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Madeline Paperback – February 24, 1977

4.6 out of 5 stars 433 customer reviews
Book 1 of 7 in the Madeline Series

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Paperback, February 24, 1977
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Poor Miss Clavel! In "an old house in Paris that was covered with vines," Miss Clavel oversees the education of 12 little girls, the littlest of whom is the mischievous Madeline. Despite her size, she fearlessly pooh-poohs the tiger in the zoo and frightens Miss Clavel with her adventurous antics. When she awakens the entire house with her plaintive cries in the middle of the night, Doctor Cohn whisks the appendicitis-stricken Madeline off to the hospital where, some two hours later, she awakens to find a scar on her stomach! The scar (not to mention the flowers, toys, and candy given to Madeline by her father) proves quite interesting to the rest of Miss Clavel's charges when they make a special trip to visit her. Ludwig Bemelmans's lilting rhymes are music to children's ears, and the quirky, oddly perfect drawings of the girls in "two straight lines" lend an enticing Parisian flavor to this perennial children's favorite. (Ages 3 to 8)

About the Author

Ludwin Bemeumans wrote over forty children's books. His illustrations can be found in many museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Musee National d'Art of Paris.

Ludwin Bemeumans wrote over forty children's books. His illustrations can be found in many museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Musee National d'Art of Paris. --This text refers to the School & Library Binding edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Lexile Measure: AD480L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; New edition edition (February 24, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140501983
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140501988
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (433 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,356,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAME on March 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I have had several occasions to read "Madeline" over the years, yet had never read anything about her. So learning that she had celebrated her 60th birthday was something of a surprise because I did not think of this first story of that irrepressible little girl as something that was first published on the eve of World War II. But the bigger surprise was learning that "Madeline" was not originally written and published in France, which I had always assumed was the case. That means all of those times I was reading this book and wondering what it would read like in the orignal French, I was completely off the mark. Live and learn.

Ludwig Bemelmans was actually born in 1898 in that part of the Tyrol which is now known as Merano, Italy, and came to the United States in 1914. A painter and illustrator, Bemelmans contributed covers to "The New Yorker," and also started writing fiction. His first children's book, "Hansi," was published in 1934. A world traveler and true cosmopolite, Bemelmans wrote and illustrated "Madeline" in 1939 but had trouble finding a publisher because most editors felt that despite its humorous verse and simple artwork the book was too sophisticated for children (Soon & Schuster originally published the book, although the rest of the series would be published by Viking, Bemelmans usual publisher). Bemelmans named his most popular creation for his wife, Madeleine Freund, whom he had married in 1935. They had a daughter named Barbara, who would provide inspiration for some of the Madeline books.

Thinking that this book was originally written and published in France is a reasonable conclusion given all of the Paris scenes Bemelmans pictures in his book.
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Format: Hardcover
A short children's story about a young girl who lives with eleven other girls in a home in Paris and who has to go to the hospital to have her appendix removed. It was a 1940 Caldecott Honor book (i.e., a runner-up to the Medal winner) for best illustration in a book for children. This book, and others in the Madeline series, have become classics in children literature and every serious student of children literature should have it on their shelves. Children love these books.
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Format: Hardcover
As a child, some of my favorite books were the Madeline stories. This is the first in the series, and it sets a wonderful tone. The illustrations are wonderful, and it's fun to see illustrations of actual Parisian landmarks such as the Opera, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and Tulleries. The story is fun, fast and catchy, and I used to wish that I was one of the little girls standing amongst the two straight lines lead by Miss Clavel.
This book is not just for little girls. Boys can enjoy the story as well.
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By A Customer on February 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
Although "Madeline" probably needs no introduction, this classic story set in Paris is about a Miss Clavel and twelve little girls. The smallest girl is Madeline, who is brave and does not even get scared of a lion in the zoo. Madeline scares Miss Clavel when one night she... Ludwig Bemelmans does a great job of corresponding the illustrations to the content of the story. The scene where Madeline is saying "pooh-pooh" to the lion, it has more color than other pages making it exciting. The illustrations compliment the plot and setting of the story by giving each page a mood that helps create the story. The rythem and humor in this book will appeal to most children. I found when reading it to my daughter we both giggled at the many rhymes which Ludwig Bemelmans chose as the characteristic to tell this story in. I would reccomend this book for readers at the preschool age up to age eight or so. For the younger reader it has a great rythem and illustrations that keep the eye interested. For the older reader the story is equally interesting with a slight hint of suspence. Ludwig Bemelmans drawing's of the Opera, Notre Dame in the rain and of the children playing in the Luxembourg gardens give a classic picture of Paris. The illustrations coupled with the easy flow of the story and rhyme will allow this book to be enjoyed in a timeless fashion! DawnENGL340 at SJC
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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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