If you read a girl a story…

April 18, 2011 @ 4:54 pm | Filed under:

…she will want to go to Paris so she can tell the tiger, “Pooh-pooh!”

You will tweet about it and get an email from a friend, introducing you to a new friend who is exploring Paris with her own young daughter and blogging the whole thing in a most delicious manner.

Your little girl will ask for the same story the next day, and the day after, and on one of these days she will pore over the page where the “twelve little girls in two straight lines” frown at the bad thief, and she will furrow her brow and say, “But how can there be EVIL in PARIS??”

She will want to know all about appendectomies and scars and boarding school and more about appendectomies and the function or lack thereof of the appendix and other internal organs, and when you explain about liver and heart and lungs, she will want to know what lungs do, and when you explain about breathing, she will say, “OH GROSS!” and you will think she means lungs but it’ll turn out she means AIR goes in through your NOSE, that’s DISGUSTING!

You will demonstrate that breathing through her nose is something she does all the time, quite unconsciously, and then the two of you will lie on your bed snorting air in and out your noses, laughing hysterically along with your teenaged daughter who happened by in time for the demonstration.

You will come to the end of the book and your little girl will want to hear it again, and again, and again, every day for a week or more, and this will be just fine with you, because you learn something new every single time.

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14 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. MelanieB says:

    Delightful. Isn’t it such a fun age?

  2. sarah says:


  3. Pippi says:

    You must know about Linnea’s in Monet’s Garden, right? Another great book for a Paris-loving girl. We love Madeline here, too. In fact it’s a running joke that every my husband sits down to read with my daughter he starts out with, “In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines…”

  4. YVONNE says:


  5. Pam says:

    Who needs Five in a Row? (not knocking it, mind you…)

  6. Sue says:

    It sounds like here. I always say every day is a pop quiz for parents. That’s proving true even though they’re teens now. It is totally amazing how much we teach our children just by living with them and satisfying their curiosity.

  7. Robin Stevenson says:

    I LOVED this. I’m also a children’s author and homeschooling mom… and I was a huge fan of Madeline as a child (I could probably still recite the first book from memory…). So glad I stumbled across your blog- I’ll be back.
    Thanks- Robin

  8. Ami Jones says:

    Love, love, love!

  9. Elenatintil says:

    Ah, Madeline…. 🙂

  10. Celeste says:

    My 4.5yo would just love to give Lord Cucuface a piece of her mind!

  11. Carlie says:

    That is incredibly fabulous and makes me want a daughter. 🙂

  12. Lindsay says:

    When my son was 5 we got to go to Paris, and Madeline came along as out tour guide. I took photos of him in front of every location in the book. We even stumbled on “an old house in Paris that was covered with vines”! Happy memories, and what a way to do it!

  13. Laurajean says:

    My “little” girls are now 8 & 10, but just discovered Madeline. What a neglectful mother I’ve been! After reading the books to the older girls umpteen thousand times, I forgot the little ones! They are making up for it and still enjoying them. And dare I say, the old cartoons narrated by Christopher Plummer have been trotted out, too (netflix streaming) – those were pretty in tune with the flavor of the books, I think. (Better than Hannah Montana, anyway)

  14. Melissa Wiley says:

    Laurajean, with me it was Miss Rumphius—I was horrified a few months back to discover Rilla didn’t know that book at all. It was (is) so precious to all the other girls.

    Lindsay, how fun that you took photos at all the Madeline sites! Jealous! 🙂

    Robin, lovely to meet you–glad you found us!

    Sue: “It is totally amazing how much we teach our children just by living with them and satisfying their curiosity.” AMEN TO THAT. You’re singing my song… 🙂