Author: Ludwig Bemelmans
Age Group: 3-6 years old, but it’s also appreciated by my 20 month old toddler.
The plot, in three sentences or less: Madeline is the smallest and feistiest of twelve little girls who live with Miss Clavel in a vine-covered house in Paris. One night, she gets sick with appendicitis and must go to the hospital to have her appendix removed. She is visited in the hospital by her friends and, after they go home, they decide they all want to get their appendixes out as well.
* The fact that this story rhymes is lovely. It’s a wonderful read-aloud book.
* The art is excellent. It’s interesting to see the oil paintings interspersed with the simpler drawings on yellow paper.
* Madeline as a character is delightful. My three-year-old absolutely loves her and wanted the story read no fewer than five times in a row.
* There are two slightly awkward rhymes in the book: one is the ‘hours’ and ‘flowers’ page and the other is trying to cram too many syllables in the ‘ahhh’ and ‘papa’ page. They’re just not as smooth as the other pages in the story and they kind of slow the book down a bit.
My Overall Opinion:
Madeline is a classic character. The story features a strong, brave, cheeky little heroine and it will appeal to your little ladies (and maybe little men…I honestly can’t say whether that’s true…I only have ladies to read to).