Madeline and the Bad Hat

by Ludwig Bemelmans

Paperback, 1977



Call number




Puffin (1977), 64 pages


When the Spanish ambassador moves in next door, Madeline and the rest of the twelve little girls discover that his son is not the best neighbor.

User reviews

LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Feisty French schoolgirl meets high-spirited Spanish schoolboy in this third picture-book adventure from Austrian-American children's author Ludwig Bemelmans, and sparks fly. When the Spanish Ambassador and his family move in next door to her boarding school in Paris, Miss Clavel is thrilled, but
Show More
Madeline has her doubts, especially when it comes to his son Pepito, whom she nicknames "The Bad Hat." Her dislike appears at first to be well founded, as Pepito engages in all sorts of bad behavior - throwing rocks at the girls, during their morning exercise; using a toolbox given to him by Miss Clavel to create a guillotine for chickens; releasing a hapless cat in the midst of a pack of hungry dogs, in order to see what happens - but when his stunts take him too far, and Miss Clavel and Madeline must come to his rescue, his reformation is soon put into motion...

Originally published in 1956, Madeline and the Bad Hat contains some very interesting themes - Pepito's initial mistreatment of animals, his subsequent reformation and conversion to vegetarianism, and his exuberant freeing of all the animals in the zoo - and introduces a character, in the form of Pepito, who plays an important role in the two subsequent books, Madeline in London and Madeline and the Gypsies. Unfortunately, any interest elicited in this reader by the themes, or enjoyment created through the humor - I did love Madeline's "Bad Hat" nickname for Pepito, as I found it very funny - was not enough to compensate for artwork that left me cold, and a rhyming text that I found clunky and unappealing. I'm having difficulty accounting for all the glowing reviews that mention the poetic narrative with this one, as I thought the rhyming was forced - "On hot summer nights he ghosted; / In the autumn wind he boasted" - and the lines often read awkwardly. Definitely the weakest, of the three Madeline books I've read thus far.
Show Less
LibraryThing member crashingwaves38
I really wasn't fond of this book, at all. I didn't like the plot, I didn't like the boy, I didn't like the female adult's blindness to the boy's faults, I didn't like the total 180 he did after the dog attack, I didn't like the violence and actions and words portrayed, I didn't like almost any of
Show More
it. The only redeeming quality was that the boy did eventually learn from his mistakes. But even there, the change was so complete that it felt almost fake. I do not really recommend this book to anyone.
Show Less
LibraryThing member mmuncy
Madeline and the Bad Hat by Ludwig Bemelmans is one of the books about Madeline, a young girl who lives in a home with eleven other girls. During this installment, the Spanish Ambassador moves next door. The Ambassador has a son who terrorizes not only the girls, but the neighborhood animals as
Show More
well. The “bad hat” decides to have a little fun one day. He puts a cat in a bag and soon all the dogs are following him. Miss Clavel and the girls happen to be out walking and see him let the cat out of the bag which then jumps on his head and all the dogs attack. Miss Clavel and Madeline save him and he swears he will not terrorize animals anymore.
I like this book. I haven’t read many of the Madeline books, but I may have to pick up a few.
This might be a good book to use to introduce the concept of government in foreign countries. Because the book revolves around the son of the Spanish Ambassador, it might be a good idea to start with Spanish government.
Show Less
LibraryThing member ckarmstr1
A new little boy moves next door to Madeline, and she and the girls think he is a bad kid. The boy, Pepito, taunts the girls. Ms. Clavel tries to help find an outlet for the boy's energy. Pepito learns from the error of his ways when letting a cat out of a bag backfires, and he gets attacked by
Show More
dogs. He becomes really good, but the girls miss the old Pepito. He goes back to his old silly ways, but he promises never to harm animals ever again. This book is really cute. I love all the Madeline books!
Show Less
LibraryThing member lstec2
I liked this book as much I liked the other ones in the series. The big idea of the story is patience and being polite to others even when they aren't polite to you. One thing I really liked about the book was the big idea. This book gives children an example to follow. Even though they might not
Show More
like how someone behaves, they have to be patient with them and be polite, because they might surprise you. I also really like how Pepito's character is developed. He is introduced as a stereotypical boy who doesn't care about manners and likes to cause other people harm: "In the spring when birdies sing / Something suddenly went "zing!" / Causing pain and shocked surprise / During morning exercise." I like how Madeline's character develops further through the dialogue she exchanges with Pepito: "So Madeline went in on tiptoe, / and whispered, 'Can you hear me, Pepito? / It serves you right, you horrid brat, / For what you did to that poor cat.'" This shows that she is an honest person who is not afraid to speak her mind, which I find to be an admirable quality. Also, the illustrations continue to show the characters' feelings. One of the best pictures in the book that shows this is the one where Pepito has clearly pushed everyone over my ice skating all over the place; all the girls and Miss Clavel look unhappy, but Pepito continues to just have his hat raised politely to them.
Show Less
LibraryThing member nmhale
Madeline and her friends in the French private school are continuing in their regular routines, until the day the Spanish Ambassador moves in nearby. While his son, Pepito, is deceptively polite to the adults, the girls read his true nature. He is mean to animals and likes to tease the girls. His
Show More
only occupations during the day are mischievous and mean-spirited. Even Miss Clavel begins to notice his darker nature, but she magnanimously decides he just needs healthy habits to occupy his mind. She gives him a tool kit, and he uses it to build a guillotine for the chickens he eats.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Jillian_Magee
I greatly enjoyed reading Madeline and the Bad Hat. Ludwig Bemelmans does a fantastic job of grabbing the reader’s attention through the use of rhyming words. For example, in the book when the little boy gets hurt and is sent to the hospital, Bemelmans writes “There was sorrowing and pain. In
Show More
the Embassy of Spain.” This text also allows the reader to feel empathy towards the character. I also really liked how the colors and details of the pictures related to what was happening in the story. For example, when Madeline was trying to tiptoe over to the bed where the little boy was sleeping, the colors are all light and dull and there aren’t many details in the picture. However, when Madeline is outside playing the colors are bright and vivid and the details are so incredible that you can see every knot in the tree.
The message of the story in Madeline and the Bad Hat is, what goes around comes around. Throughout the story, a little boy is being very mean to Madeline and her schoolmates. He is constantly tricking them and trying to scare them. One night when he tries to get a group of dogs to attack a small cat, the dogs instead attack him and he ends up in the hospital.
Show Less
LibraryThing member ecm014
A new character is introduced in this book in addition to madeline, the girls, miss clavel. Pepito is the new boy their age that moves in next door but does not behave well. Journal entries can be continued and turned to either pepito or madeline and how these two regard each other.
LibraryThing member AngelaLam
My son's all time favorite Madeline book. He laughed so hard! And not just once. But EVERY time we read the book.

Mischievious little bugger that Bad Hat! Better than Calvin and Hobbes or Dennis the Menace.


Original language


Original publication date



0140502068 / 9780140502060

Similar in this library

Page: 0.1402 seconds