Madeline's Rescue

Madeline's Rescue

by Ludwig Bemelmans
Publisher: Puffin Books
Trade Paperback, 56 pages
List Price: $8.99 Sale Price: $7.19
In an old house in Paris all covered in vines
Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines
The smallest one was Madeline.

Ludwig Bemelmans did not consider himself a children's author. Madeline was excerpted in Life before it was published as a children's book. It's likely that this view of his work is what makes his books so appealing to both children and adults. They're clever and funny in a way that's universally relatable. One of the most realistic scenes in Madeline's Rescue involves the twelve little girls fighting over who gets to sleep with Genevieve the dog. Miss Clavel, in exasperation, demands that the girls stop fighting or Genevieve "will have to leave!" This after they spent an entire day searching high and low for the lost dog.

Children know when they are being talked down to, or disrespected. Bemelmans was not afraid to do intricate watercolors, or scenes in which his main character has her appendix removed, or nearly drowns. His full color pages are crammed with detail. Every character is doing something unique. Every character has their own feelings, purpose, agenda. It's this level of world building that could keep a child occupied for hours. And yet adults can still step back and appreciate Bemelman's talent and the beauty of the Paris he portrays.

There is something comfortable and yet, at the same time, exciting about the gorgeously detailed watercolors of famous Paris landmarks, the cheerful yellow and black drawings, and of course the springy, fun to read aloud poetry. Madeline's Rescue is intelligent, beautiful, and relatable. It has, with good reason, remained a well-loved classic for generations. It's a must for any child's library, so they too can grow up in an old house in Paris, all covered in vines.

Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.

Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.
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Exodus Rating:
FLAWS: Mild peril involving near drowning
Summary: Madeline falls into the river Seine but is rescued by a brave dog.

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