What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the heroine demonstrates courage, and her teacher and schoolmates show concern and compassion. The brisk rhyme moves the story along, and the illustrations capture children's interest.
What's the story?
Twelve boarding school girls live in an old house covered with vines, and they walk in two straight lines wherever they go with their teacher, Miss Clavel. Madeline, the smallest, is not afraid of lions or mice. Then their routine is interrupted by a late-night rush to the hospital -- Madeline has to have her appendix out! After the operation, Miss Clavel, brings the girls to visit. Madeline has many gifts and flowers - -but likes her scar best of all. The story ends with the other girls crying, \"Boohoo, we want to have our appendix out, too!\"
Is it any good?
Children take to MADELINE instantly, perhaps because they love the routine of the 12 girls forming two straight lines while walking, eating, and sleeping. But before that predictability gets boring, here is Madeline, who is small yet brave, and loves winter. But this indomitable spirit is reduced to tears one night -- something must be wrong. Ludwig Bemelmans exactly captures the mix of concern and envy children feel about another sick child who gets attention.
Although few kids attend boarding schools or know why Miss Clavel wears a veil, they understand Madeline's spunk and courage. Bemelmans' illustrations match his narrative, alternating from quick cartoonlike sketches to lavish panoramas of architectural landmarks. Both adults and children like Bemelmans art: It's sophisticated, yet full of energy and detail. Mad About Madeline: The Complete Tales contains all the stories in the series.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about Paris. Parents can point out landmarks in the illustrations and seek out other books or films set in Paris. Ask kids to identify what they think are local landmarks.