Madeline in London

by Ludwig Bemelmans

Paper Book, 1989



Call number




London, Penguin Books, 1989


When the Ambassador moves to London, the twelve little girls go to visit his son, Madeline has an adventure on a horse, and the horse returns to Paris with the girls.

User reviews

LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Madeline and her classmates, together with their teacher Miss Clavel, leave their vine-covered Parisian boarding school and journey to London, where they meet up once again with Pepito, the Spanish Ambassador's son who was first introduced in Madeline and the Bad Hat. Hoping to cheer him up, they
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have come to celebrate Pepito's birthday, pooling their money in order to buy him a horse. When this new equine companion takes off with Pepito and Madeline astride, Miss Clavell and the girls set out to find them, and all enjoy a tour of London. But can the horse, who subsequently eats most of the garden, be kept? If Madeline & Co. have anything to say about it, he can!

Originally published in 1961, this fourth Madeline book from Austrian-American children's author and artist Ludwig Bemelmans was not an improvement on its predecessors, which I found moderately interesting, but not particularly appealing. I continue to be mostly indifferent, both to Bemelmans' artwork - I don't hate it, but I can't say I enjoy it either - and to his stories, which, despite some promising themes - the girls' adopt a dog in Madeline's Rescue!; Pepito becomes a vegetarian, in Madeline and the Bad Hat! - never seem to deliver. I also continue to find the text itself in these books rather clunky and awkward. So many people love this character and her adventures, that I can't help but wonder whether one's age when first encountering her is the deciding factor... perhaps I just missed my window of opportunity?
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LibraryThing member Lakapp
“Madeline in London” written by Ludwig Bemelmans is a great story, with wonderful illustration, that young elementary students will enjoy. In this story, twelve girls, including Madeline, live in an old house in Paris. Madeline’s neighbors, the Spanish Ambassador and his son, moved to London.
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All of the girls received word that the Ambassador’s son missed all the girls, so the girls decided to visit London. While in London, many things happened and the girls had many great experiences. Madeline and her friends even bought their friend, Pepito, a horse. This was a fun story that is suitable for Kindergarten to third grade students.
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LibraryThing member ckarmstr1
Pepito has to go to London with his family, but he becomes ill because he misses his friends. In response, the ambassador, Pepito's father, sends for the girls and Miss Clavel to stay with them in London. They bring a horse as a present, and the horse causes chaos, eating all the flowers in the
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garden. The girls care for the horse and take it home. This book has great illustrations, and the rhyme scheme flows really well.
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LibraryThing member mlucas09
Summary: Madeline and her classmates go to London to meet up with Pepito and the Ambassador, while they are there they adopt a horse who gets sick and must be rescued, they end up keeping as a part of the family.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Media: Watercolor
LibraryThing member rrossi1
Madeline and friends go to London on a trip, and meet up with Pepito for his birthday. His gift was a horse. Of course, the horse is a nuisance, and eats the gardener's plants. The horse nearly died from eating green apples and roses, but a trip to the vet made all well again. The horse was brought
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back to Paris, and kept in the school with the girls.

This story seems random and odd at times. The plot jumps around a bit, and it could be difficult to explain or understand. Overall, another great Madeline.
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LibraryThing member lstec2
This is another excellent book in the Madeline series. The twelve little girls in two straight lines and Miss Clavel travel to London to visit Pepito, the Spanish ambassador's son, because he is feeling lonely since his family moved from Paris. I like this book because there are more illustrations
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with color in them, as opposed to some of Bemelmans' earlier Madeline books where most of the illustrations are yellow, black, and white. I think it adds more character to the story, and makes the British landmarks he drew much more interesting. I continue to enjoy the poetry aspect of his books, which add a great rhythm to the story. The part of the book that I found that this is best demonstrated is after they all return home: "Visiting is fun and gay-- / Let's celebrate a lovely day. / Everyone had been well fed, / Everyone was in his bed." The big idea of this story is never pass up on a chance to explore new things, which is demonstrated through Madeline and Pepito joining the parade on his new horse and Miss Clavel and the other eleven girls wandering through London looking for them, though they spend a lot of their time sightseeing.
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LibraryThing member nmhale
Madeline and her friends are despondent that their friend, Pepito, has to travel to London when his father is reassigned. Not long after he is gone, though, the ambassador invites the whole school to come visit his family in London. His Pepito is eating little and thinning to nothing, all because
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he misses his friends. Miss Clavel wastes no time in ushering the girls unto a plane and over the channel, where they spend a lovely vacation time in the ambassador's house. They realize they forgot to bring Pepito a gift, however, and remember the boy said he always wanted a horse. Though buying a new horse is far too expensive, they find a place that gives away horses that are retired from duty.

