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Madeline and the Bad Hat
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Madeline and the Bad Hat (Madeline)

4.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  15,119 Ratings  ·  100 Reviews
One day the Spanish ambassador moves into the Parisian house next door to Miss Clavel, Madeline, and her 11 classmates. And, His Excellency has a boy! Pepito, as he is named, is not just any boy: according to Madeline, he is a "bad hat"--for starters, he's equipped with an irksome slingshot, he "ghosts," and he boasts. And when Miss Clavel gives him a box of tools to funct ...more
Hardcover, 54 pages
Published 1957 by The Viking Press (first published 1956)
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The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerCharlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteLord of the Flies by William GoldingThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Best Books of the Decade: 1950's
137th out of 662 books — 893 voters
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. SeussLittle Red Riding Hood by Trina Schart HymanThe Emperor's New Clothes by Hans Christian AndersenFox in Socks by Dr. SeussThe 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss
Inside Your Wardrobe
31st out of 206 books — 67 voters

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Community Reviews

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To check out all my reviews:

I completely forgot that I actually read this book weeks ago and haven't bother to write a review which I apologize because now looking back I have no recollection about my true feelings when it comes to this book. I adore Madeline and I will definitely continue reading the series and I hope there will be interesting storylines along the way. The illustrations are marvelous and I love the references Ludwig Bemelmans make with illus
Kate Mowery
More like he's wearing bad hat.

There are so many awesomely disturbing things about this book. Home-made guillotines, old-fashioned usage of the word "molest", torturing animals, dog-fighting, shooting little girls in the butt with slingshots. Children's books are awesome.
Apr 11, 2010 Ronyell rated it it was amazing
“Madeline and the Bad Hat” is another book created by Ludwig Bemelmans’ famous “Madeline” collection (and was also transformed into an episode for the “Madeline” cartoon series) that details Madeline’s adventures in France. This time, Madeline meets up with Pepito, the Bad Hat, who causes trouble for Madeline and the other girls. This book might be the darkest of all the “Madeline” books, but its exciting storyline and cute illustrations make up for that.

Ludwig Bemelmans does an excellent job o
Amar Pai
Oct 22, 2014 Amar Pai rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
I really love all the Madeline books. Just consistently brilliant.
Kathleen Hoellerich
Mar 02, 2015 Kathleen Hoellerich rated it really liked it
Madeline and the Bad Hat, by Ludwig Bemelmans is a story about twelve girls that have the Spain Ambassador’s son move in next door to them. The boy starts out being a bad hat. He is not nice to animals or the girls next door. He shoots rocks at them with his sling shot. The Nun of the girl’s house cannot see the bad things the boy does and she thinks he just needs to get some energy out. The boy ends up learning his lesson when he gets attacked by dogs because the cat he brought for the dogs to ...more
Apr 09, 2011 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
I do not remember this story from my childhood, but I read many of the books in the Madeline series, so it's likely that it's a reread. We got this book as part of a kit from our local library, with an audio CD narrated by Linda Terheyden and we enjoyed following along with the book. It's a fun story, but with some of the odd language and disturbing events, I'm not so sure that it stands the test of time quite as well as the original story.
The Spanish Ambassador's son moves in next door to the old house in Paris where Madeline lives. He is a naughty boy and Madeline and the other girls want nothing to do with him. He wants their attention but goes about it in the wrong way. Finally when his antics get him hurt, and Madeline tells him how bad he is, he changes. But this is a child of extremes and trouble ensues until Madeline says just the right thing.

Ludwig Bemelmans was born in 1898 in Austrian Tyrol. He moved to the United State
Rosa Cline
Jun 11, 2015 Rosa Cline rated it liked it
Shelves: kids
Madeline books are nice but you can tell they originally was written in a foreign language or even years ago. Some of the wording or things that items are called will confuse an American child. this story Madeline and her friends doesn't like the new little boy that moves in next door. He's mean and always gets into trouble but only when adults aren't around. Madeline calls him a 'bad hat' but he gets into trouble and Madeline has to help rescue him and he learns his lesson. The lesson behind th ...more
Apr 24, 2016 Erin rated it really liked it
Shelves: traditional
I distinctly remember Madeline from when I was a child, but I do not remember reading about Pepito and his hat. This is a very entertaining tale of how a young boy moves in next door to the twelve girls and causes a great amount of annoyance. Madeline is determined to label him as a brat and bad influence, but by the end of the book she has changed her mind. This boy is bad news from the very beginning with all of the stunts he pulls including building his own guillotine with the tools Ms. Cavel ...more
Michelle Tran
Apr 28, 2016 Michelle Tran rated it really liked it
This story is about Madeline and and her new Spanish neighbor Pepito. Pepito is the son of a Spanish Ambassador and has a strange obsession with caging wild animals. One day, Pepito goes too far. Pepito's intentions were to become friends with Madeline and her friends and decides to change his ways in order to play with the girls.

