Before Fancy Nancy, girls fell in love with Madeline.  Girls still love Madeline – and for good reason.

Ludwig Bemelmans created Madeline after he moved to the United States and became a US citizen.  Bemelmans wrote and illustrated several Madeline books, most of which take place in Paris, France.

Children love the lilting rhyme of Madeline, and love the repetition in each of the books.  Each book starts the same: 

In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines… the smallest one was Madeline.

Little Madeline is precocious, fearless and downright lovable.  She frightens her caretaker Nun Miss Clavel, befriends the son of the Spanish Ambassador who lives next door, adopts a dog which saved her from drowning (to the horror of Lord Covington, who owns the house in which she lives) – among other adventures and travels.

These picture books are easy for parents to read, and little ones to follow.  Generally speaking, each page has only a few words, and Bemelmans delightful illustrations fill the page.  He includes real scenes from Paris (or other locations like London and Texas) in each of his books, which children and parents alike will enjoy studying.

The Madeline books deserve a place on every home library shelf.  Girls will love her and boys will enjoy her antics – and that of Pepito, the “Bad Hat”.  Titles include:

  • Madeline
  • Madeline’s Rescue
  • Madeline and the Bad Hat
  • Madeline and the Gypsies
  • Madeline in London
  • Madeline’s Christmas
  • Madeline in America and Other Holiday Tales

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