Originally published in 1939, this wonderful rhyming book is gearing up to celebrate its 75th birthday in 2014. This wonderful book has been read and memorized by generations who fall in love with Madeline. She is small for her age, a boarder in a boarding school in Paris run by nuns, rather precocious, and a bit ornery, I’d say! She is courageous, expresses herself, is loved and loves those around her. The rhyming text and the delightful art set the stage for a children’s picture book that just doesn’t go away and probably never will for generations to come. The story was inspired by Mr. Bemelmans’ personal stay in a hospital on an island off France.
The artwork was painted by Ludwig Bemelmans in bright colors and broad strokes across the pages. The pictures are simple and yet tell the story so well. The book’s paintings are printed by lithography. Mr. Bemelmans loved to illustrate books, magazine covers for The New Yorker, painted murals at the Carlyle Hotel in New York, and so much more. His work is on display on the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Museé National d’Art of Paris. You can find more about Mr. Bemelmans and Madeline @ http://www.madeline.com/
Mr. Bemelmans grandson, John Bemelmans Marciano, is carrying on the Madeline stories with new adventures of his own for this special little girl.
Reading Level: 3 – 8 Years
Award: Caldecott Honor Book
Ludwig Bemelmans (1898-1962), is most noted for his Madeline books, six of which were published from 1939-1961. A seventh was discovered after his death and published posthumously in 1999. He also was known as a painter, an illustrator, and a writer for both children and adults. A sequel to this Madeline was the Caldecott Medal winner, Madeline’s Rescue.
- Publisher: The Viking Press, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
- Publication date: 1939, renewed copyright in 1967
- Series: Madeline Series
- Edition number: 1
- Pages: 48
- Product dimensions: 9.10 x 12.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)
Originally reviewed by me October, 2013.