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1001 Madeline
Added on 15th August 2020

Author and Illustrator Ludwig Bemelmans
First published 1939
Publisher Simon & Schuster, New York City, USA

The classic story of a young Parisian schoolgirl.

Story

Despite being the smallest of her classmates, Madeline seems not to be afraid of anything, not even mice! She is the bravest and funniest of all. When one day Miss Clavel finds her crying on her bed, she knows something’s wrong. Madeline’s appendix burst and she needs a doctor! A classic story full of humour and fun that enchants readers from all over the world.

Why we chose it

A classic story with a courageous heroine.

Where it came from

Ludwig Bemelmans (1898 – 1962) wrote and illustrated books for both children and adults, and loved travelling. Once, on holiday on a French island, he had a bike accident and spent some time at the hospital. There came the wonderful inspiration for his first Madeline book: the hospital nuns wore hats that really looked like giant butterflies, and next-door there was a girl who had a ruptured appendix. When back in New York and out for dinner, Ludwig started writing down his ideas on the back of the menu in Pete’s Tavern, and brought to life one of the most loved children’s book series of all times.

Where it went next

Madeline was a 1940’s Caldecott Honor Book, and was adapted for a short-animated film directed by Robert Cannon which was nominated for an Academy Award (1952). The story had several other adaptations, including a live-action family comedy starring Frances McDormand and Nigel Hawthorne (1998), a TV series narrated by Christopher Plummer (1993), the Disney’s animated musical Madeline Lost in Paris (1999), and even an educational video game series.

Associated stories

The book was followed by several sequels, all acclaimed and loved by readers: Madelines Rescue (1953), Madeline and the Bad Hat (1956), Madeline and the Gypsies (1959), Madeline in London (1961), Madelines Christmas (1985). After Bemelman’s death, his talented grandson, John Bemelmans Marciano, carried on the legacy and wrote more funny episodes to complete the series, like Madeline says Merci (2001), Madeline and the Cats of Rome (2008), Madeline at the White House (2011), and Madeline and the old House in Paris (2013).

Added on 15th August 2020

Author and Illustrator Ludwig Bemelmans
First published 1939
Publisher Simon & Schuster, New York City, USA