My Book Recommendation

Book Cover

Rhymes in simple verses express various ways in which to demonstrate love. Some of the rhymes are tortured, as in coupling spend and friends, and some of the lines are awkward and lack the lively flow and appeal of the original Madeline books—but the sentiment is true. Madeline, whose name does not appear in the text, is the star of the show and demonstrates the book’s broad suggestions about kindness with concrete examples (giving someone “a lift” is paired with an image of her riding a scooter with a friend). She also climbs a tree to rescue a kitten, removes a thorn from a lion’s paw, comforts a friend whose doll is broken, helps an older person carrying a cane, and warmly greets people. Salerno honors Bemelmans’ iconic work but adds a modern sensibility with brightly colored illustrations in thick, black outlines that move across white spaces. Readers will find the facial expressions and body language of Madeline and those with whom she interacts varied and engaging. On her way home at the end of the two straight lines (with Miss Clavel in the lead, of course), Madeline turns to look directly at readers. All the characters present White with the exception of a brown-skinned child on the scooter.

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