Wednesday, October 31, 2012

In the Artroom: Happy Halloween from Madeline!

Because I dress pretty outrageous most days, the kids seemed to be more surprised by my hair than anything else. I think I heard an equal amount of "Did you cut your hair?!" and "Hey, it's a giant Madeline!" hat and Madeline book: thrifted; dress: DearCreatures; tights and skirt: Target; shoes: Clarks; big red bow: added by me
 Bonjour, Trick or Treaters! Despite the fact that we have a no-costume rule at school, I decided to dress as Madeline today. It's educational, fun and gave me an excuse to pick up this super sweet dress. Which I wore as a tunic because, well, I didn't want to turn my lesson into the Madeline Peep-Show, if you know what I mean.

“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines
Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines
In two straight lines they broke their bread
And brushed their teeth and went to bed.
They left the house at half past nine
In two straight lines in rain or shine-
The smallest one was Madeline.”

 I had so much fun reading Madeline to the kids especially since we are still on our Parisian kick. I used this amazing bulletin board created by one of my practicum students. Under each leaf, there were facts all about the Eiffel Tower that the kids enjoyed learning about. I added my own fun facts. For example, we learned that the Tower is 59 giraffes tall and as heavy as 1,341 elephants. That's one big Iron Lady.
 I adore the illustrations in this book. They are the perfect mix of messy and retro. I did some research on the author behind the Madeline books that I thought I'd share with you.
Above is the author, his daughter Barbara (said to be who Madeline is modeled after) and his wife Madeline or Mimi. Born in Austria in 1898, Ludwig (best name ever) Bemelmans spent the early years of his life in the hotel business. He became a US citizen sometime in his thirties. Ludwig always had a passion for art but not so much for writing. It was at the suggestion of a friend that he write a children's book. His first was written in 1934.
Love this image of Notre Dame. Another one my practicum kids created a bulletin board featuring it and we used it today as well.
Poor little Madeline's appendix burst! But she ends up with that super sweet scar to show for it.
 The author wrote seven Madeline books (the last one was not discovered until after his death) and other children and adult books. Although Ludwig became famous for his Madeline books, he always considered himself more an artist than a writer. In fact, he has works of art on display in the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the MuseĆ© National d'Art of Paris.
 I still love Madeline the best. Especially if it means a big read bow and a sweet sailor dress. Merci, Madeline! Au revoir and Happy Halloween!


  1. You look fabulous in your Madeline inspired outfit!

  2. Fab Madeline outfit! Ludwig is my absolute favorite writer. His book Hotel Bemelmans has short stories that my high school students love. All his travel writing has the same charm. His behind-the-kitchen door forays into the world of the exclusive restaurant world are sheer genius.

  3. Kay -- I'll have to check that out, sounds very interesting! Thanks!

  4. That is the cutest! Way to go!

  5. Anonymous11/01/2012

    So cute! We love Madeline in my house, too. Can I come and play in your art room? It looks like so much fun!

  6. Love that outfit, you pretty girl!


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