A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
What's the story?
One day, a carpet merchant comes to the door of the old Parisian house where Madeline lives and goes to school. He has 12 carpets to sell, and Madeline buys them all for herself and and her schoolmates. He returns and works his magic to help the girls get home to their parents for Christmas.
Is it any good?
Madeline is her usual spunky self in this Christmastime tale, and the rhyming is brisk and strong, despite a borrowed verse from "The Night Before Christmas" that breaks the rhythm in the beginning.
The hocus-pocus is fun for kids, but one wonders why the children weren't already scheduled to go home for the holidays without the help of a magician. Because the book was originally published as a special insert in McCall's magazine, some of the illustrations have a quick, more focused appearance than Ludwig Bemelmans' usually broad landscapes. However, one panoramic painting shows a fabulous magic-carpet ride over Paris rooftops. Madeline's fans will enjoy this story.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about kindness. How does Madeline help her classmates and Miss Clavel? How does she help the carpet merchant the first time he appears, and the second time? How does the merchant repay her kindness?
There are several books in the original Madeline series. How does this one compare to the others?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love picture books
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
Top advice and articles
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.