I have very vivid memories of reading my favorite books as a child. Once I unlocked the key to reading, there was no stopping me! Ten Apples Up on Top, And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street, Dandelion and Hansel and Gretel are standouts in my mind.
Another one that I remember reading over and over again was Madeline. I can still see myself sitting in my first grade classroom and pulling that book out from my desk to read it. Like many children, I was entranced by the rhyming couplets like the one that opens the book…
In an old house in Paris,
All covered with vines,
Lived twelve little girls,
In two straight lines.
(I bet you remember it, too!)
When I became a mother, I had all of my favorite books as a part of my children’s library. Of course, Madeline was on the shelf!
Background About the Book
Ludwig Bemelmans, who penned all five Madeline books, was born in Austria in 1898 and came to the United States in 1914. He did many things, including being an accomplished artist, but writing children’s books was not one of them! An editor for Viking Press suggested he write a children’s book, and he took her up on it.
Although he wrote fifteen books for children, the one that stands out is Madeline. She is named for Belmeman’s wife, and her feistiness and boisterous spirit is modeled after his daughter, Barbara.
Madeline was not a typical girl for her day. In 1939, when the book was published, girls were supposed to be quiet, demure, and behave in a proper fashion. Madeline, with her independent and adventurous spirit, was not your average storybook heroine. She was permitted to break the rules within the confines of her safety net. Perhaps that is why this Caldecott Honor book, unlike so many other children’s books that have come and gone, remains a classic over 70 years later. Kids can still relate to her desire for non-conformity and rule breaking.
Traditional Madeline Costume
When your daughter walks up to the door and says “Trick or Treat”, there will be no mistaking who she is! The uniform that she and her eleven classmates wore at Miss Clavell’s boarding school is instantly recognizable.
This costume includes everything you see. The bright blue coat (perfect for chilly October nights) has an attached capelet, the distinctive white collar and of course, the bright red bow! The yellow hat with an attached ribbon on the brim completes the ensemble for the ultimate Madeline look.
This costume comes in several different sizes. This can also be used for book fairs and book projects in school.
Accessories That Finish the Look
If your daughter is going for the ultimate Madeline look, then this wig will help her achieve it. Madeline has red hair cut in a distinctive page boy style. These wig will be the perfect way to complete the costume.
Madeline also wears black shoes. This should be a staple in every girl or woman’s wardrobe! Have your daughter select a pair that she can wear at Thanksgiving and the December holidays. They really are an investment!
Featured image created on Canva