The positive about this book is the visuals. The illustrations are simple and minimalistics but also vibrant at the same time. The main character Madeline is also a re
Eva Leger
Aug 13, 2011 Eva Leger rated it really liked it
Shelves: julias-books
I'm loving these Madeline books as much as Julia, if not more! I feel like such a bad Mommy for waiting so long to read them. :( I really wish I would have found these when Julia was a baby so she could have already had them around for the past 6 years. But, we're making up for lost time.
And I'm very pleased the first Madeline book we took out from the library was an audio book - the narrator reads so well - so much better than I ever could and it only adds to the entire experience.
I think I nee
Nov 20, 2012 Tami rated it it was amazing
Title: Madeline and the Bad Hat Written and Illustrated by: Ludwig Bemelmans Genre: Contemporary Realistic Fiction Age Level: P, I Date: 1956
Madeline insists that the Spanish ambassador of Spain son was a “Bad Hat”. This boy caught many animals and is very boastful. This boy, Pepito, sought out attention from Madeline and her class, Madeline wouldn't give in. This angers the Pepito and so he stopped trying. He gathers all the dogs in the neighborhood and released a cat. The cat climbed to the t
Leslie Bardo
Apr 08, 2013 Leslie Bardo rated it it was amazing
I grew up reading some of the Madeline books and I was just instantly captivated by them from an early age. Madeline is a series of books about a group of 12 girls, including Madeline, who live together in a boarding school in Paris, France. I love the protagonist, Madeline, and all of the interesting things that she and the other girls get involved with. They get to travel to all these interesting locations and thus get to meet some pretty unique characters. In this particular book, the Spanish ...more
Aug 07, 2012 Shari rated it liked it
Reading with a 4 year old, the questions were just what we have always had with Madeline.
There's a scary part. Yes, there is - should we read it slowly or dangerously? (We've read Fox in Socks)
Why is he a skeleton face? He is trying to be scary. Is he scary?
Is the hat a bad hat? It's a way to say he is being naughty. Do you think he is doing naughty things?
Do you think he will keep being naughty?
Madeline looks angry. Is she angry because he is being naughty or because she is scared?
Wait a minu
Matthew Hunter
Jan 21, 2012 Matthew Hunter rated it really liked it
Our 17 month old didn't oooo and aaaaah over "Madeline and the Bad Hat" as much as she did over "Madeline", but she still seemed to have fun while I read it to her this morning. The beautiful color pictures get the biggest reaction out of Siggy. Pepito flying a kite on the roof, the animals returning to the vine covered mansion, and every work connected with Pepito freeing the zoo animals - stunning!

Bemelmans begins to show a darker side here. For example, Ms. Clavel's gift of a toolbox to Pepit
Jun 24, 2011 Cindi rated it it was amazing

Madeline and the Bad Hat is just one of five Madeline stories that start this way. Although Bemelmans wrote his first children's book in 1934, Madeline wasn't created until 1939. The character was named after Bemelmans' wife and inspired by his daughter.

