Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Madeline” as Want to Read:
Madeline
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Madeline

(Madeline)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  194,554 ratings  ·  2,031 reviews
Madeline is one of the best-loved characters in children's literature. Set in picturesque Paris, this tale of a brave little girl's trip to the hospital was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1940 and has as much appeal today as it did then. The combination of a spirited heroine, timelessly appealing art, cheerful humor, and rhythmic text makes Madeline a perennial favorite with ch ...more
Hardcover, 54 pages
Published 1967 by The Viking Press (first published 1939)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Madeline, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Desiree Angeles In the novel, it is highly implied the Madeline as well as the rest of the girls are not orphans but rather students from a Catholic boarding school. …moreIn the novel, it is highly implied the Madeline as well as the rest of the girls are not orphans but rather students from a Catholic boarding school. However, this was not the case on the animated films. So that's why many would believe that Madeline and the other girls are living on an orphanage.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  194,554 ratings  ·  2,031 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Madeline
Alex
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the smallest ones
Shelves: baby-books
On a recent morning the grandmothers got into a contest: who can remember more of Madeline by heart. They both did very well. My wife and I are getting there. Madeline means a lot to us, partly because we grew up with it, and partly because on our kid's stomach is also a scar - his guts were like all in the wrong place or whatever - so it has Special Meaning for us.


I'm the one on the left. I know it's hard to tell.

But also it means a lot to our kid, who if you show him Madeline and any other boo
...more
Trina (Between Chapters)
Jul 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
I read this for BookTubeAThon to fulfill the "read a book older than you" challenge. I remember having and reading this book as a kid, but now I'm kind of confused about what a kid would get out of the story. I guess it's just fun with the pictures and rhymes, but I didn't see much meaning (other than copy your friends? Wish you have an illness to be one of the cool kids?). I really have no idea how to rate this as an adult.
Calista
I missed this when I was adding old books I read, so I got this book to re-read to be sure. I did read this as a child where I distinctly remember laughing over and over again at Madeline saying 'Pooh-Pooh' to the tiger at the zoo. Funny thing is, both the kids laugh at that same line to this day.

This was a Newbery Honor book which shows you how awards boards can get things wrong. This is still one of the most popular books and it should have won, which is why they gave Madeline to the rescue th
...more
Sloan
"In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines
Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines
In two straight lines they broke their bread
And brushed their teeth and went to bed.
They left the house at half past nine
In two straight lines in rain or shine-
The smallest one was Madeline."

Who doesn't remember the first lines from the classic childrens book Madeline!? As a young girl I adored this book. I used to check it out of the library repeatedly, until finally my mother gave in and b
...more
Hilary
My original review has disappeared.

This is an old favourite of both my children and one I absolutely loved reading myself. This is a lovely story that has the feel of one that has been made up for someone in particular. I wonder if Bemelmans had a young relative who experienced a ruptured appendix?

We loved the drawings, the black, white and yellow ones, quite slapdash and the sort of ones that give you confidence that you could have a go at this yourself and the wonderful scenes with colour tha
...more
Manybooks
Now I only very very rarely consider an adaptation (or a translation) better than the original, but I will absolutely and gladly have to make an exception to said general rule here. For while I do and with all my heart adore Ludwig Bemelmans' expressive and detailed illustrations (that simply shine and glow with the spirit of Paris, with the spirit of both time and place, of the many specific Parisian landmarks), the same cannot, unfortunately, be said with regard to his accompanying verses, whi ...more
Stacey
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I SHOCKED MY MOTHER
My mother just gave me a box filled with many of the books she used to read to me as a child.
Madeline was one of my most favorites, which happened to be lying on the top.
Looking at it so many years later, I cant believe what happened.
As my mother was asking where we should store the box, I said-"Mom, watch this"....
and I preceded to recite the whole book to her by memory.
She was quite impressed, as was I.
And in that one special moment, my mother said.......
"Stacey, why coul
...more
Manybooks
Although I absolutely adore author/illustrator Ludwig Bemelmans' expressive and detailed illustrations (that simply shine and glow with the spirit of Paris, with the spirit of both time and place), the accompanying narrative and especially the rhyme schemes are at times rather majorly choppy and anything but smooth. And truly, for me as an adult reader (who never did read of have Madeline read to me as a child), the unevenness of the rhymes and their at times almost painful artificialness, this ...more
Candace Robinson
Geez, I love this book. Wonderfully illustrated, and it still gives me such feels!
Selene
Jul 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
BookTube-A-Thon Challenge #1
Read a book with yellow ok the cover.

