When I was little I loved Madeline. She was French; she had an adorable hat; she wasn’t afraid of tigers; she got her appendix out. What more could a girl want?
So of course I was psyched to see this interview with the author John Bemelmans Marciano of Madeline’s latest adventure, Madeline at The White House. He’s also the grandson of Ludwig Bemelmans, author and creator of the Madeline books. What a fantastic lineage! Marciano talks about taking up the Madeline series:
“Q: Taking on the Madeline series is a big job, were you nervous continuing the series and how did you go about it?
A: Most definitely. At first, I tried to search for a style that was consciously different from my grandfather, artwise, but as I’ve gone on I’ve returned more to the look of the originals, and realized that in ways that are important, my own style comes out. What’s most important is that the spirit and honesty of the originals are kept going.”
I love that mention of the “spirit and honesty of the originals” continuing for a new generation. I’m sure that’s very hard for an artist to maintain while also making sure to utilize their own creativity. But it’s also a reason why these characters are so beloved and lasting.
Also really cute–this video of Marciano reading his book at the White House Easter Egg Roll last year:
This makes me want to break out my old Madeline books!