Little Girls in Two Straight Lines: Madeline

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans. 1939.

Sweet Matisse-like illustrations with a strong plot. Madeline is characterized as being fearless, but she cries at her pain (her appendix!), so the severity of her illness is obvious. Everyone’s concern for her is touching and makes boarding school a little less lonely.

The rhyme is more organic than sing-song, which greatly enhancing read-aloud pleasure. 

The commentary on cultural expectations for girls brought out in Inside Picture Books (Yale Nota Bene) (Spitz) was interesting, however. I too had noted the slight phallic nature of the nuns, but I thought it was just me.