He ate them ROASTED, GRILLED, AND FRITO! Oh what a horror was PEPITO.") Children will love Ludwig Bemelmans's jaunty rhymes and simple, evocative drawings, and the ferocity with which the feisty Madeline suspects, condemns, and rebuffs the boisterous new boy neighbor. In the end, however, everything comes out right, and we, along with Miss Clavel, can relax. (Ages 4 to 8) --Karin Snelson

About the Author

Ludwig Bemelmans was a painter, illustrator, and writer for both children and adults. The Madeline books are among the most honored children's books of all time. Mr. Bemelmans died in 1962 after completing his sixth story about Madeline, Madeline's Christmas. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Hardcover: 54 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Press (January 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670446149
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670446148
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.4 x 12.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (269 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I have had several occasions to read "Madeline" over the years, yet had never read anything about her. So learning that she had celebrated her 60th birthday was something of a surprise because I did not think of this first story of that irrepressible little girl as something that was first published on the eve of World War II. But the bigger surprise was learning that "Madeline" was not originally written and published in France, which I had always assumed was the case. That means all of those times I was reading this book and wondering what it would read like in the orignal French, I was completely off the mark. Live and learn.

Ludwig Bemelmans was actually born in 1898 in that part of the Tyrol which is now known as 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. His first children's book, "Hansi," was published in 1934. A world traveler and true cosmopolite, Bemelmans wrote and illustrated "Madeline" in 1939 but had trouble finding a publisher because most editors felt that despite its humorous verse and simple artwork the book was too sophisticated for children (Soon & Schuster originally published the book, although the rest of the series would be published by Viking, Bemelmans usual publisher). Bemelmans named his most popular creation for his wife, Madeleine Freund, whom he had married in 1935. They had a daughter named Barbara, who would provide inspiration for some of the Madeline books.

Thinking that this book was originally written and published in France is a reasonable conclusion given all of the Paris scenes Bemelmans pictures in his book.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover
A short children's story about a young girl who lives with eleven other girls in a home in Paris and who has to go to the hospital to have her appendix removed. It was a 1940 Caldecott Honor book (i.e., a runner-up to the Medal winner) for best illustration in a book for children. This book, and others in the Madeline series, have become classics in children literature and every serious student of children literature should have it on their shelves. Children love these books.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth S. on June 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As a child, some of my favorite books were the Madeline stories. This is the first in the series, and it sets a wonderful tone. The illustrations are wonderful, and it's fun to see illustrations of actual Parisian landmarks such as the Opera, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and Tulleries. The story is fun, fast and catchy, and I used to wish that I was one of the little girls standing amongst the two straight lines lead by Miss Clavel.
This book is not just for little girls. Boys can enjoy the story as well.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
Although "Madeline" probably needs no introduction, this classic story set in Paris is about a Miss Clavel and twelve little girls. The smallest girl is Madeline, who is brave and does not even get scared of a lion in the zoo. Madeline scares Miss Clavel when one night she... Ludwig Bemelmans does a great job of corresponding the illustrations to the content of the story. The scene where Madeline is saying "pooh-pooh" to the lion, it has more color than other pages making it exciting. The illustrations compliment the plot and setting of the story by giving each page a mood that helps create the story. The rythem and humor in this book will appeal to most children. I found when reading it to my daughter we both giggled at the many rhymes which Ludwig Bemelmans chose as the characteristic to tell this story in. I would reccomend this book for readers at the preschool age up to age eight or so. For the younger reader it has a great rythem and illustrations that keep the eye interested. For the older reader the story is equally interesting with a slight hint of suspence. Ludwig Bemelmans drawing's of the Opera, Notre Dame in the rain and of the children playing in the Luxembourg gardens give a classic picture of Paris. The illustrations coupled with the easy flow of the story and rhyme will allow this book to be enjoyed in a timeless fashion! DawnENGL340 at SJC
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By saliero on May 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Young boys like this too. I think too often we steer boys away from books with girl protagonists, and that attitude stays with them. A 3 to 5 year old boy might delight in the rhymes just as much as a girl of that age. Seeing girls often develop language skills earlier, the use of books such as these with well-controlled, thoughtful use of language is useful for boys too! I loved Madeline (I'm over 40) and thought the illustrations aren't groovy - it's tough in the computer age! - they are quite whimsically delightful.
Kids I know like this book.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Laura on October 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Ever since I was old enough to read I've loved Madeline! I remember going to the library and checking out this book and all the other ones in the series (Madeline and the bad hat, Madeline to the rescue...) I was always disappointed that they were checked out. I am 21 years old now and still have an infactuation with Madeline! She is a great role model for children of all ages and the stories and lessons learned from them stick with you!
I'd recommend this book for new mothers and small children alike!
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