BookTube-A-Thon Challenge #5
Read a book that is older than you.
Kathryn
I'm not quite sure what to make of Madeline, or how to rate the book. I'm quite sure my mom read this to me as a child--she gave us the most beautiful children's book selections through books she acquired at garage sales or checked out from the library--but I don't really have any warm-fuzzies attached to it so I'm guessing it was not a favorite.

It's still not a favorite. I can appreciate it, to an extent, but I am just not sure I really liked it that much. Maybe my expectations were too high? T
...more
Brigid
Mar 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my childhood favorites. This may be strange. Even as a child, I had a sense there was something going on between Madeline and Pepito. I felt they had a thing going on. You know, "Romantically". What the hell is wrong with me! Is that just me? They were kids and yet I could sense something. I loved the French story and the all the girls and their quirks. It's a cute story. I used to adore the cartoon too. Yeah. Sometimes I just want to take my head off, I'm so fucked up.

PLUS SHE'S
...more
Rebecca McNutt
It's been several years since I've read this classic picture book, but I found my old copy from when I was a kid yesterday, and it's still a story that holds up. Timeless, full of wonderful paintings of Paris scenery and very creative, Madeline is unforgettable.
Chantal
Mar 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a sweet story of orphans living with nuns and then one gets sick and has to go the hospital. Although the story was fascinating, the art was rather dull. The colors and paint strokes could have been better.

This book is in the 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up challenge I am doing.
...more
chan ☆
just remembering how much I absolutely adore this book

[mostly because Amal Clooney looked like Madeline @ the Royal Wedding]
Luisa Knight
I had actually never read 'Madeline' though I knew it was a classic. And I was surprised by the story - it wasn't at all what I thought it would be. I liked it!

Watch a quick kid's review of this book!

Ages: 5 - 8

Cleanliness: there is a picture of a girl in her underwear.

#geography #europe #france #paris

**Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too. These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn't. I als
...more
Tricia Douglas
This is a classic, must-read book for children. When this was published back in 1939, Bemelmans presented us with a wonderful story of Paris and a little girl who is rushed to the hospital due to an attack of appendicitis. I understood little of what was going on at the age of 5 or 6 when I first read this book, but being in the hospital with flowers and toys and having everyone admire Madeline's scar, hooked me. Now I have most of Bemelmans books on my bookshelf and love each one. This was a se ...more
Lori
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Madeline, a student at a Paris boarding school, finds herself hospitalized for an appendectomy. The book is written in rhyme. Children can be grateful hospital stays are shorter than when the book was written. While the illustrations may not appeal to today's youngsters as much as they did to earlier eras, they are still excellent, showing what can be done with minimal colors. It's a classic 1940 Caldecott honor book which stood the test of time.
Haley
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
2016 Reading Challenge: A book that's guaranteed to bring you joy

Given the fact that I've just unearthed this beauty from a box of mementos, this might just become the year of me rereading childhood favourites and I am perfectly okay with that.
...more
Kellyn Roth
This is a sweet - and funny - story about a French orphan who has to have to appendix removed. (What? That's not dramatic at all ...)
Ronyell
“Madeline” is the first book created by Ludwig Bemelmans for his “Madeline” series and has won the Caldecott Honor Book Award. This book basically details Madeline’s earliest adventures from standing up bravely to a ferioucious tiger to having a bad case of appendicitis.

