Love from Madeline

Viking. (Madeline). Dec. 2021. 32p. Tr $8.99. ISBN 9780593349830.
PreS–A classic character is revisited in a rhyming ode to love and kindness. The first in a series of new Madeline titles to be published by Viking, this book will charm newcomers with light, sketchy drawings. Bemelmans’s work is well emulated here in digitized full-color pages by illustrator Salerno. The book is short: just 12 full-page spreads, each with one line. The text reminds readers to say good morning, to help each other, and to enjoy one another. The story ends with a promise: “No matter where you roam, love is always found at home.” In the final spread, Miss Clevel presides over the 12 beds as she has done since the first Madeline book was published in 1939. Madeline has been beloved since then, but this title is not a continuation of the series. Neither is it an introduction for a new audience to the character, or a sneak peek into her world. There is no story here to get a sense of the Madeline we know; she is merely superimposed onto a generic spate of situations. It is not Madeline in this book; it’s a picture of Madeline. This title has little to recommend it.
VERDICT A nostalgic greeting card of a book with limited potential for circulation in most collections.

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