I was familiar with Ludwig Bemelmans’ famous character Madeline, but I never read any of his books until I recently picked up the fourth book in the series, Madeline in London.
Originally published in 1961, Madeline in London opens with the departure for London of Madeline’s friend, Pepito, son of the Spanish ambassador, and his family. Pepito misses Madeline and her classmates, so his father calls her teacher, Miss Clavel, and makes arrangements for Madeline and her classmates to visit Pepito in London. The girls enjoy their stay in London and even purchase a special present for Pepito’s birthday: a horse. When the horse accidentally eats the garden, Pepito and the girls are faced with the possibility of returning the horse; however, Madeline saves the day with a solution that ensures the horse finds a good home.
Madeline in London is a sweet and fun story complemented by Bemelmans’ whimsical illustrations. They’re simple, but effective in conveying the sense of excitement and wonder felt by Madeline and her classmates as they begin their London adventure.
Children who enjoy the Olivia or Fancy Nancy books may want to try Ludwig Bemelmans’ Madeline series.
Check the WRL catalog for Madeline in London.