Pepito is delighted with his gift, and he and Madeline hop on first. Of course, right at that moment a trumpet blares its call and the horse gallops off in fear. Miss Clavel and the other girls spend a portion of the book searching for their lost charges, giving the author a chance to illustrate famous scenes from London, in place of the expected Paris settings from other books. They eventually find the trio standing guard at the horse's previous place of employment. The adventure is still not over! That night, the poor hungry horse who was not fed, devours all the plants in the ambassador's garden. His wife is gracious in forgiveness, but declares the horse can't possibly stay. This prompts Miss Clavel to bring the horse back to France with them, where the horse becomes installed in the school house along with the girls.

Of the four Madeline books we recently received, this is my least favorite. The story was not very interesting, and not at all credible. Miss Clavel can just bring a horse into the boarding school, when a dog was out of the question? No one bothered to feed the poor animal after its crazy race through London? What's to stop Pepito from getting sick all over again once the girls leave? The plot is riddled with inconsistencies and unanswered questions, and the adventure feels like a contrived situation solely meant to get the girls in London. As much as I like the quirky humor that pops up in the Madeline series, the whole premise of riding a horse through London was less quirky and more absurd. Also, the writing was lackluster. The forced rhyme necessary to sustain couplets can be done well, and it can be artificial and awful. While earlier books occasionally slipped into the bad territory, they generally maintained a good whimsical flow. The language in this story is certainly contorted to fit the rhyme scheme. Redeeming qualities are few, but prevent me from completely disliking the book. The opening sequence is cute and clever, and affection for the characters from earlier stories remains attached to them in this outing, as well. The illustrations continue to be distinct and attractive. Nonetheless, I will likely choose other books from the Madeline series to read to my daughters.
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LibraryThing member ElizabethHaaser
I loved the story “Madeline in London” for two main reasons. First of all, the lines rhyme, which give the story a song-like quality, and make it very fun to read along. For example, the line “The people below are stout and loyal, and those on the balcony mostly Royal” is a simple
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description of the scene, but sounds so playful due to the rhyming. Secondly, I really liked how every other page has yellow and grey illustrations, while the others are in full color. The drawings sometimes take up the entire page, and at other times a page features several small pictures. I’m not sure why this is, but it is nice to have a variety and some patterns within the story. The central theme of this story is comparing different countries and traditions: those of France with those of England. It is also about friendship, between Madeline and Pepito as well as with all of the girls and the horse they bring home to live with them in Paris.
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LibraryThing member pambam_11
Summary: Madeline and her classmates from the boarding school that she attends travels to London on a trip. To meet up with Pepito the son of the Spanish ambassador.He used to live next door to the boarding school, but Pepito had to move which made him very upset. Madelines visit to London is a
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surprise for Pepito.

Personal reaction: I think for a younger audience this story is very adorable. You could see all the historical things that are associated with London in the pictures, as the story is being told. This book takes you on an excellent adventure.

Classroom extensions: Have the children talk about the historical landmarks that are seen the book, also do a small handout on fun facts about London that the children would not know.
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LibraryThing member Patrick-Shea14
Madeline in London by Ludwig Bemelmans
Madeline takes her fearlessness to London to follow up to the classic Madeline story. Like the original, the text is a rhyming masterpiece and I love that the story includes real London sights in it's illustrations, such as Buckingham Palace, Westiminster
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Alley, The Tower Bridge, and Trafaglar sqaure. Do be forwarned that there's little reference to making glue out of dead horses after a horse in the story is believed to be dead. Not to worry though the horses is not dead after all and the glue reference should sail right over the kids heads. After reading this to my pre-K class, I brought a globe ball with me and found where Paris and London were. Later in the day I noticed a few kids were playing airplane with my globe and they always ended up in London. A single book can really open doors for a kids imagination in a multicultural world we live in.
This is a Multicultural
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Original publication date



0140501991 / 9780140501995

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