The irrepressible Madeline

Character Profile

January 17, 1999|By Randi Kest

With her dazzling red hair and signature straw hat, Madeline, the littlest Parisian in Miss Clavel's pack of boarding schoolers, has traveled the streets of Paris, London and the French countryside, fallen into the Seine and had her appendix removed. She is the envy of all her convent schoolmates and is the creation of author Ludwig Bemelmans, who received a Caldecott Award for "Madeline's Rescue" in 1954.

Madeline is fond of winter and not afraid of mice or a tiger in the zoo. Although very heroic, she cried and cried when she fell ill with appendicitis, but recovered just fine with the help of flowers, toys, candy and a dollhouse. She amazed the little girls with the scar on her stomach and made them all want to have their appendixes out, too!

Full of mischief, this schoolgirl is the only one who knows how to scare Miss Clavel, but she also knows when it's time to get back in line with the other girls.

She is the subject of six Bemelmans books: "Madeline," "Madeline's Rescue," "Madeline and the Bad Hat," "Madeline and the Gypsies," Madeline in London" and "Madeline's Christmas."

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