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Madeline and the Cats of Rome Hardcover – September 4, 2008


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Madeline and the Cats of Rome + Madeline's Christmas + Madeline Says Merci: The Always-Be-Polite Book
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 540L (What's this?)
  • Series: Madeline
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile; First Edition edition (September 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670062979
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670062973
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.4 x 12.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2—In the first all-new Madeline book in almost 50 years, Ludwig Bemelmans's grandson tries his hand at re-creating the magic and charm of the boisterous little French girl. In this escapade, Miss Clavel and the girls escape the cold, rainy weather in Paris to enjoy spring in Rome. But when their camera is stolen, Madeline races off to catch the culprit. She tracks her down and discovers one of the hiding places of the famed cats of Rome. When the thief, Caterina, lures Madeline into one of her schemes, both girls are taken to the police station. Madeline is reunited with her teacher and classmates and decides to help Caterina stage a "rescue operation" for the cats. After successfully finding homes for all of the felines, Miss Clavel, Madeline, and the girls bid a fond "Ciao!" to Italy. Marciano includes a list of Roman sites found in the illustrations. Missing, however, is a much-needed author's note explaining the history and significance of the more than 300,000 stray cats that live among the city's monuments and ruins. The artwork isn't as sharp and polished as in the original titles, the plot gets muddled, and the rhythm and rhyme of the text are slightly forced and stilted. Nonetheless, libraries with a large Madeline fan base may want to include this new adventure alongside the originals.—Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In this sequel to the familiar Madeline picture books written and illustrated by Bemelmans’ grandson, Miss Clavel takes the “twelve little girls in two straight lines” from cold, rainy Paris to warm, sunny Rome. On a sightseeing expedition, they pose in the street while Miss Clavel takes their picture. Suddenly, an Italian girl snatches the camera and runs. Madeline and her dog, Genevieve, give chase through the streets of Rome and make a couple of surprising discoveries before their adventure ends. Though the text breaks down here and there, usually when the near rhymes go too far astray, Marciano does a good job of recapturing the look and the verve of his grandfather’s artwork without slavish imitation. Some of the illustrations are in full color, while others use bold, black lines and two shades of yellow. Marciano’s previous works include the manners book Madeline Says Merci (2001) and the board book Madeline Loves Animals (2005). Madeline fans will welcome this. Preschool-Grade 1. --Carolyn Phelan

More About the Author

John Bemelmans Marciano is the grandson of Ludwig Bemelmans, author of the original Madeline books. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Customer Reviews

Lovely story and I love how the verbiage flows.
Mary G. S.
The book is beautifully illustrated, and the story feels true to Madeline's original author.
Julia
It ended well, but in this case I don't think the end justifies the means.
Old English Teacher

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By El Rey Lin on January 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Here's the plot: Madeline goes to Rome and meets up with a girl who steals her camera, robs unsuspecting tourists, and says that she is destitute orphan. Madeline and this girl get nabbed by the police, who wrongly accuse Madeline of aiding and abetting the girl. The girl finally confesses that she is not an orphan and that the only reason she steals is to help some stray cats living in an abandoned house. Madeline and crew work with girl to find homes for the cats, become friends with the girl, and visit the girl at her big beautiful house. The girl does not suffer any consequences for her actions; apparently, her contention that she did it all for the cats is enough to absolve her.

An appropriate story for your pre-schooler/kindergartener? Uh, not quite. What were these people thinking? It's all pretty surprising, because the book is a savvy renewal of the Madeline brand with beautiful artwork that perfectly copies the style of the original. You think they would at least have the business sense to come up with a story that doesn't potentially frighten small children with its depiction of crime, lying, the police falsely accusing and arresting our hero, Madeline, and the notion of poor orphans living on the street.

I still give the book 3 stars, though, because the illustrations are exceptionally good, showing all of the beautiful sights in Rome. It's a nice way to acquaint your children with that city. But you will have to throw in extensive caveats and additional explanations when you read this to them in order to compensate for the problematic story.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. Smith on January 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Pros:

The illustrations in this book are lovely. The illustrator includes images of many famous monuments, quaint neighborhoods, and important buildings. I really enjoyed sharing these pictures of my favorite city with my children.

Cons:

The story is cute and ends well, but at one point a the parents of a missing girl fear she is dead. While the text rhymes and the story itself is not dark, my non-toddler children were a little bit disturbed by this portion of the book. Since it is most parents' worst fear to lose their child (and fear they are dead), it was a bit disturbing to me as well. In any case, the ending is very cute and overall it is an enjoyable book.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Doc Occula VINE VOICE on September 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The charm and energy of the illustrations in the Madeline books never fails to disappoint. John Marciano has carried on the tradition with a sure hand, and while his images honor the tone of his grandfather's marvelous works, they have a light spirit about them which remains contemporary.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Old English Teacher on November 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I am a huge fan of the original Madeline books by Bemelmans. I even like the new cartoon show I have sometimes caught on Saturday morning TV. I wish I would have read this one before I bought it for a 4 year old niece. I did not like the idea of lying and thievery that was presented in the book. It ended well, but in this case I don't think the end justifies the means. I am currently looking for a different gift.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We were excited to see a new Madeline book in the series. We have enjoyed reading it. Although I must admit I enjoy it a little more than my 26 month old daughter. I think she will quickly grow to love Madeline just as I have always loved her.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Ryckman on April 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was asked to read to a first grade class which consisted of 20 six year old boys & girls.
I had lived in Rome for several years, consequently the John Bemelmans Marciano book "Madeline And The Cats of Rome" appealed to me. It is a very well put together work with wonderful art work which is true to the city.
The children loved it and had many questions and opinions about the city and the cats.
They all seemed to thoroughly enjoy the tale and wanted to talk about it, after the reading.
For me, it was a very rewarding experience to see the children enjoying themselves being transported to a beautiful place with an exciting story about other children and the famous cats of Rome.
I give it an AAA + Sincerely, John Ryckman, San Francisco, Ca.
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By babyfeetj on February 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Who doesn't love a classic tale of a girl gone wild in Rome. If you like cats this is the book for you.
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By Julia on January 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is beautifully illustrated, and the story feels true to Madeline's original author. Mr. Marciano does his grandfather proud.
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