In times of stress or chaos, sometimes a book can be your best friend. Here are a few of my favorite book quotes that make me happy, make me think, lift me up, and inspire me!
When a grown-up us introduced to you
Look up and say, "How do you do?"
If they extend their hand to take
Offer back a nice firm shake.
I don't know about your kids, but my kiddos could always use a little reminder every now and then when it comes to their "magic words" please and thank you. We read this new Madeline book and not only is it very informative on good manners but it fits perfectly into the Madeline library with its classic illustrations and characters.
In Madeline Says Merci, Madeline and her friends show readers what to do in all sorts of situations like meeting a new person, eating at the dinner table, receiving a gift, apologizing when making a mistake, and playing with friends. This is a great manners guide for preschoolers and early elementary school kids.
*This portion of my post contains affiliate links.
Here are five more great books that teach our kids how to be polite people.
Madeline has always been a character I have held in my heart. She is feisty, adventurous, and kind. The oil painting pictures of twelve little girls in two straight lines tromping through perfectly Parisian scenes are forever etched in my mind. Here are five things about Madeline and author Ludwig Bemelmans that I didn't know until now.
Bemelmans was a renaissance man with a rocky start. A father that left his mother for their nanny, several grade school expulsions, getting deported to America because he may or may not have shot a man - old Ludwig had a rough go. His first attempts at writing were rejected by magazines and publishers until Madeline was picked up for publication in 1939. He would go on to rise in the art world to be equally successful as a painter and a writer.
Madeline broke the gender mold for her time. Even today, so many people will say the old adage, "boys will be boys!" In other words, when boys are spunky and a tad mischievous, it is just a socially acceptable part of their nature. When girls act the same way, some might not see it as a positive, especially in the 1940s. Madeline is unique for her adventurous and strong personality. She is opinionated, strong willed, and unlike most of the literary females in picture books of the time. She walks across that stone bridge wall, scaring Miss Clavel, and breaking all the rules society placed on her gender.
Aristotle Onassis (Mr. Jackie O) commissioned Bemelmans to paint 15 Madeline murals for the playroom of his yacht, and in 1999, the murals sold for almost a million dollars.
It was very important to Bemelmans to show respect to his young audience and never write down to them. He is quoted, "We are writing for children, but not for idiots."
The last lines of every Madeline story spoken by Miss Clavel were taken from actress Ethel Barrymore. Drew Barrymore's great aunt was famous for ending her shows with the lines, "That's all there is. There isn't anymore."
I love reading the stories behind the stories, especially when I find that children's books that I have loved for so long have a fascinating history! What do you think? What other beloved kids books have a colorful heritage?
Did you grow up reading about the twelve little girls in two straight lines, and that old house that they lived in, covered with vines? I treasured my Madeline books, so I was curious when I saw that Madeline author, Ludwig Bemelmans, had a grandson who was taking up the Madeline torch and continuing the stories.
You never know when a remake is going to be great or going to be something you wish never happened as to not tarnish the image of the original in your mind. (I'm looking at you, sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird.) I love the originals so much that reading a new Madeline story had me a bit nervous. But, rejoice! I liked them, and my preschooler found them just as entertaining as the originals.
John Bemelmans Marciano is the grandson of the original author, and he has written three new Madeline stories: Madeline in Rome, Madeline at the White House, and this one, Madeline and the Old House in Paris.
In this story, Lord Cucuface, that meddlesome, snooty-tooty, sometimes mean Head of School, pays the girls a visit. While he is inspecting the place, he discovers a beautiful, old telescope and decides to take it home.
With the telescope gone, the girls start to hear strange, ghastly noises coming from the attic. They investigate to find that the ghost of a scientist haunts their house, and he wants his telescope back! Fortunately, he is a friendly ghost, and Madeline and Pepito (the bad hatted boy next door) hatch a plan to get that telescope back!
