by Ludwig Bemelmans

Other authorsLudwig Bemelmans (Illustrator), Dolly Parton Imagination Library (Director)
Paperback, 1998


Check shelf

Call number



Puffin Books (2000), Edition: Illustrated


Madeline, smallest and naughtiest of the twelve little charges of Miss Clavel, wakes up one night with an attack of appendicitis.

Local notes


User reviews

LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Originally published in 1939, and chosen as a Caldecott Honor Book in 1940, this classic picture-book from Austrian-American author Ludwig Bemelmans is the first of a number of titles chronicling the adventures of an insouciant Parisian schoolgirl named (what else?) Madeline. "In an old house in
Show More
Paris that was covered with vines / lived twelve little girls in two straight lines," the book begins, setting out the story of an orderly little world, one in which little girls stick to their prescribed routines. All except for little girls like Madeline, that is. Unafraid of tigers, or of walking along dangerous railings, she handles a true emergency - being taken off to the hospital to have her appendix out - with great aplomb...

Although I did enjoy this beloved children's book, with its rhyming text and award-winning art, somehow it didn't charm me quite as much as I had expected it to, when I first discovered that it had been chosen as one of our November selections over in The Picture-Book Club to which I belong, where our theme this month is "Classic Picture-Book Characters." Yet another of those classics that I somehow missed when a girl, Madeline (much like Eloise, which was another title read for this particular project) is a book I've long been aware of, and meant to get to. Now that I have, I'm rather taken aback to discover that, while I like it, I am not quite in love with it. Which isn't to say that it doesn't have quite a bit of appeal, both in terms of its heroine - Madeline is a spunky girl, one who is not afraid to stand out from the crowd - and its narrative, which I can see making for a good bedtime story. I do plan to read more of the Madeline books, as part of a general effort to become better acquainted with some of the ubiquitous figures of picture-book culture, so perhaps my enthusiasm will build...
Show Less
LibraryThing member ChelseaGriffin
Madeline is a good rhyming book accompanied by a funny storyline. The pictures in Madeline are absolutely breathtaking and the story is one that children could read easily and even learn a few things.
LibraryThing member ngajasmine
It is about a girl named Madeline. She is the younges in the family.
LibraryThing member annajamieson
The classic book Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans is one of my favorites. It tells the story of a little girl, Madeline, who lives in an orphanage in Paris with eleven other little girls. In this first book of the series, Madeline has to get her appendix taken out and proudly shows her scar. This
Show More
Caldecott Honor Book contains rhyme and beautiful illustrations throughout. Children would love to read this book in a classroom because they would probably be familiar with it and would probably enjoy the story. The book could be used in a wide age range of children. In a classroom, you could do a lesson on rhyming words to go along with this story. It is a great book!
Show Less
LibraryThing member TNAEWWF123
Although I despise the show, SNL (specifically RuPaul) was what inspired me to read Madeline. All in all, I felt this was another book in a similar vein to Street where it kept me thinking afterwards. However, instead of thinking about the implications of fantasy, I pondered over the statements
Show More
about conformity and sisterhood in this work's boarding school setting. Admittedly though, the art was second only to Antics! as being the least eye-catching. Even though the watercolors did not age particularly well, I am honestly glad I read it, since I liked it more than I expected to.
Show Less
LibraryThing member ChelseaHopton
Madeline by Ludwig Behelmans is a wonderful book. The illustrations in this book are great, which is no surprise that this book is a Caldecott Honor award book. This book tells a story of a of a little girl in a boarding school. I remember reading this book at a young age and it was my favorite and
Show More
it never got old. This is a great book for any young age. I recommend this book to be read to young children. Overall, Ludwig Bemelmans is a great author.
Show Less
LibraryThing member sdglenn
This story is about 12 girls, one named Madeline. Great for grades k-5. The children could paint a picture of Madeline.
LibraryThing member amanda_c
With its iconic images and vocabulary of simple rhyming words, this classic picture book has delighted children for seventy years.

Madeline makes for an excellent read aloud book, and is simple enough that children can also read it for themselves.

While concepts
Show More
like nuns, or Paris, or appendectomies may be unfamiliar to many modern children, this classic tale of a free-spirited little girl will engage children with its accessible drawings and appealing rhymes.
Show Less
LibraryThing member messelti
Madeleine is the smallest and bravest girl in her house, but when she gets appendicitis she causes a stir among the other girls, who want to do the same things as she. Minimal text guide readers through the delightful pen and watercolor sketches ripe with details that show the difference between
Show More
parallel scenes in the story. The unhappiness among the other girls is evident in the pictures many pages before the last pages, when full-fledged crying fits have broken out. An incredibly cute story that is simple, clever and relatable, highly recommended for any picture book collection, especially in public libraries.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Cottonwood.School
Madeline, smallest and naughtiest of the twelve little charges of Miss Clavel, wakes up one night with an attack of appendicitis.
LibraryThing member lisabankey
This classic book is about a girl in a boarding school in Paris that gets struck by appendicitis. The main character is very bold and brave. The plot has a simple linear plot with an unexpected ending. The text is written in a rhyming style and the illustrations are done by the author Ludwig
Show More
Bemelmans. This book is also the first book in a series. Highly recommended for an elementary library.
Show Less
LibraryThing member xoxabbiexox
this book madeline is a great book about a girl who has no parents and lives in a house with many other girls but the adventure begins after she found a dog that saved her after she fell into the river she named the dog genaveev what will happen next ? ...
LibraryThing member teddiemitchell
Madeline is an adorable story about a little orphan girl who is not afraid of anything. One night she woke up crying and had to have her appendix taken out so she went the hospital. When all the other little orphan girls came to visit they had brought Madeline flowers and looked at her scar on her
Show More
stomach. When the little girls got home they all wanted their appendix out too.

