September 05, 2014

French Friday: Madeline turns 75

September 5, 2014 Photo (248/365):
"Joyeux 75e Anniversaire, chère Madeleine!"

Happy Birthday to "the littlest one"/ « la plus petite », Madeline (Madeleine en français) who was "born" on September 5, 1939. Ludwig Bemelmans' children's book about twelve little girls in a Parisian boarding school has been a perennial favorite for three generations.  I've always enjoyed Bemelmans' drawings of the Paris Opera, Notre Dame in the rain and the girls playing in the Luxembourg gardens. These illustrations, the rhythmic text, and Madeline's spunky attitude, which earned the book the 1940 Caldecott award, remain timeless.

"In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines 
lived twelve little girls in two straight lines..."

 « A Paris, dans une vielle maison 
aux murs recouverts de vignes 
vivaient douze petites filles... »

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In honor of Madeline's 75th birthday,
revisit this classic book:


...or for a less traditional, more mature version of the story
(complete with social commentary!), check out this rendition:



"That's all there is; there isn't any more."