One day the Spanish Ambassador and his family move in next to Miss Clavel and the little girls in her care. It is soon discovered that Pepito, the ambassador's son is a 'bad hat.' Pepito continually causes mischief and gets into trouble and Made
Cynthia Egbert
Jul 18, 2015 Cynthia Egbert rated it really liked it
Seviah and I are going through the Madeline books together right now. I found a Madeline doll for her at the library shop on my recent trip to Salt Lake and brought that back as her gift from my travels. We are enjoying this journey into the world of Madeline together. My favourite part about these books is the way the world and understanding of the children differs from the adults but the adults are not portrayed as monsters.
Rachel Berry
Jun 22, 2015 Rachel Berry rated it it was amazing
The Madeline stories are my personal favorites. Madeline is a young girl who lives in a boarding school with other girls in Paris. Madeline meets a young boy named Pepito. Pepito is bad in the beginning, but after a quick brush with death, he realizes that he needs to listen to Madeline. He also realizes that he needs to start being a better person.
Veronica Pacheco
Sep 18, 2015 Veronica Pacheco rated it liked it
I can't quite remember what this book is about since I read it during my childhood, but I'd have to say that it should be read. Every 90's kid had should've at least read one of the Madeline books. and since I can't remember what it was about i'll have to give it a 3 star rating which in my opinion is not either good or bad, therefore neutral.
Dec 20, 2014 Russell rated it liked it
Ah, the fifties. When young Parisian ladies under the protectorship of a nun would kindly ask the nearby diplomat's son not to molest them. How times have changed. These days building a guillotine would get you on a list, and at least a dozen sites would rouse the populace to shame you on social media.
Jun 13, 2014 Sabrina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
My absolute favorite Madeline, because you can't read it out loud and not love "he was unmoved by the last look/the frightened chickens gave the cook/he ate them roasted, fried, and frito/oh what a horror was Pepito." So much fun. The best lines in childrens' literature, except for the Cat in the Hat saying "Look at me/Look at me/Look at me now" which are straight out of the mouths of every child.
Dec 23, 2014 Felicity rated it really liked it
This book made me chuckle. The Spanish Ambassador has moved next door and his son Pepito is a menace. Madeline judges that he is a bad hat immediately and chaos ensues!! The illustrations are as charming as ever and I love how Bemelmans captured this child-like quality.
Feb 21, 2014 Behemoth rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I thought this one was about to go to a super dark place when Pepito showed up with the mysterious bag! Really liked the way that Madeline called him out on his ghastly behavior. One of the best Madeline books, I'd say.
Paige intheBooks
Dec 09, 2015 Paige intheBooks rated it it was ok
...the Bad Hat has nothing to do with a hat, but is used to describe the delinquent child next door, son of an ambassador, who even builds a guillotine to decapitate chickens. Not the best of Madeline's series.
Jennifer Love
I've never been a huge fan of the yellow and black drawings, and it's more poetry than story -- eh... It was okay. They are classics to some extent, right?
Oct 01, 2011 Libby rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic, picture-book
N. recently discovered Madeline via the PBS show, so we started checking Madeline books out from the library. Unfortunately, we started with this one without reviewing it (it has been a long time since I read Madeline on my own). The chicken guillotine and the cat baiting might be a little much for small children if you get into the details--luckily, N. just got that Pepito was mean to animals, that he got hurt by the dogs, and that he learned to be a "good hat" afterwards. (We were deliberately ...more
Jul 14, 2014 Kaethe rated it really liked it
I really liked the thoroughly bad hat, Pepito. The wonderful thing about children's books is that bad characters can be redeemed, plausibly.
Feb 28, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing
Is this my real life? I wouldn't want to be Pepito. I don't want to be Pepito. I don't think I'm Pepito, but I will always remember Pepito!
Madeline Natzke
Feb 13, 2012 Madeline Natzke rated it it was amazing
Another one of my favorite Madeline storys is this one. When Madeline meets her new neighbor Pepito, her and her other friends think he is nothing but bad news. Through out the book she then becomes Pepito's friend. I think that the book could really teaches children not to judge a book by its cover. Like all Madeline books, it also incorporates rhyming.

Extension- Tell the children something they would have never guessed about you. (Example: Your scared of snakes or you sleep with a teddy bear)
Phil Deschler
Jan 04, 2016 Phil Deschler rated it really liked it
Recommended to Phil by: Self
Madeline helped a boy change his nasty ways and become anew person. Madeline and the girls were very happy.
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Ludwig Bemelmans was an Austrian author, an internationally known gourmet, and a writer and illustrator of children's books. He is most noted today for his Madeline books, six of which were published from 1939-1961. A seventh was discovered after his death and published posthumously in 1999.
More about Ludwig Bemelmans...

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