Madeline's Rescue


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Madeline loves to scare Miss Clavel with her daredevil behaviour, until the day she falls into the river and nearly drowns. If it wasn't for Genevieve, the brave dog that saves her, Madeline would be no more. Madeline loves her new friend...but so do all the other girls. How can twelve little girls look after one dog without fighting? Once more, Genevieve comes to the rescue...

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Dec 26, 2018

One More Holiday Visit With Madeline

Over ten years separate Ludwing Bemelmans's fabled children's book, "Madeline" (1939), from the second of what would be six Madeline tales, "Madeline's Rescue." Initially published in a magazine in 1951, "Madeline's Rescue" was published in book form in 1953 and won the Caldecott Medal for the best American picture book for children in 1954. In addition to the bold and mischevous Madeline, this book features two other Bemelmans characters, the dog Genevieve and Lord Cucuface, the president of the board of trustees responsible for the "old house in Paris covered with vines."

As with so many little girls, Madeline has her own mind and only reluctantly listens and follows directions. On a walk with Miss Clavel and her 11 classmates, Madeline falls of a rail into the Seine River and is "dragged safe from a watery grave" by the heroics of Genevieve. The dog is adopted by the girls and becomes an adored pet. But during the annual inspection, Lord Cucuface shoos the dog away: "Go away and don't come back!"; to which the undaunted Madeline responds:

"Lord Cucuface beware!/ Miss Genevieve, noblest dog in France,/You shall have your VEN-GE-ANCE!"

After a search hither and yon through Paris, Genevieve reappears and the twelve little girls fight over her. Three times, Miss Clavel rises from her bed, exclaiming "Something is not Right!" But the story works out in the end.

The illustrations in the book, in the spontaneous, sketchy yellow, black and white that became a "Madeline" trademark richly deserved the Caldecott medal, with portrayals of the pompous Cucuface, Madeline's solemn declaration, standing on a chair, of VEN-GE-ANCE, the panicked flights of Miss Clavel,and Genevieve and her relationship with the little girls.

The original "Madline" and this first follow-up story remain for me the best of the Madeline tales. I have been having a lovely time (2009) with my four year old granddaughter reading these stories. Madeline, with her mischief and eclat, is among the characters in children's literature that can be enjoyed by youngsters and adults alike.

Robin Friedman

Joseph F. L

Feb 14, 2013

good book

cute story about Madeline and a grandaughter loved this and all madeline books.I purchased this one for a little neighbor who just got into madeline things

Judy B

Feb 2, 2012

Didn't realize the book was so small in size. I usually see Madeline books that are much larger. But content was the same.

Book was in excellent condition

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