Saturday, August 13, 2016

Madeline and the Gypsies by Ludwig Bemelmans


It was difficult trying to relate and enjoy this book because we live in the 21st century. Growing up my mother and my family always told me about the dangers of talking to strangers and what to do if I found myself lost or in need of any help. Since we live in an age where you cannot even leave your child alone for 5 minutes by themselves I found this story to be unbelievable.

Madeline and the gang are off to visit the carnival. Everything is going smoothly until it starts raining and all hell breaks loose. Miss Clavel gather up everyone and heads back to the house to escape the bad weather and everything seems fine until she realizes that Madeline is still at the Carnival. We discover that Madeline and Pepito were in the Ferris Wheel when the gang left and now are lost and do not know how to get back home.

The carnival people which includes an elderly gypsy, a ringmaster, and a few others accept Madeline and Pepito as new members and leave Paris. The gypsy loves their company and never wants them to leave. Miss Clavel and the girls are heartbroken that weeks have past without word of Madeline until they receive a letter from Pepito and Madeline about their wonderful adventures in the carnival and revealed their location because they want to go home.

Realistically if a Gypsy like this one in the story practically kidnapped you and never wants you to leave then she would make sure that you are kept as prisoners never to return home. I am sorry that I sound dark and depressing but realistically this book failed to teach your kids the dangers of being on their own without their parents. Madeline and Pepito were gullible that life in the circus is great and wonderful and they regret it later on when they want to go back home.

I believe books teaches people and it's important to know the message you want to illustrate and to make sure that you are not showcasing something else that can make people come to awful conclusions. I do not believe books causes violence like if you read a book like Rage by Stephen King, I do not believe that a teenager tomorrow is going to buy a gun and take a classroom hostage because of a book. 

But when you are writing books for children, it is quite simple to teach them what is acceptable in a book. If I read this book as a child, I would believe it's perfectly acceptable to get lost and not bother calling my parents to pick me up or call for help. These characters could careless about their loved ones and friends when they realized that they are alone in the Carnival and that got me mad and outrage because I know for a fact that a kid would follow these characters footsteps regardless whether they are at a circus, zoo, or Disney world.

I'm sorry to go off on this rant but it really got me mad when reading this book and discover this children could careless about their loved ones and it was later on that they went into panic mood. Most children who would get essentially kidnapped by this story plot would unfortunately never make it back to their loved ones ever again. Hopefully parents can teach their kids what to do when you end up lost.

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