Sunday, June 5, 2011

Children's Book Review: Madeline

Name of Book: Madeline
Author / Illustrator: Ludwig Bemelmans
What's It All About: Madeline lives at an all girl's school and is not afraid of anything.  One night Miss Clavel fears something is not right.  Poor little Madeline has a pain in her stomach and must go to hospital, where she has her appendix out.  The other girls come to visit her and see that she is feeling better with many presents surrounding her.  That night Miss Clavel is awakened feeling that something else is not right.  She hurries upstairs to find all the other little girls crying that they want their appendix out too. 
My Favorite Bit: "In an old house in Paris, that was covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines... the smallest one was Madeline."
I have to admit it--I kind of wished along with the other girls that I could stay in a room and have presents just like Madeline--if only I could do so without having my appendix removed.  This is a charming tale by Mr. Bemelmans, and I reccommend them all to you.  I won't list them now as I will review them in the future because of their own merit. 
Go Get It: Madeline paperback version at Amazon
Suitable Age For Reading It To:  Madeline tackles a somewhat unusual topic but has good illustrations and the language is poemy and simple so I believe all children can love it.  I may have this for my four year old in French from Paris that I plan to write English subtitles for so that she can see the original French.  Voila!
A Little About The Author / Illustrator:
Ludwig Bemelmans (1898 -1962) grew up in Austria and spoke first French and then German.  While apprenticing at his Uncle's hotel, he shot and seriously wounded a waiter and had to emigrate to the US or face being institutionalized.  He joined the US Army but was not deployed overseas during the war because of his German origin.  His wife was named Madeleine and the first Madeline book was published by Simon and Schuster in 1939.  He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

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