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on December 11, 2007
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. That was good enough reason for me to say it was a good book. The great thing about reviews is that anyone can leave one, and everyone has different opinions about books because we are all individuals, so it is probably best to read all the reviews and then if you are still unsure, check it out at the library first.
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on July 9, 2006
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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"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. But then it was never clear if Miss Clavel was running a boarding school or an orphanage or what, and I am afraid "Madeline's Christmas" only confuses things (I did a bit of research and discovered Bemelmans was working on the stories his mother told him about life in a convent school in Altotting). So this effort is a trifle all things considered and you will not really find anything inside the book as you find on the cover, with the Eiffel Tower done up like a Christmas tree.
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on November 21, 1998
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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on November 30, 2013
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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on February 28, 2016
My 2-year-old niece LOVES Madeline, so naturally I got her Madeline's Christmas for Christmas. I also got her a Madeline toy and it made for a wonderful gift pair. The look on her face was worth it. It makes me so happy because Madeline was always my favorite book as a child.
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on December 5, 2013
I love the first Madeline book, but this one was just irritating.The choppy grammar makes it very difficult to read aloud (even silently). My kids were not impressed with this one. Love Madeline though...
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on November 9, 1998
Madeline's Christmas was a disappointment. Stick to the other Madeline tales!!
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on December 28, 2012
My kids and I love the Madeline books and have several. This one I thought would be a terrific addition to the collection and perfect for Christmas. Unfortunately, it does not even come close to the older, "authentic" Madeline stories. I understand the artwork being more modern; and the pictures were bright and interesting. But the story itself was substandard. It was short, and felt like major pieces of the story were missing. As an example- Madeline meets a rug merchant and buys small carpets for all 12 girls. The merchant is also a magician and the carpets are magic flying carpets. On the next page, the girls ride the carpets home for Christmas. Then the page after that is Miss Clavel clapping her hands and bringing them back to school. The most interesting thing in the whole story was glossed over in one page! It could have been a fascinating, magical story but the new author completely missed the mark on this one.
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on December 30, 2014
I do love some Madeline and my daughter loves her as well. The whole idea of a small girl being left to run a house and letting in a stranger is a little off-putting but thats just the scynic. It's a classic story from another time.
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