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
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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