Jessica Rawden's Reviews > Madeline

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
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Dec 06, 10

bookshelves: children-s-book, pre-2000, poetry, classics
Read in September, 2010

Madeline is an incredibly memorable book. I (shockingly) loved the very cartoonish drawings that are mostly done in yellow, black, and white. That template is unique and very much associated with this series. I did some research, too, and I found out that Ludwig Behelmans used a bunch of real locations in Paris when he created his drawings, so the book sort of gives you a sense of place and geography as well. I also love how easily the book introduces concepts. You have the 12 girls who are constant companions and desire to do everything as a team. So, later, it's easy to see why they would rally around Madeline and desire to do what she has proven to be safe. And then you have Madeline, who Ludwig Behelmans describes admirably. I love how he doesn't come out and say she is brave. Instead, he says, "She was not afraid of mice," and, "to the tiger in the zoo Madeline just said, 'Pooh-pooh.'" I also think its awesome that Behelmans changes up the art and sometimes uses a full color template. It reminds me of the illustrations in an older book like The Secret Garden or Alice and Wonderland whose hardback editions frequently have basic sketches and full color illustrations. Nostalgia aside, this book is awesome--fun for me to read, and certainly seems as if it would be fun for kids ages 4-8, as well!
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