On Friday, John Bemelmans Marciano visited our bookstore in Oxford to sign his latest Madeline book MADELINE AT THE WHITE HOUSE.
John is the grandson of Ludwig Bemelmans who wrote the original Madeline series, and John has stayed true to both his grandfather's painting and writing styles. The paintings have that wonderful, loose Bemelmans' style, and the prose has a wonderful quirky offbeat rhyme. If you loved the Madeline books as a child, you will love what John has done to give us more beautiful books about the sassy little redhead.
Katie and I are total fangirls. Plus, I loved getting to meet another Viking author/illustrator (and I was in school with John's brother ... I only stalked his brother a little when I found out who his grandfather was).
While in Mississippi, John also paid a visit to Lemuria, another wonderful indie bookstore, in Jackson. On their blog in the weeks preceding John Marciano's visit, readers were asked to share their favorite Madeline stories.
This is my copy of Madeline which was given to me by my beloved red-headed babysitter Madlyn. She lived down the street from us and introduced me to a world of wonderful children's books--everything from Beatrix Potter and Mother Goose to A Wrinkle in Time. She was also an incredible artist. But, most importantly, she was loving and encouraging and VERY mischievous (we were always covering up for each other). I'm sad to say that Madlyn was killed by a drunk driver when I was nine.
Here's how she signed my book which was my birthday present when I turned three.
Even though she died when I was still youn, she'll always have a place in my heart and I think about her so much, especially now that I have children of my own. It is amazing how much of an influence Madlyn had over me--not just when I was young, but throughout my life.
Here's to Madeline ... and Madlyn.