A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Readers learn some star-gazing vocabulary including "telescope," "comet," and "observatory," and see some of the sights of Paris, including the Seine (mentioned by name), Canal St. Martin (labeled), and the cathedral of Notre Dame.
Don't be too scared to investigate when you hear strange noises. Help a ghost in need. Use your wits to right a wrong and return something to its rightful owner.
Positive Role Models
Madeline is brave, clever, and helpful -- even to a ghost. She always keeps a positive attitude and is undaunted by setbacks.
Violence & Scariness
One scary moment is quickly diffused when the kids see the ghost for the first time. "He cried, 'Whoo-hoo!' / The girls and Pepito cried, 'Boohoo.' / But Madeline just said, 'Pooh-pooh.' " The ghost mentions how he died: falling off a roof while looking through his telescope.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Madeline and the Old House in Paris is a fun ghost story by author-illustrator John Bemelmans Marciano, grandson of Madeline series creator Ludwig Bemelmans. The pictures and cute characters (including Pepito, introduced in Madeline and the Bad Hat) make it OK for the publisher's recommended 3-5 age group. But with some content about astronomy, ghosts, and a person dying (the ghost recalls how he died: falling off a roof while looking through his telescope), we think it's best for kids 4 and up.
Is It Any Good?
MADELINE AND THE OLD HOUSE IN PARIS faithfully captures the spirit, poetic rhythm, and look of the beloved original books. This one being a ghost story released in October, it can serve as a Halloween book. Still, it's an exciting adventure for any time of the year.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.