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A Little Literacy, Please: Are you there, God…it’s me MADELINE

By Leslie Lindsay

Having redheads has opened my eyes to the world of female literary characters.  There’s Pippy Longstocking, Strawberry Shortcake, Fancy Nancy, and of course, Madeline.  So it’s no surprise that my girls have several Madeline-themed accessories–from the books to the dolls.  And of course, there is yet another literary connection…Judy Blume.

What?!  Bear with me.  She doesn’t have red hair (at least not to my knowledge), but she loves Madeline, in fact, as a child it was one of the first books she recalls having a strong fondness for.  The book, Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans first appeared in 1939 (Simon & Schuster).  Interestingly, the book was first presented to Viking who turned it down!  Viking later picked it up again after Simon & Schuster put it out of print sometime in the 1950’s…but I digress.

Seems young Judy Blume read the book over and over, even memorizing it so it appeared she was reading.  Since the had come from the library, she hid the book in a kitchen drawer so her mother would never make her return it.  Late notices arrrived and her mother never knew where it was hiding…well, long story short…Ms. Blume became an icon for young readers, particularly girls as they branched out into the world of “chapter books.”  I am sure you all are familiar with, Are You There God, it’s Me, Margaret? among others.

Ms. Blume mentions that her love for reading–and writing–comes from a yearing to learn about others and herself.  And that, is something I think we can all relate to.

****NEXT WEEK 9/6/11:  If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numerhoff will be the featured book.  Plus, I will be giving away some goodies to a lucky blog reader.  Stay tuned to learn more and to participate in the give-away.****

More on Madeline:


Madeline and Her Dog (Penguin Young Readers, L2)

A new book featuring Madeline (by the grandson of the original author) is due to make its appearance September 1st of this year.  Madeline and her Dog is a step-2 early reader, a new genre for Madeline.  Can you guess who just ordered that?!

Judy Blume:


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