Ludwig Bemelmans’ writing is creative and sweet as he writes the story in a rhyming text that efficiently narrates the story. The story of how Madeline suffers from appendicitis and how Miss Clavel and the other girls cared enoug
...more
Steve Holden
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another classic to add to my collection of reviews. Madeline won the 1940 Caldecott Award, and it has been a mainstay on classroom shelves. A lot of people have very fond memories associated with it. It features a heroine - definitely a plus for this publication time - and is set in Paris. The story is simple and rhythmic - there's really not a lot to it. The illustrations tell most of the story, and there has always been something about this book that stands out as different for me. The ...more
Elizabeth
Jul 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone young or French at heart
When once asked if a book ever changed my life, I thought of "Madeline." It was in no way a profound awakening -- I was too young to even understand the lasting effects let alone remember the first time I read the book -- but it lay the seed for my fascination with all things French.

After the book came the Madeline doll (with her stitched on appendix scar) and the sequel stories and subsequent television shows. I still get nostalgic every time I see the two rows of girls in their yellow uniforms
...more
Laima
Loved it! This is a classic children's book with wonderful illustrations and rhyming verses.
I read this book many many times when I was young and to my children when they were young.
The story of French schoolgirl Madeline is timeless and includes picture references of many famous Paris landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre and Notre Dame.

I read this book for free on We Give Books.
Anya (~on a semi-hiatus~)
I absolutely adored the tv series growing up so reading the books it was based on was a special dose of nostalgia. The artwork is truly gorgeous, which I loved. I can clearly see why it's a timeless classic.
Susan
I love Madeline. It was my favourite show as a kid and having the books is truly amazing.
Abigail
Nov 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Picture-Book Featuring Spunky Girls
Originally published in 1939, and chosen as a Caldecott Honor Book in 1940, this classic picture-book from Austrian-American author Ludwig Bemelmans is the first of a number of titles chronicling the adventures of an insouciant Parisian schoolgirl named (what else?) Madeline. "In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines / lived twelve little girls in two straight lines," the book begins, setting out the story of an orderly little world, one in which little girls stick to their prescribe ...more
Mehsi
I may have heard about this series/this book before, however it really came to my attention yesterday, when someone I friended on Goodreads read this one. It looked fun, and right up my alley.

And did it turn out to be that way? Yes, though it wasn't because of the so-called timelessly appealing art (What was so appealing to it?), but because of the adorable story with wonderful, sweet characters. Characters like the Miss Clavel, Madeline, but also the other girls.

Especially Madeline quickly tur
...more
SarahC
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has ALWAYS been a favorite for me. I reread this book since it was on the list of top-100 picture books. Madeline is the smallest of all the girls in her boarding school, but she is also the bravest. One night she needs to get her appendix out, and her friends become jealous of the attention she gets in the hospital. I loved the pictures in this book and would pick it up just to see the beautiful paintings. I remember staying up late and looking at the pictures in this book with a flas ...more
Madeline  Worrell
Read this book as part of my Diversity Challenge, I had to read a book that was turned into a tv show.

Very cute story!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
1001 Children's B...: January 2016: Madeline 11 45 May 01, 2017 05:33PM  
Shut Up & Read: Help! Trying to find a book! 1 18 Nov 25, 2013 10:13AM  
MCC Children's Li...: Picture Book #3 1 1 Feb 15, 2012 07:44PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Goodnight Moon
  • Corduroy
  • The Polar Express
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit
  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (If You Give...)
  • Charlotte's Web
  • Curious George
  • Are You My Mother?
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
  • The Rainbow Fish
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon (Harold, #1)
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
  • Pippi Longstocking (Pippi Långstrump, #1)
  • Olivia (Olivia, #1)
  • Love You Forever
  • The Story of Ferdinand
  • The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs
See similar books…
305 followers
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's Rescue
  • Madeline and the Bad Hat
  • 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

Articles featuring this book

Summer vacation is officially here! Now's the perfect time to fill those long, school-free days with books your kids will...
55 likes · 41 comments
“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines
Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines
In two straight lines they broke their bread
And brushed their teeth and went to bed.
They left the house at half past nine
In two straight lines in rain or shine-
The smallest one was Madeline.”
313 likes
More quotes…