Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Madeline’s Rescue

Madeline’s Rescue

Ludwig Bemelmans
Picture Book  Series
For ages 4 to 6
Penguin, 1953   ISBN: 978-0670447169

In an "old house in Paris that was covered with vines" there live twelve little girls, and Miss Clavel, the lady who cares for them. One of these little girls is Madeline, who knows all too well how to worry poor Miss Clavel. Usually nothing too terrible comes of Madeline’s adventures and misadventures, but one day things do go wrong. Madeline decides to walk on the wall of a bridge, and just when she is reaching the end her foot slips and the little girl ends up falling in the river.

Of course a great commotion and much anxiety follows. How on earth is Miss Clavel supposed to rescue her wayward little charge this time? Thankfully for Madeline and for all those who love her, there is someone around who is very good at rescuing little girls from rivers. The someone is a dog, a wonderful homeless dog who comes to live in the old house with Miss Clavel and her twelve little girls.

The girls name the dog Genevieve and they all love her. Unfortunately they want to claim the dog for their own and there is much arguing about who is to pet, feed, and sleep with the much loved canine. The something truly dreadful happens; the board of trustees decides that the girls cannot keep a dog in the school and one of the trustees sends poor Genevieve away.

Children will love the surprising ending to this wonderful story about Madeline and her companions. Any child who has had to share a pet with others will understand how much each of the little girls wants Genevieve for their own.