Madeline is an adorable classic story that I remember reading all the time when i was a little girl. I also can remember watching a television show with her in it. I have always enjoyed Madeline stories.

In the classroom I would have the students all recall a time that they were in the hospital or knew somebody in the hospital and they wished they were there. Another idea would be to have them write their own little Madeline story.
Show Less
LibraryThing member stharp
This book is a great example of realistic fiction for the time in which it was written. Madeline is a little girl just like many others, living in a house with eleven others. This book is a great example of realistic fiction because it accurately and intriguingly depicts a believable story that
Show More
children would love. Madeline and her friends go on walks, brush their teeth, and deal with real life situations.
Show Less
LibraryThing member kyoder06
Age Appropriateness: Primary, Intermediate
Media: Pen and Ink
Genre: Realistic Fiction

This is a great example of realistic fiction since there are no far fetched parts of the story. We simply see the children going about their daily routines until one day Madeline is sick and has to get her appendix
Show More
removed. The setting is in France which could lead to some good discussion about the similarities and differences between here and there. We see the children in normal places like at home, or at the park. There isn’t a super involved plot but there is a story line to follow. The plot is easy to follow and parts are relatable to others, which would get the students involved.
Show Less
LibraryThing member dchaves
The kids like the rhythm and I do like the social commentary.
LibraryThing member monica5
let kids finish the lines on each page. i.e.
"In an old house in paris all covered with . . ." kids yell "vines!"
LibraryThing member rvangent
This is a very good example of realistic fiction because it is about twelve girls and their daily routines in the house they live in, when all of a sudden, one of the girls gets appendicitis. It then talks about going to visit her and what is going on while Madeline recovers from her surgery. The
Show More
reader can empathize for Madeline and see the human interactions that are shared throughout the story. We learn a lot about Madeline in the story as she is a round character. At first the author tells us little pieces of information about her daily schedule and then goes into more details about her specifically, such as the fact that she is the smallest and she was not afraid of mice, and she loves winter. Then later on, she gets appendicitis and we learn a lot about her and see her grow as she is in the hospital and recovering from her surgery. The illustrations in this book might be pen and ink, charcoal, and watercolor.
Show Less
LibraryThing member kmacneill
This is a classic story of a little french girl who wakes up with appendicitis in the middle of the night and how her friends are there for encouragement. I love the rhyming “In an old house in Paris/ That was covered with vines/ Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.” I also just
Show More
love the illustrations and story. Though it is short it easily transports you to Paris. I think grades k-2 would just love this book for leisure reading.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Aridy
Brave little Madeline is not afraid of anything and is mischievous, much to her care-takers dismay. When she gets sick everyone realizes that without Madeline everything is less fun.
LibraryThing member bestwhensimple
When I was a child, I remember reading Madeline with my mother. I even remember the TV series that depicted Madeline's adventures in Paris. This speaks to how memorable Ludwig Bemelmans' character really is.

The simple watercolors of yellow, black, and gray are paired with full color complicated
Show More
scenes of city life in Paris. The Notre Dame looks very realistic, though bathed in a dreamy aura of rain. Miss Clavel's worry gets translated into a blur on the page. The Caldecott Honor-caliber illustrations are a pleasure to look at, and they also reflect the wonderful story of Madeline's appendix.

Every young child should have access to this book. It's a marvelous read for beginners!
Show Less
LibraryThing member ljspear
There are Madeline videos that kids could watch after reading the book. Mr. Bemelmans died in 1962 after completing his sixth story about Madeline, Madeline's Christmas.
LibraryThing member rwetherell
12 little girls live in a boarding school and do everything in 2 neat little lines. The littlest Madeline, is brave and adventurous and scares the teacher with her antics, but then in the middle of the night she is crying in pain. The doctor comes in and rushes her out to have her appendix removed.
Show More
After a few days in the hospital all the other girls come to see her and saw all her new toys and gifts from her father and her new big scar from her surgery. The went home and then all began crying in the middle of the night, because now they all wanted to have their appendix removed. :)
Show Less
LibraryThing member BrittneyFields
This story about a fearless little French orphan girl named Madeline who is loved very much by her pears. In this story Madeline has appendicitis and is rush to the hospital. The other little orphan girls see all the toys she has for her bravery in surgery and the interesting scar on her stomach.
Show More
In the end all of Madeline’s friends want their appendix taking out too. Miss Clavel the nun reminds them that they should be thankful for their well being.
Show Less
LibraryThing member kelasater
Madeline is a little girl who lives in an old house in Paris with twelve other little girls and Miss Clavel. The girls do everything together and when Madeline has to get her appendix taken out, the other girls want their appendix out too. This book also introduces small story lines for other
Show More
Madeline books.
Show Less


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

11.7 inches




Page: 0.6906 seconds