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3.5 out of 5 stars
Madeline and the Bad Hat
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2001
Although my daughter and I love Madeline, this particular book was disturbing. Miss Clavel buys Pepito some tools to give him "an outlet for his energy" and he builds a guillotine to decapitate chickens! He turns a cat loose in the midst of a pack of dogs and is then attacked by the dogs, resulting in a visit from the doctor. In the end, of course, Pepito changes his ways. But it in no way compensated for the fact that the majority of the story was, at best, dark. I don't tend to be faint of heart when it comes to literature, but this was not appropriate for my 4-year-old.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
"In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines." In 1939, Ludwig Bemelmans began writing stories about a group of girls in a school in Paris, foremost among whom was the irrepressible Madeline. Those books are now considered classics in children's literature, having collected many awards.

In this Madeline adventure, when the Spanish Ambassador moves in next door, Madeline quickly realizes that his son is definitely a "bad hat." The young man, named Pepito, loves playing tricks - the nastier, the better. But, when a particularly nasty trick backfires on him, Pepito learns a very hard lesson!

This is another great Madeline story. I liked the gentle rhyming of the story, and my little reader liked Pepito's adventures and misadventures. So, let's just say that this book is a classic of children's literature for a reason! My little one and I both highly recommend this great book.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2001
Pepito, the boy in this book has a change of heart and goes from being unkind to animals to caring for them. It is a good story. As far as it being "dark" as another reviewer said,well,does that reader eat chickens? That's what Pepito was doing before he learned a new way to live with the animals he came to love.
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26 of 35 people found the following review helpful
The third book in the "Madeline" series, this focusses on the wild behavior of Pepito, a troublemaking boy who is meant to be a foil for the mischievous Madeline. The behavior shown is pretty excessive, though: Bemelmans shows the boy tying a cat up in a pillowcase and releasing it into a pack of dogs, which strikes me a way too violent. Certainly not appropriate for smaller (toddler) readers. Even if you liked the other Madeline books, you might want to think twice before picking this one up. It's a little scary.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2011
The other books are good, but this one is truly entertaining. In the hands of most authors, a character like Pepito would be a failure. He skates and bikes dangerously, captures animals, builds a guillotine to help his chef with the chickens, tries to feed a cat to hungry dogs, and in an act of redemption, releases half a zoo from their cages. But this author pulls it off delightfully. It's not even remotely disturbing, because it's all so ridiculous, and is, in any case, wound up quite neatly. Pepito is a terrific foil to the twelve little girls, and story is tight and witty.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2007
While I've generally enjoyed the Madeline series, this story was uncharacteristically and excessively harsh. What adult wants to have to explain a guillotine to a 4-year old child?
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2000
My daughter and I really loved this book! The rhythm of this Madeline book is especially good. It highlights Madeline's courageous, assertive personality as well as her compassionate intuition! A great match with the Madeline movie with Hatty Jones with follows a similiar plot line and is also a family favorite. Enjoy!
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2009
This is my least favorite of the Madeline series actually written by the original author. While full of fun rhymes, the book doesn't particularly hang together - plot sacrificed to rhyme. Did i really want to explain a guillotine to a 4-year-old?
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2009
I'm surprised this book isn't better known, given the popularity of the original Madeline book. The message of the story was ahead of its time. My family enjoyed this book much more than "Madeline's Rescue".
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2014
My 2 year old has loved all the books in the Madeline series. She loves the artwork, rhymes, and simple story lines that connect to and share elements in common with other books in the series. This book is also my wife's favorite in the series.
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