Tuesday, July 09, 2019


Madeline. Ludwig Bemelmans. 1939. 44 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: In an old house in Paris/ that was covered with vines/ lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.

Premise/plot: Madeline is a children's classic set in Paris, France. It stars a brave little girl, Madeline, who has to go to the hospital with her appendix.

My thoughts: I love the setting of Madeline. I do. The illustrations of this one are lovely. The rhyming is nice. But the story itself--when you really stop and think about it--is a bit odd. As a child, I never really stopped to think about where they lived. Was it an orphanage? Were all the girls orphans? Is that why sometimes they were very, very sad? Was it a school? I also never really understood--then or now--why the other girls wanted Madeline's scar?!

Text: 3 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out of 5
Total: 7 out of 10

© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 9:39 AM  

Everyone wanted all the attention that Madeline was getting. That's my explanation for the scar-envy. It would be sad to be living away from your family.That's my explanation for the sadness. It's a fabulous story, I think.

Mae Travels 9:39 AM  

It couldn’t have been an orphanage because Madeline has a father, and it’s clear that these are privileged little girls. But I guess it’s easy to overthink when it comes to books for kids. Especially classics like this that everyone reads without introspection.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Becky 10:58 AM  

Mae, thanks for your insight. I couldn't tell if it was a school or an orphanage...or perhaps the children were away from their families because of the war with Germany? I've never read the other books in the series...and perhaps they would shed more light on the lives of Madeline and her friends.

Deb, that makes sense. They probably wouldn't think of the PAIN that comes along with it...like an adult would.

Lisbeth 12:53 PM  

Never actually heard about it. However, it sounds like a great children's story. Love the first lines. Maybe, I should see if I can find it in Swedish, or settle with reading the English version.

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