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Madeline's Christmas Hardcover – October 1, 1985


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Series: Madeline
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile (October 1, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670806668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670806669
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.4 x 12.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring because of a nasty, contagious illness--even the mouse is in bed with a miserable cold. Only brave Madeline is up and about ... competently running the household until she hears a knock at the door--a visitor whom she suspects might be Santa Claus. Instead it is a magical-rug merchant, with 12 red carpets that Madeline thinks would be perfect for the 12 girls and "For our ice-cold in the morning feet." She procures a few francs from Miss Clavel and pays the merchant. Without his rugs, however, he is very chilly, and he feels quite silly for having sold them. He returns to the old house (still covered in vines), where Madeline helps him thaw out, and he works a little Christmas magic--sending the girls on cross-country carpet rides to surprise their parents. Of course, Miss Clavel's bell breaks the spell and they're all back in time to celebrate the New Year. (Ages 4 to 8) --Karin Snelson

From Publishers Weekly

Madeline joined the company of story immortals in 1939, when Bemelmans introduced the lion-hearted French child to the world. The original and five sequels excited critical raves, awards and an international readership. Now the sixth saga, reprinted from a McCall's magazine feature, will be offered as a book. On Christmas Eve, the old house in Paris, covered with vines, is also swarming with germs. Miss Clavel and her charges, except Madeline, are downed by the flu. So the littlest of the 12 girls nurses the ailing ones but a mysterious caller arrives with the promise of turning a sad Yuletide into an adventure. Madeline buys 12 rugs from the turbaned visitor and tucks them around the chilly invalids until she discovers that the covers are more than comforting. They are magic. They take Madeline and her friends on a wonderful flight, bringing back the joys of the season.
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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 daughter is going to love opening this up on Christmas morning.
Anna Stevens
I'm disappointed but I guess it will be the book I hand the baby when she wants to rumple something.
Elisabeth
This time honored tradition id a wonderful addition to my Grand Daughters collection of books.
Fancy Nancy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Murphy-spivey on December 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
Im not exactly sure what people are looking for with this book. It was written quite some time ago,and times have changed. So this book wont have santa in it. Not so bad. It doesnt really carry a religious theme, but I guess that could make it more "readable" for children of every faith? I grew up reading Madeline. My 4 yr old daughter loves every Madeline story, and not because they are simply Madeline stories, but because they have a unique, vintage read to them. This story, I did not purchase due to the previous reviews so I checked it out at the Library, but will be purchasing it after reading it with my daughter. The illustrations are typical Bemelmans, so I am not sure what that former reviewer was referring to. These are the older versions, the original versions and perhaps some people that are "newcomers" to the Madeline scene are use to the newer look of Madeline? The verse of the story did not seem "forced" to me or odd at all. It does not read like a Dr.Seuss, and does not flow perfectly all the time; but neither do any of the other Madeline stories. As for the storyline itself, I found it a subtle Christmas story; not drenched in Christmas, but rather in fancy and imagination. I am a Christian, but I personally see nothing wrong with a story at Christmas time that teaches giving, makebelieve, and kindness even if it leaves out the religious aspects. Madeline is shown taking care of everyone, even a stranger who comes to her door, and returns again to her door when he finds himself in a bad way. My daughter, upon having this read to her responded that she liked it because it showed how nice Madeline was to everyone, and how the Carpet Merchant repaid kindness with giving something fun and special to the children (the magic carpet ride home to see their parents) for Christmas.Read more ›
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"Madeline's Christmas" was originally published as a special book insert in the 1956 Christmas edition of "McCall's" magazine (which is where a shorter version of "Madeline and the Gypsies" would appear a couple of years later). It is the shortest of Ludwig Bemelmans six Madeline books and the only one in which all of the pages have full color illustrations instead of those familiar ones that are predominantly yellow. The story seems at first like it might be a take off on "The Night Before Christmas," since it interjects the first four lines of that poem after beginning with the familiar recap of the old house covered with vines, the twelve girls, and Madeline's inevitable retort to the tiger at the zoo. But it turns out that everybody in the house, from Miss Clavel to a poor mouse, are in bed with cold. Everyone, of course, except for brave little Madeline.

Madeline is taking care of everybody, cleaning and cooking, and when a rug merchant shows up with 12 rugs to sell, she buys them so everybody in the house will not have to put their feet on the cold floor when they get out of bed. Without his rugs the merchant gets frozen and Madeline has to take care of him. By this point you are wondering why this is a Christmas story as opposed one where it is just snowy and cold, but it seems the merchant is also a magician and you know what that makes those rugs.

This is a minor Madeline story and while we finally get to see Madeline's parents, it does make you wonder why the twelve little girls are still at the house all covered with vines at Christmas time.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Faye on July 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is my favorite Madeline book and one of my favorite books in general. I think it's very sweet that Madeline, the littlest girl in the old house covered with vines, should be the one doing all the cooking and cleaning when everyone else in the house is sick. It's also sweet that she makes the important decision of purchasing carpets from a rug merchant to warm everyone else in the house; in many households, little children hardly have anything important to do, so this story is a lovely fantasy that children might enjoy. I also liked the part where the magic carpets brought all the little girls home to their families, and they were able to give their parents hugs for Christmas. A charming story.
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33 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 21, 1998
Format: Paperback
Madeline, Madeline's Rescue, and Madeline and the Gypsies are all fine books, but Madeline's Christmas is a dud. It doesn't have the same cadence as the others, and the plot is not as appealing.
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25 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 9, 1998
Format: Audio Cassette
Madeline's Christmas was a disappointment. Stick to the other Madeline tales!!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Davi D. L. Ezell on August 17, 2002
Format: Paperback
It's not so much the story here as the activities! It has reuseable vinyl characters (like Colorforms) that kids can use to create their own stories--tons of games and holiday worksheets. I must disclose that I own a bookstore that stocks this title, but I am VERY selective about the items I stock--especially for kids. Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Gottlieb on November 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every year the sweet grandchild gets Christmas pajamas and a Christmas book. This is still a wonderful classic that is timeless. The illustrations are huge in the huge book, and who just doesn't still love Madeline? This is the book for this Christmastime.
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