Title: The Complete Madeline: Madeline, Madeline's Rescue, Madeline and the Bad Hat, Madeline and the Gypsies, Madeline in London, Madeline's Christmas. (+essay The Isle of God (or Madeline's Origin) by the author, and Introduction by Anna Quindlen.)
Author: Ludwig Bemelmans.
Genre: Fiction, literature, children's lit, poetry, picture books.
Publication Date: 1939-1956 (Compendium in 1993, afterword .
Summary: A collection of all 6 Madeline books - stories about a brave, bold, and adventurous 7-year-old girl attending a boarding school in Paris with 11 other girls, under the care of their teacher, Miss Clavel. Madeline introduces the title character, and deals with her having to be taken to the hospital to have her appendix out. Madeline's Rescue (1953) finds Madeline falling into the Seine and being saved by a dog, which the girls consequently (though against the rules) wish to keep as their own. In Madeline and the Bad Hat (1956), the Spanish ambassador moves in next door to Madeline's school, but his son Pepito turns out to be a mean and spoiled boy in need of a lesson. In Madeline and the Gypsies (1959), Madeline and Pepito run away to join a group of traveling gypsies. In Madeline in London (1961), Madeline, Miss Clavel and the girls go to visit Pepito at his new home in London, and acquire a retired horse as a gift. In Madeline's Christmas (1956), Madeline is the only one not sick over Christmas, and while taking care of everyone she helps a magician who returns the favour in a magical way!
My rating: 9/10.
...the smallest one was Madeline.
She was not afraid of mice—
she loved winter, snow, and ice.
To the tiger in the zoo
Madeline just said, "Pooh-pooh,"
and nobody knew so well
how to frighten Miss Clavel.
Madeline woke up two hours
later, in a room with flowers.
Madeline soon ate and drank.
One her bed there was a crank,
and a crack on the ceiling had a habit
of sometimes looking like a rabbit.
Outside were birds, trees, and sky—
and so ten days passed quickly by.
in they walked and then said, "Ahhh,"
when they saw the toys and candy
and the dollhouse from Papa.
But the biggest surprise by far—
on her stomach
was a scar!
In the middle of the night
Miss Clavel turned on the light
and said, "Something is not right!"
And afraid of a disaster
Miss Clavel ran fast
♥ "Good night little girls!
Thank the lord you are well!
And now go to sleep!"
said Miss Clavel.
And she turned out the light—
and closed the door—
and that's all there is—
there isn't any more.
Poor Madeline would now be dead
But for a dog
That kept its head
♥ For the third time that night
Miss Clavel turned on the light,
And to her surprise she found
That suddenly there was enough hound
To go all around.
♥ He said, "Let's have a game of tag"—
And let a CAT out of the bag!
There were no trees, and so instead
The cat jumped on Pepito's head.
And now just listen to the poor
Boy crying, "AU SECOURS!"
Which you must cry, if by chance
You're ever in need of help in France.
♥ His love of animals was such
Even Miss Clavel said,
"It's too much!"
The little girls all cried "Boo-hoo!"
But Madeline said, "I know what to do."
And Madeline told Pepito that
He was no longer a BAD HAT.
She said, "You are our pride and joy,
You are the world's most wonderful boy!"
They went home and broke their bread
And brushed their teeth and went to bed...
~~Madeline and the Bad Hat.
♥ A bright new day—the sky is blue;
The storm is gone; the world is new.
This is the Castle of Fountainblue—
"All this, dear children, belongs to you."
♥ A lovely dawn and all was well;
The lion roamed through wood and dell.
He smelled sweet flowers; he came to a farm;
He frightened the barnyard—
Intending no harm.
♥ The best part of a voyage—by plane,
Is when the trip is over and you are
~~Madeline and the Gypsies.
♥ In a cottage that was thatched,
Wearing trousers that were patched,
Lived a gardener, who loved flowers,
Especially in the morning hours,
When their faces, fresh with dew,
Smiled at him—"How DO you do?"
♥ "Good night, little girls,
Thank the Lord you are well.
And now go to sleep," said Miss Clavel.
And she turned out the light and closed the door.
There were twelve upstairs, and below one more.
~~Madeline in London.
♥ But we know of Madeline all we need to know of anyone's character: that she is utterly fearless and sure of herself, small in stature but large in moxie. Not afraid of mice, of ice, or of teereting on a stone bridge over a river. It'a a mistake to stretch childhood associations too far—and also a mistake not to take them seriously enough—but it would not be stretching it too far to say that, for little girls especially, Madeline is a kind of role model. That "pooh-pooh" rang enduringly in the ears of many of us. Translation from the French: Stand back, world. I fear nothing.
&heart; In their two straight lines the children march predictably through life, with Madeline the admired wild card who reforms the rambunctious Bad Hat and runs away with the gypsies. Even when she has what has become the best-known emergency appendectomy in literature, the surgery becomes simultaneously an adventure and a school routine, the kind of combination of the scary and the safe that is alluring when you are trying to become yourself.
♥ Classics are always ineffable: why does Goodnight Moon appeal for generation after generation, despite changes in mores, manners, technology, and television fare? Why do children as different as Abbott and Costello agree completely about the indispensability of The Cat in the Hat? Why does A Wrinkle in Time speak as clearly to my sons as it did to me three decades ago? What is it that Sendak has that lesser lights just do not?
The answer, I think, is that there are certain books written out of some grown-up's idea of children, of who they are and what they should be like, of what we like to think absorbs and amuses them. And then there are the books that are written for real children by people who manage, however they do it, to maintain an utterly childlike part of their minds. They understand that children prize security and adventure, both bad behavior and conformity, both connections and independence.
Madeline charms because of rhyme and meter, vivid illustrations and engaging situations. But the Madeline books endure because they understand children and epitomize what they fear, what they desire, and what they hope to be, in the person of one little girl. A risk taker. An adventurer. And at the end, a small child drifting off to sleep. "That's all there is—/there isn't any more."
~~From the Introduction by Anna Quindlen.