A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What 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.
What's the story?
Lord Cucuface, the head of Madeline's boarding school, shows up for an unscheduled inspection and insists on checking out the attic, which is rumored to be haunted. He doesn't see a ghost but finds a lovely old telescope and takes it home for himself. Later, when Madeline hears moaning and groaning from the attic, she, the girls, and Pepito, the Spanish Ambassador's son, investigate and do find a ghost: a former astronomy buff in a wig and frilly clothes who's sad to find his telescope gone. He explains that he died falling off the roof while trying to witness a comet that nears the Earth only every 221 years. Can Madeline and Pepito retrieve the telescope in time for the ghost to see the comet this time around?
Is it any good?
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about ghosts. Why are stories about them so popular? Can you think of others you've read or seen on TV?
Which kind of ghost do you like better: friendly or scary?
Have you read other Madeline books? Which ones are your favorites? How does Madeline and the Old House in Paris compare?
- Author: John Bemelmans Marciano
- Illustrator: John Bemelmans Marciano
- Genre: Picture Book
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Book Characters, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Viking
- Publication date: October 8, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 3 - 5
- Number of pages: 48
- Available on: Hardback
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.