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Madeline and the Bad Hat
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Madeline and the Bad Hat


4.28  ·  Rating details ·  17,269 ratings  ·  140 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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Showing 1-30
4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,269 ratings  ·  140 reviews

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Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Pepito the son of the Spanish ambassador moves in next door to Madeline's house. He catches animals, catapults bending girls and eventually catches a cat with the purpose of letting it loose with some dogs. Because of his cruelty he is injured and has time to reflect in hospital. Wise Miss Clavel realises Pepito was unkind because he was lonely and bored. A repentant Pepito vows to release his trapped wild animals and becomes a vegetarian.

As always lovely illustrations, funny rhyming and kind me
Dec 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Spencer Orey
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
A little dated. There's some casual violence against animals, and like a lot of old books, language that simply isn't acceptable today.

But there's a good heart to the story, and it's a good lesson overall that some "bad" kids might just be looking for acceptance.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tukunjil Nayeera
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Not Really...
Feisty French schoolgirl meets high-spirited Spanish schoolboy in this third picture-book adventure from Austrian-American children's author Ludwig Bemelmans, and sparks fly. When the Spanish Ambassador and his family move in next door to her boarding school in Paris, Miss Clavel is thrilled, but Madeline has her doubts, especially when it comes to his son Pepito, whom she nicknames "The Bad Hat." Her dislike appears at first to be well founded, as Pepito engages in all sorts of bad behavior - t ...more
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
Apr 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
2009: This might be my favorite of the Madeline books now. It is so cute; I love reading about all the trouble that Pepito gets into.
Jan 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids, favorites
My hardcover book was published in 1956!
Jul 14, 2014 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.
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Man...I shoulda been reading Madeline books as a kid. Bad Ass, more like it.
Matthew Hunter
Jan 21, 2012 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
Eva Leger
Aug 13, 2011 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
Apr 09, 2011 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.
Kristine Hansen
Feb 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'd only read the first book in this series before today and was left a bit...flummoxed by this one. I'm giving it 4 stars because some of this is delightful - read in context of the time it's written, I find it hilarious that he shoots his slingshot at the girls as they exercise (does that make me a bad person) and the guillotine...good grief! But really the story does pull me in and was fun to read just to see where it went next.
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
In my opinion this is one of the better Madeline stories, along with the original Madeline. This book introduces us to Pepito, the son of the Spanish Amabassador, who is the "bad hat" of the story. I like that this story has a nice moral message to it, and of course I like the classic rhyming nature of all these Madeline stories.
Aug 21, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: kindergarteners
Shelves: younger-kids
A little boy who plays with guillotines for fun gets reformed into a nice kid.
Dec 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pic-books, france-a-k
This one is somewhat stereotypical with the little boy acting out and the girls being tame and timid. Kindness to animals is admired. Introduces the idea of an ambassador.
Amar Pai
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
I really love all the Madeline books. Just consistently brilliant.
Debra Daniels-zeller
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
I liked Madeline's Rescue so much I decided to get a few more and this book was also well-done. In this book Madeline meets Pepito, the Spanish Ambassador's son, and he's a wild child who bags up a cat and lets it out in front of a pack of dogs for fun. The cat climbs on Pepito's head injuring him. And when Madeline and the girls go visit, Madeline calls Pepito a horrid brat and says they will all keep their eyes on him. Pepito turns over a new leaf he becomes a vegetarian and loves animals and ...more
My boy has to read a book a day for school, he brought home a Madeline book from the library so we could read together. I was over joyed, I’ve loved Madeline books since I was a kid, and I haven’t read one in so long. Reading about Madeline’s next door neighbor, Pepito, and his bad misguided ways brought back joyous memories for me. The story is humorous, the rhymes are on point, the illustrations delightful, and as always a lesson is learned in a witty way. An incredibly joyous read for all age ...more
One day the Spanish Ambassador, and his son moved in next door to Madeline. Miss Clavel was excited, but Madeline knew Pepito was a bad hat. Pepito played horrible pranks, and caused much mischief. Until one day his pranks backfired, and caused him to be injured, and he changed his ways for the better.
Drew Graham
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
When the Spanish Ambassador's family moves in next door to the old house in Paris covered in vines, the twelve little girls are pleased to learn he has a son, that is until they realize he's a bad hat. Will Pepito ever learn to be a good little boy? He will if Madeline has anything to say about it.

This is another Madeline book I remember very well from my youth, and the kids like it too, though the story seems a bit stranger than I remember. I guess Pepito learns his lesson?? Anyway, the art is
Jun 01, 2017 rated it liked it
May 2017 - definitely weirder than the original Madeline, and in a way that's both fantastically strange and also macabre. Lots of things that I didn't even try to explain to Ben, but I could sense that his brain was whirring trying to figure things out. Given his current fear of dogs, I didn't even try to explain what happened to Pepito.
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
My mom found this in a box of things from my childhood. I remember reading Madeline with my Great Grandmother. Decided to read this one today, and it’s cute but a bit strange. I was torn between 3 and 4 stars but rounded up for Great Granny.
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fbc-18
I surprised myself with how vividly I remember this book from my childhood. The verse is simple and suitable for reading aloud to babies. I'm still not really sure what "bad hat" means, but I guess this does have a good lesson for children: don't guillotine animals, or dogs will bite you.
D. Ryan
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Forgot how much I loved this one! My favorite of the Madeline stories. You may not like the rhyming in the other Madeline books, but in this one he gets it just right. And they are hilarious.
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: in-english
- Pero sus amigos lo llaman Pepito.
-¿Qué amigos?

vegetarian!pepito, i love it
Kristen Thorp
Dec 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
This one doesn’t hold up as well.
Did not like this one as much as the first Madeline book.
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Ludwig Bemelmans was an Austrian author, an internationally known gourmand, 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.

Other books in the series

Madeline (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Madeline
  • Madeline's Rescue
  • Madeline in London
  • Madeline and the Gypsies
  • Madeline's Christmas
  • Madeline in America and Other Holiday Tales
  • Madeline Loves Animals
  • Madeline Says Merci: The Always-Be-Polite Book
  • Madeline and the Cats of Rome
  • Madeline at the White House