I found the writing style with its bouncy fun rhymes to be just like the originals, maybe even, dare I say it, a little better because it was a tad more on the modern side. It used the type of language we use today, so my preschooler understood the rhymes better. The illustrations aren't quite as detailed as the originals, but they still bring us into that Madeline, Parisian world. We really enjoyed it.
I've started a new You Tube channel for Booktomato! Every week I hope to add a new video. I hope to do more of these picture book history videos and also commentary on new kids books. What would you like to see in my videos? Take a look!
Sometimes the story on the page sustains us, and sometimes, well, we need funfetti. Yes, I did take the ever classy, oh-so-french madeleine cookie and white trash it up a bit with an entire bottle of star sprinkles thrown into the batter, and it was so good. Normally, I don't like to clutter my kitchen cabinets with gadgets and pans that only have one task, so buying a cookie pan that would only be used to make one specific type of cookie didn't appeal to me. However, the key to making the classic french madeleines is a madeleine pan. Most madeleines start with a base of flour, sugar, eggs, and butter, but from there, they are quite versatile. You could add chocolate chips, orange zest, dried fruit, whatever you want.
Eating French cookies got us in the mood for everyone's favorite red-headed frenchie, Madeline! I have loved Ludwig Bemelmans' stories about Madeline for as long as I can remember. We think nothing of reading about a strong, independent female character today, but Madeline was doing her own thing long before it was the norm. I found this volume of every Madeline book published into one collection a couple of years ago. It's a treasure!
- one cup flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 4 eggs
- 1 stick butter
- one bottle colorful sprinkles (optional)
- combine flour and baking powder in a bowl.
- beat sugar, eggs, and vanilla until thick (this takes a couple minutes.)
- fold flour mixture in to egg mixture.
- melt butter and add to batter. put batter in the refrigerator for about an hour. stir in sprinkles.
- preheat oven to 325 degrees. butter the madeleine pan. fill molds of pan with batter.
- bake for 10 minutes or until golden.
What better way to kick off the summer than with a trip to France? Ooh la la! Let's go!
This Is France by Miroslav Sasek
We've shared books from this classic series of travel guides for kids on the blog before, and they are so much fun! This is Paris takes readers through the streets of the City of Light tromping over its famous bridges, through its beautiful squares, meeting its fashionable people, and learning interesting factoids about the city along the way.
Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child by Jessie Hartland
Also shared on the blog last year, any fan of Julia Child no matter the age will treasure this book. It follows the talented chef and all-around amazing woman through her childhood into adulthood telling her story through playful comic strip and collage like graphics.
Stone Soup by Marcia Brown
This Caldecott winner is a wonderful lesson in sharing and community and also brings the reader to the world of Brittany, France of old. Three soldiers are traveling and come to a small Breton village. The villagers see them coming and hide all of their food so the soldiers don't ask for a hand out. The soldiers tell them they can make a magical soup from stones. The villagers are intrigued. The soldiers say that stone soup goes well with carrots and onions and maybe some meat. Before long, the village shares a delicious pot of stone soup and a night of fun and friendship. I love the pictures in this one with all of what I picture Brittany to be with the tall lace headpieces, folk costumes, and thatched roof houses.
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Everyone's favorite Parisian redhead is a must for a French story time - the simple rhymes, the hand drawn illustrations, the spunky little girl named Madeline who is brave and kind and smart.
Hello World Paris: A Book of Shapes by Ashley Evanson
Visit Parisian sights from the Arc de Triomphe to a yummy patisserie to the Louvre and find shapes along the way.
Hi there! If you are as big of a Madeline fan as I am, you should head over to Madeline.com . I recently discovered that our favorite French red head as a great website dedicated to Ludwig Bemelmans and his most treasured work.
The website has a complete list of the Madeline books, free printable coloring sheets, games and activities, and fun facts about the history of Madeline.
Here is a post about my favorite Madeline collection and the perfect French cookies to nibble while reading!