Cover image for Madeline in America and other holiday tales
Title:
Madeline in America and other holiday tales
Author:
Bemelmans, Ludwig, 1898-1962.
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : A.A. Levine Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
111 pages : illustrations (some color), map, music ; 32 cm
Language:
English
Contents:
Madeline in America -- The count and the cobbler -- A Bemelmans Christmas memory -- Sunshine.
Reading Level:
NP Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 5.2 1.0 89719.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.5 3 Quiz: 17158 Guided reading level: O.
ISBN:
9780590039109

9780590043069
Format :
Book

Available:*

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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Oversize
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PIC BK Juvenile Current Holiday Item Childrens Area-Holiday
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Holiday
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Holiday
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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On Order

Summary

Summary

In this beautiful gift book, John Bemelmans Marciano has brought to fruition a neverbefore-published manuscript written by his grandfather Ludwig - the tale of Madeline's only trip to America and her holiday adventures. Includes two more of Bemelmans's wonderful Christmas stories.


Author Notes

Ludwig Bemelmans, April 27, 1898 - October 1, 1962 Ludwig Bemelmans was born on April 27, 1898 in Meran, then Austria. At the age of eight, his parents divorced and he moved with his mother to Regensburg, Germany. He was enrolled into various public and private schools and failed out of most of them. At the age of twelve, unsure of what else to do with him, Bemelmans was apprenticed to an uncle in the hotel business and proceeded to go through many jobs, being repeatedly dismissed. After supposedly shooting and almost killing a waiter, his family gave him the ultimatum of reform school or emigration to the United States. He arrived in America in 1914 with reference letters from his uncle to various hotel managers in New York.

Bemelmans obtained a job as a waiter in the Ritz-Carlton, but left that job to join the Army in 1917. In the Army, he worked with German speaking recruits and as a military hospital guard. In 1918, Bemelmans became a naturalized citizen, returning to hotel and restaurant work a year later, eventually opening his own restaurant. In the 1934, at the suggestion of one of his friends, Bemelmans began to write, producing his first children's book, "Hansi." He was best known though, for his series of books about the little french girl, "Madeline," which is still a childhood favorite. "Madeline's Rescue," the second book in the series, won the Caldecott Medal in 1953.

His first book for adults was entitled, "My War with the United States" and was a diary of his experiences in the service during World War I. In fact, Bemelmans usually wrote his books based on his life experiences, such as "Life Class" and "Hotel Splendide," about his life as a restaurateur, his travels to Ecuador and Italy appeared in "The Donkey Inside" and "Italian Holiday," and his brief stint as a screenwriter in Hollywood was the basis for "Dirty Eddie."

Bemelmans wrote about a book or two a year and was a contributor to Town and Country and Horizon, as well as a cover illustrator for The New Yorker. In his later years, Bemelmans enjoyed some small fame from painting, with some of his work appearing in various galleries.

