Perfect Picture Book Review: Madeline

Book illustration, pen drawing

Book illustration, pen drawing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have great news!

My son and his wife just had a baby!

So there is a new grand-baby in the family…Sophie Eva!

I’ll be flying back to Chicago on Saturday to spend a week with them.

What will I be doing when I’m there?  Lucky me…I’ll be holding that precious sweetheart and singing lullabies.

What will I be bringing with me? Picture books, of course!!! As well as a container of baklava for my daughter-in-law who LOVES it.

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday over at children’s author Susanna Hill’s blog. Check out all of the picture book reviews…there are over 1000 on her site!!!!

This book will be one of the first in my grand-daughter’s library…in board book edition, of course. I love the classic picture books!

Perfect Picture Book Review: Madeline


Written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans

Publisher: Viking (originally published in 1939)

Age: 3 and up (but lilting rhyme will be enjoyed by much younger children)

Opening lines: “In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.”

Synopsis: From Amazon: “A Caldecott Honor Book – Nothing frightens Madeline–not tigers, not mice, not even getting sick. To Madeline, a trip to the hospital is a grand adventure. A true classic, Madeline continues to enchant readers more than sixty years after its first publication.”

Themes: Strong girls, friendship, hospital stays

Why I love this book:

  • Caldecott Honor Award – a true classic that has endured over 70 years!
  • It’s like taking a trip to Paris…Mr. Bemelmans was an amazing artist and he captured many street scenes in the illustrations!

How parents can use this book:

  • One of the best read aloud books ever written!
  • Look at a globe and find Paris, France!
  • Find the famous landmarks that appear in the book…the Eiffel Tower, Paris Zoo, etc.
  • Lovely story to read if a child is scheduled to go into the hospital and is anxious about it.


Make a Shoebox Dollhouse

Photo courtesy:

This is so simple and so much fun!

You will need: one shoe box, construction paper, scissors, glue stick

  1. Cut construction paper to fit inside to ‘wallpaper’ the inside walls and glue in place.
  2. Use a very small box for the bed and cover with paper or material.
  3. Add details with markers.

You and your child can make it more complex by stacking several boxes to build a dollhouse.

Instructions for this dollhouse at:

When little Sophie gets bigger perhaps she and her daddy will make this together.

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (Pomegranate Press, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE MOVE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my 9-year old grandson.

Posted on April 26, 2013, in parenting, Perfect Picture Book Friday, Picture Book Review and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. Congratulations, Grandma Vivian! Sophie Eva will be all cuddles and oh so lucky to have such a wonderful grandmother! Enjoy you time together.


  2. Congratulations again! We love the Madeline books, great choice to put in a child’s bookcase.


  3. Vivian, congrats on little Sophie! What wonderful news 🙂
    I also just reserved Madeliene at my library. I must go pick it up!


    • Thank you so much for the good wishes, Emily! I am in Chicago at this moment…got here this afternoon…and held my sweet Sophie for an hour…I could have held her all night long, but I don’t want to spoil her for her parents.:) This is going to be an awesome week! Thanks again for the heads-up about the technical support needs for AFCC…I emailed Stephanie with my request.:)


    • Thanks so much for the best wishes, Emily! I’m glad that Madeline is available in Singapore…it is one of the best read alouds that I know. 🙂


  4. Congratulations proud grandma.


  5. Congrats on the baby in the family! I love Baklava too! Great activity! 😀


  6. Congrats again on your grandchild! This is one of my all time favorites. I believe it is Bemelmans’ birthday today!


  7. Congratulations on the birth of Sophie Eva! I enjoyed your post and also love Madeline. In fact, I included it in a post that I wrote about children’s books set in France:
    Anyway, have a great visit with your family!


  8. Mazel Tov Vivian! What a lucky little girl Sophie is to have such wonderful parents and grandparents, and Madeline is a fantastic way to start a library! Blessings.


  9. Congrats on the new granddaughter! My sister Madeline is named after the Madeline books because my other sister Naomi asked my parents to name her that! Love the stories.


  10. Yay! Have FUN, Vivian. Madeline is a great picture book, a true classic. Baklava is a terrific dessert . . . also classic!


  11. Great post once again Vivian, I love your new Theme too! 🙂


    • Jake…I am so happy to see you here…I’ve missed your Sunday posts…I hope all is okay 🙂 Thanks for the comment about the new theme…you are the first one to say anything about it. 🙂 My blog needed major revisions and cleanups…and I have not had time to add back the blog buttons and other stuff..I’ll be adding it to the bottom sidebar and to a separate page I think.


  12. Wonderful post, and congratulations and every happiness with your new little granddaughter! 🙂 Of course Madeline is one of my all time favorite favorites, so I am always glad to see it 🙂 LOVE the shoebox dollhouse!


  13. CONGRATULATIONS! A precious gift is given in the form of baby Sophie Eva.



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