Madeline's Rescue

Common Sense Media says

An exciting adventure in humorous verse.




Caldecott Medal and Honors

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness

Madeline almost drowns.

Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Madeline nearly drowns when she falls into the Seine.

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What's the story?

Madeline's fearless stunt--of walking along the bridge wall--lands her in the river. She is rescued by Genevieve, a dog, who becomes a constant companion to the girls. This tale of a pet found, and then lost and found again, is told in jaunty rhyme accompanied by author/illustrator Ludwig Bemelmans's paintings of Paris.

Is it any good?


Kids can relate to Madeline and her need to break the rules in order to have some fun. They'll be pleased to know that even though Madeline gets in trouble and learns her lesson, things have a way of working out for the best. And friends can be counted on for support.

Grown-ups who know the dominant place dogs hold in French culture will chuckle at Madeline's victory in keeping Genevieve. The artwork by Ludwig Bemelmans alternates between full-color landscape scenes of Paris with small figures in the foreground to close-up, almost cartoon-like, yellow-and-black drawings. Bemelmans perfectly captures Madeline's loneliness without Genevieve as she looks out of a window onto gas-lit cobblestone streets.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Madeline's fall into the river. What did she learn?

Book details

Author:Ludwig Bemelmans
Illustrator:Ludwig Bemelmans
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Penguin Group
Publication date:April 3, 1953
Number of pages:50
Award:Caldecott Medal and Honors

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Adult Written byeryore2345 February 9, 2010


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