Monday, December 14, 2009

Ludwig Bemelmans

It's Monday, Picture Books Past. Ludwig Bemelmans created the beloved character, Madeline, who lives in his colorful and energetic paintings set in Paris. The first book, Madeline, was recognized as a Caldecott Honor book in 1940. He won the Caldecott medal for Madeline's Rescue in 1954. Who was he? There's a bio on the "official" Madeline site here. Another version of his life story is here on Wikipedia. On the Barnes and Noble site, here, there's a readable first chapter from a biography of Bemelmans, written by his grandson (who has continued the Madeline books.) This interesting excerpt describes the turmoil of his childhood in Europe and life in America as a young man. Check out how the B&N site lets one browse the chapter--click on the "see inside" icon.

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