And the smallest one was Madeline

In an hold house in Paris
that was covered with vines
lived twelve little girls
in two straight lines

— Ludwig Bemelmans

I didn’t actually really like the Madeline books as a child, but a few years ago, searching for inspiration to help design a dragon for a MUSH, a dragon for a small spunky redhead, a dragon from a clutch with a theme of children’s stories, I found Madeline and fell in love.

She’s a little French orphan who gets into the worst possible trouble, and always ends up a heroine, thanks to her intelligence, ingenuity and charm – how could you not love a character like that. More spunky than actually cute, she’s precocious, a trait I’m more than a little bit familiar with, and vivacious – a trait I wish I had more of.

While I don’t generally like picture books, in these books the drawings are worth bending my rule for, because they manage to be almost minimalist, and yet full of detail at the same time.

A study in contrasts, like the main character herself.

(Posted from Denny’s where my peach French toast is getting cold.)