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Madeline in London Paperback – May 1, 2000


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Madeline in London + Madeline + Madeline's Christmas
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Series: Madeline
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile; Reissue edition (May 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014056649X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140566499
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 12.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

What on earth could make Miss Clavel, Madeline, and her 11 nameless classmates leave belle Paris for the tea-and-crumpeted, sometimes trumpeted city of London? A mission to cheer up the lonely, thin, increasingly despondent Pepito, son of the Spanish ambassador, who had to move away from his house next door to Madeline's in Paris. In their efforts to cheer him up, and for a birthday surprise, Miss Clavel and the girls buy him a retired horse. All is fine until the horse gallops off at the sound of the trumpet to take his place at the head of the queen's Life Guards (his occupation before retiring). As readers whoosh through busy London scenes, we forget the horse has had nothing to eat all day. Upon his return to Pepito's home, he eats everything in sight: "The gardener dropped his garden hose. / There wasn't a daisy or a rose. / 'All my work and all my care / For nought! Oh, this is hard to bear.'" Meanwhile, as the horse is passed out from exhaustion and overeating, Pepito's mother says he has to go. And so Madeline and the others take the horse home with them to Paris, where "They brushed his teeth and gave him bread, / And covered him up / and put him to bed." Ludwig Bemelmans charms us again with the uniquely skewed logic and matter-of-fact madness of childhood that young readers will adore. (Ages 4 to 8) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

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

My 2.5 year old and 5 year old love Madeline.
S. Balan
I liked the gentle rhyming of the story, and my little reader liked all of the adventures and misadventures that Madeline and Pepito had.
Kurt A. Johnson
Found the first book at the library worn and torn, but my daughter loved it so I went for the next one.
J. Underhill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Having seen pages from the orignal version of the earliest adventures of Tintin and American cartoons from before World War II, I am aware that such works could often be racist and contain stereotypes. Hergé went back and redid his offensive artwork and the versions of those cartoons available today have been edited (or censored, if you prefer). So I was interested in charges of perpetuating stereotyping being raised here against a children's book that was written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans in the United States at the time that the Civil Rights Movement was gaining momentum.

"Madeline and the Gypsies" first appeared, in a shorter version, in "McCall's" in 1958-59. As readers recall from "Madeline and the Bad Hat," next door to the old house in Paris that was covered with vines was the house of the Spanish Ambassador, whose son Pepito was reformed by Madeline (well, actually by a pack of dogs, but Madeline endorsed the whole thing). His parents are gone and Pepito invites the twelve little girls over a Gypsy Carnival. A cloudburst sends everybody home, but when the girls are tucked into bed Miss Clavel discovers that Madeline is missing. This is because at the top of the Ferris Wheel, stuck in the rainstorm, are Pepito and Madeline. He climbs down to get aid and the Gypsy Mama, with the aid of the strong man and the clown, get Madeline to safety.

Explaining that "Gypsies do not like to stay--They only come to go away," the Gypsy Mama gives the drenched children medicine, puts them to bed, and takes Madeline and Pepito with her when the carnival leaves. Now, technically I suppose this IS kidnapping. But there is a long-standing tradition of running away to join the circus (Toby Tyler anyone?) and "Madeline and the Gypsies" is very much in that spirit.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
For this fifth book in the Madeline series, Ludwig Bemelmans decides to do several things a bit differently. As always we begin with the old house in Paris that was covered in vines, but this time the twelve little girls in two straight lines each do their own illustration to help set up this tale. As we know, next door in another old house that stood next door lives Pepito, the son of the Spanish Ambassador, who is sent to England. The little girls all cried: "Boo-hoo--We'd like to go to London too." Given that the title of this book is "Madeline in London," that seems likely to happen.

In London, Pepito stops eating and grow fit, and his mama figures out it must be because her son misses Madeline and the girls. So the Spanish Ambassador invites them to the embassy and Miss Clavel and the girls pack and catch the next jet. There they find a birthday present for Pepito, and then take a tour of London town, from Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace to Drury Lane, London Bridge, and the White Tower. In London there is no need for Miss Clavel to wake up in the middle of the night or run fast and faster to some new disaster. That is because this time the disaster has to do with Pepito's present and Miss Clavel is not responsible for it (that is, until the end of the story).

Young readers who liked "Madeline's Rescue" because of Miss Genevieve will be inclined to like "Madeline in London" because it also deals with pets. I was a bit disappointed that there are not as many wonderful full-color illustrations of the sights of London as we usually find in the Madeline stories set in Paris. Those illustrations are often the best part of Bemelmans' stories, as he goes beyond the simple yellow painted pages to more complex pictures. "Madeline in London" was originally published in 1961 and it turns out to be the last time Bemelmans did his signature yellow pages, as the sixth and final story, "Madeline's Christmas," will be entirely in color.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
As with all the Madeline books, this one is simply wonderful and an absolute joy to read! It is an absolutely delightful story, and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves good books.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A. Saithu on August 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not my favorite Madeline book. My daughter usually likes Madeline, but was not as keen on this one. It does not have a good flow of rhyming cadence that is present in the rest of the series. The story is also fairly random and does not have much at all to do with London. Madeline and the Cats of Rome is a much better option.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kasey Thomason on November 4, 2013
Format: Paperback
In Madeline in London, Madeline and her friends go to London to cheer up a friend who is down, Pepito. Madeline and Pepito get into misadventures, but Madeline models kindness and bravery, as always.

The illustrations are also beautiful and give parents with a little knowledge of geography an opportunity to tell their children about the famous places Madeline and her friends pass (e.g. Trofalgar Square).

For anyone who is not familiar, the Madeline books follow a formula, including some of the same language and images in each book. This might dissuade some parents from buying more than one book in the Madeline series, but my daughter loves them all the more for their repetitious elements, and I love seeing the new illustrations in each book.

I realized after I posted how sexist my headline is. First, I highly recommend Madeline for boys, too. But I am especially psyched about Madeline because I have a little girl who is currently obsessed with al things "girly." Unfortunately, so many of the things she perceives to be "girly" are focused only on girls being cute and sweet. While Madeline is both cute and sweet, she is also many other things like: daring, adventuresome, and a leader.
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