Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Madeline at the White House" Coming Soon!

Coming to a bookstore and library near you on January 25 is a new book in the Madeline series, Madeline at the White House. Written and illustrated by John Bemelmans Marciano, Madeline at the White House tells the story of the adventurous French school girl Madeline and her visit to Washington, D.C. at the invitation of the president's daughter. Madeline and her friends have been invited to attend the annual Easter Egg hunt and roll, and they embrace the opportunity to enjoy the many wonders of our capitol, including a midnight sightseeing tour on a magic carpet of cherry blossoms.

The author and illustrator John Bemelmans Marciano is the grandson of the original Madeline creator, Ludwig Bemelmans. Ludwig Bemelmans had hoped to write a Madeline book titled Madeline Visits Caroline in the White House, with assistance from his friend Jackie Kennedy, but Bemelmans unfortunately passed away before the book could be completed. 

Author and children's literature expert Anita Silvey recounts the story behind Bemelmans' White House book project idea, as well as Bemelmans' friendship with Jackie Kennedy and her publishing career, in "A White Mouse in the White House," an article in the art and literature anthology Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out. In the article, Silvey notes, "Around 1958, before Jackie Kennedy had become First Lady, she read the book Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans to her baby daughter, Caroline, and wrote him a fan letter. Bemelmans sent back a sketch of Madeline inscribed 'for Jacqueline's baby,' and the two began corresponding." Be sure to read the entire article in Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out.

Our White House is a project of  The National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance designed to encourage young people to read more about America’s rich history and culture; to think more about America’s future; to talk more about our nation’s leadership; and to act on their own beliefs and convictions, ensuring this great democratic experiment will survive and thrive. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough introduces this creative tour de force, in which 108 renowned authors and illustrators have donated their poetry, prose, and art to help advance the cause of young people’s literacy and historical literacy. The illustrations, essays, short stories, presidential letters, personal reflections, and historical accounts in Our White House inform and entertain, offering a window on more than 200 years of American history.

Our White House is available in both hardcover and paperback. The new paperback edition features a NEW poem by Nikki Grimes about President Obama’s inauguration!

Read an interview with John Bemelmans Marciano about the new book in the article,  "Madeline Visits Washington," on

Watch a video interview with John Bemelmans Marciano on

Read Anita Silvey's blog, Anita Silvey's Children's Book-A-Day Almanac, in which she recommends a different book each day. 

Discover extensive online content, exclusive articles, history and civic education resources, discussion questions, and activities in the companion website to Our White House: