Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Ludwig Bemelmans trained to be an artist and had no aspirations of being a writer. First published in 1935, Madeline was the second piece of literature done at the urging of a Viking Press book editor. It was Madeline which brought Bemelmans his fame in a children's book modeled after his daughter, Barbara.
I thoroughly enjoyed Madeline books when I was young since Mr. Bemelmans books seemed to do something no other children's author had done. He took children on whirlwind adventures to Paris, the Louvre ; all over the globe. I used to dream of the life of Madeline but at that age, could never quite understand why she lived in a house of twelve girls and Miss Clavel.
Madeline is simply Madeline, a precocious little redheaded Parisian schoolgirl with an attitude kept in check under the tutelage of Miss Clavel.
In this book, Madeline is rushed to the hospital for an appendectomy and all the other girl's are envious of the attention. Miss Clavel, the nervous caretaker takes the girls on a trip to visit the ailing Madeline.
It was quite fun, rereading Madeline after all these years and I wonder. I wonder if little girls still read Madeline. I haven't seen an influx of Madeline dolls on the market and have never heard a little girl speak of her. It would be sad if Ludwig Bemelmans Madeline didn't live on....