July 02, 2014
/ ©The Estate of Ludwig Bemelmans

Telling Madeline's Story


Following in your grandfather’s footsteps can be a challenge. John Bemelmans Marciano is the grandson of Ludwig Bemelmans, writer and illustrator of the classic Madeline book series. This year is the 75th  anniversary of the first book about the pint-size, red-haired girl who lived “in an old house in Paris that was covered in vines.” For generations, children have joined Madeline on wild adventures in Paris, France, and London, England. Now, thanks to Marciano, the adventures continue, with the same kinds of rhythmic verses and illustrations. Bemelmans’s grandson has taken Madeline on new adventures to the White House and Rome, teaching us along the way to be outgoing, challenge the rules, ask questions, and—most important—always be kind to others. 
Much is planned this year for Madeline’s 75th anniversary. Beginning July 4, the New York Historical Society will open an exhibition called Madeline in New York: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans. It features more than 90 works of his art. The show will include drawings from all his Madeline books and newly rediscovered art by Bemelmans. Even the artist’s paint box will be on display. The exhibition will travel to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, in Amherst, Massachusetts, in the fall.
On April 30, Marciano was the featured guest at the book fair for Marymount School, in New York City. In the school—a former mansion—he was welcomed by enthusiastic, uniformed girls sitting in two straight rows—just like Madeline and her classmates. Afterward, he sat down for an interview with TFK Kid Reporter Grace Clark, who attends the school. Watch their interview in the video above. (Filmed and edited by Stephanie Kraus)
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