Sunday, December 5, 2010

In an old house in Forrest

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 smiled at the good and frowned at the bad and sometimes they were very sad. They left the house at half past nine in two straight lines in rain or shine — the smallest one was Madeline.

In another old house that stood next door, lived Pepito, the son of the Spanish Ambassador. An Ambassador doesn't have to pay rent, But he has to move to wherever he's sent.

One day the Spanish Ambassador, moved into the house next door. "Look, my darlings, what bliss, what joy! His Excellency has a boy."

"And that's all there is -- there isn't any more."

Source: Ludwig Bemelmans (1898 – 1962), German American author, an internationally known gourmet and also a writer and illustrator of children's books. He is most noted today for the series of Madeline books.  Bemelmans published six Madeline stories in his lifetime, and a seventh was discovered and published posthumously.  They are:

1. Madeline, 1939: Madeline gets her appendix out.

2. Madeline's Rescue, 1953: Madeline gets rescued by a dog (later on named Genevieve). Winner of the Caldecott Medal for 1954.

3. Madeline and the Bad Hat, 1956: The "bad hat" Pepito, is the Spanish ambassador's son.

4. Madeline and the Gypsies, 1959: Madeline and Pepito have an adventure at a gypsy circus.

5. Madeline in London, 1961: Pepito moves to London, and Madeline and the girls go to visit him.

6. Madeline's Christmas, 1985: Everyone in the house has a cold, except Madeline. (First published in McCall's in 1956).

7. Madeline in America and Other Holiday Tales, 1999: Madeline inherits a fortune from her rich American great-grandfather. The book also reveals Madeline's surname, which is Fogg, as in Madeline Fogg.

Photos by me.  The suburb of Forrest in the the embassy belt of Canberra, Australia's national capital.


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