Madeline and the Cats of Rome: John Bemelmans Marciano
Reading level: Ages 3-8
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Viking Juvenile (September 4, 2008)
Do you remember the Madeline series, by Ludwig Bemelmans? The first book was published in 1939, has sold over 11 million copies worldwide, and has been translated into 12 different languages – so, there is a pretty good chance that you read the books during your childhood. In case you need a little memory jolt … she’s the mischievous redhead whose stories are based around harmless shenanigans.
Now that you are probably having flashbacks, you will be excited to know that there is a new Madeline book – Madeline and the cats of Rome. It’s the first book from the series in 50 years, and has been written by Ludwig’s grandson, John Bemelmans Marciano. John’s ability to draw just like his grandfather, whom he never met, is quite impressive.
The story is set in Rome, just as the title would have you imagine. It’s a beautiful setting for the energizing tale in which Madeline chases after a girl, who has stolen Mrs. Clavel’s camera. The chase is wonderfully scenic and adventurous – a true taste of Rome, pasta included. The plot takes some twists and turns with its clever rhyming, ending with Madeline as the heroine (although not without finding the usual trouble that we adore so much about her). I believe that true Madeline fans will thoroughly enjoy this newest edition to the classic and beloved series. I love the fact that Ludwig Bemelans legacy is now a family tradition.
Links: Madeline and the Cats of Rome – an article by Time Out New York Kids.