Ludwig Bemelmans died of pancreatic cancer in New York on October 1, 1962.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Focus: Golden Girls? The new premise in children's publishing isn't complicated: focus on books that will sell in bookstores. Just like in supermarkets, this retailing concept translates into providing product that has name recognition and brand loyalty. One manifestation of this trend has been to spin off children's literature's classic characters into toys, games, and all other conceivable merchandise until they're gyrating like tops. Call a newer take on pushing the bookstore market the revival strategy: finding unpublished manuscripts about old favorites, reissuing stories about familiar characters, and abridging classics into picture books for a younger age group than the original readers. Clearly this gambit makes sense in the bookstore world, where adult buyers reach for something--anything--that looks familiar. But how does it translate for libraries, where as professionals we prefer that our top-of-the-line brands remain just that? This fall three books (among others) were published that fit into the revival strategy. They work with varying degrees of success. The text and sketches for Madeline in America were found by Ludwig Bemelmans' grandson, John Bemelmans Marciano, in the author's files. In an informative preface, Marciano describes how his grandfather met Stanley Marcus of Neiman-Marcus in the early 1950s, prompting Bemelmans to write Madeline in Texas. That book was never finished, though a truncated version was offered as a giveaway to N-M shoppers. After discovering the manuscript, Marciano researched Texas sites for background images and then completed the pictures in full color. The book is an attractive offering. Although the linework of the drawings seems less precise than in the other books, it's a delight to see the art in full color. The story is fun, too, as Madeline, Miss Clavel, and the rest of the girls ride and rope, visit an oil well, and go shopping in the "world's greatest store" (happily not identified as Neiman-Marcus.) Several additional writings are included in the book . "The Count and the Cobbler" is a short, appealing parable. "Sunshine," the story of a landlord who wants to dislodge a music teacher on Christmas Eve, features some very nice art but becomes tedious. Children won't be terribly interested in the additional matter, but the Texas adventure will be welcome for anyone craving more Madeline. Less successful is the reissue of Kay Thompson's Eloise at Christmas, the latest in the recent effort to relaunch the career of the little girl who lives at the Plaza in New York. Eloise, always less read than Madeline, evokes a hazy memory for many adults and is probably unknown to most children. Kids who don't know Eloise's story will wonder where her parents are and what she's doing running around a hotel. The hodge-podge text is hard to read aloud, right from the first rhyme: "Once there was this child / You know her I believe / Here's who she is me ELOISE / and it's Christmas eve." The best part of the Eloise series has always been Hilary Knight's bursting-with-life artwork, and that's especially true here. The very long text, bouncing all over the place, gets both support and focus in Knight's pictures, four spreads of which are new to this book. It is the pen-and-ink art juxtaposed against peppermint-pink backgrounds that makes the book worth purchasing for libraries that want to own all four Eloise titles or that have demand. Rachel Field's Hitty, is a different animal. This is not just an illustrated version of the Newbery-winning Hitty: Her First Hundred Years, nor even an illustrated abridgement. Wells takes the story in a new direction. As she admits in the author's note, when Susan Jeffers asked her to shorten the story so Jeffers could illustrate it anew, Wells "didn't want to touch it." Warned off by both booksellers and librarians, Wells soon realized even they hadn't read the book in 30 years. Consequently, she decided to give it new life. Librarians who do reread Hitty might be surprised at what they find. What readers remember, of course, is the story of a carved doll who gets lost and found all over the world. What they probably don't remember are some of the particulars: Hitty's shipwreck on a South Sea island where near-naked "savages" act "like a parcel of children." Back in America Hitty is found by black children who, along with their elders, speak a dialect that includes lots of "dis and dat" and whose white eyeballs and teeth gleam. Hitty's political incorrectness is a topic for another piece, but suffice it to say, in the Wells and Jeffers version, it's gone. So much so that in the picture of the South Sea islanders, the men are wrapped in gleaming robes down to their toes. Wells has abridged the first half of her text from Hitty, and though choppy in spots, it gives the flavor of the original and covers a good deal of ground in an abbreviated manner. Then Wells takes unexpected liberty. In the original, Hitty almost gets sent south during the Civil War. Wells brings her there and later to other new places. "Hitty's adventures tumbled suddenly into a much noiser and more diverse American landscape," Wells notes. She has indeed broadened the story, perhaps too much, with Hitty now meeting, among others, a girl in a wheelchair and Teddy Roosevelt's children. Purists will object to the changes, but there is no doubt that Jeffers and Wells have produced a genuinely beautiful book. Jeffers is at the top of her game, offering pictures that are delightful in their detail and charming in their execution. The text, which was rewritten with the permission of Field's estate, is also winning, especially when Wells begins adding her own layers, where the writing seems most comfortable. The story continually propels readers deeper into the mix of Hitty's new and original adventures, and children will be caught in a story that's true to the original in spirit if not in details. Librarians need to know that this isn't their mothers' Hitty, but finally, that may not be a bad thing. Clearly, bookstore patrons will be happy to find the oversize, attractive Hitty (and Madeline and perhaps Eloise, too) waiting to be plucked from the shelves. Librarians, however, should ask a few questions about each "new" revival: What changes have been made to the text and the art? How does the book stack up against others in the series? And perhaps most important, would this book merit purchase if it didn't have a familiar title? Unlike Hitty, not all books need a second hundred years. --Ilene Cooper


Publisher's Weekly Review

Alas, this seems like ersatz MadelineÄbut try telling that to the hordes of Madeline fans who will clamor for it. As a note explains, during the 1950s Bemelmans drafted a Madeline adventure set in Texas at Christmas and featuring the department store owned by his friend Stanley Marcus; a version was passed out to Neiman-Marcus customers, and Bemelmans abandoned the project. Here his grandson supplies his own color illustrations for the discarded text; the quantum difference between Bemelman's offhand genius and the product here is revealed with a simple comparison of sketches drawn by Bemelmans, reproduced on the back of the jacket, with the extrapolations inside. The text, clearly a work in progress, splices together a story line from Madeline and the Gypsies with a cowboy motif and a big promotion for "the world's greatest store"; the heroine, inheriting a Texas-size fortune, seems unlike the "real" Madeline ("And there'll be no more school, that is the best part./ For who is rich is already smart," opines this impostor). Two other Bemelmans tales with Christmas settings are also included, with art similarly refurbished by Marciano. Ages 5-8. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-A collection of three stories, only one of which includes Madeline. In "Madeline in America," from Ludwig Bemelmans's manuscript and pencil sketches, the young orphan goes to Texas to check out her inheritance from her great-grandpapa. After a few western adventures, the will is read; upon learning that her wealth will come to her on her 21st birthday, she returns to Paris with Miss Clavel. "The Count and the Cobbler" tells of a poor shoemaker whose youngest son inadvertently enables the man to afford shoes for his family. "Sunshine," set in New York City, tells of a grouchy old landlord and his problems with his tenant, a music teacher. The latter two stories are both "taken from the author's archives." Although the illustrations are quite typically Bemelmans and have that well-known charm, the rhyming and rhythm of the text are forced and the stories fall flat. This oversized volume will no doubt be purchased by many consumers lured by the "look," but the stories are disappointing. Large libraries will want it, but it's no "Madeline" masterpiece.-Lisa Falk, Los Angeles Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

John Bemelmans MarcianoBarbara Bemelmans
Prefacep. 9
Madeline in Americap. 11
The Count and the Cobblerp. 55
A Bemelmans Christmas Memoryp. 63
Sunshinep. 67
Places to Find in These Storiesp. 111