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Madeline and the Bad Hat

Last updated Thursday, August 9, 2012

Author: Ludwig Bemelmans
Illustrator: Ludwig Bemelmans
Date of Publication: 1957
ISBN: 0670446149
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Aug. 2012

Synopsis: One day the Spanish ambassador moves into the Parisian house next door to Miss Clavel, Madeline, and her 11 classmates. And, His Excellency has a boy! Pepito, as he is named, is not just any boy: according to Madeline, he is a "bad hat"--for starters, he's equipped with an irksome slingshot, he "ghosts," and he boasts. And when Miss Clavel gives him a box of tools to function as an "outlet for his energy," he makes a guillotine for the cook's chickens. ("He ate them ROASTED, GRILLED, AND FRITO! Oh what a horror was PEPITO.") Children will love Ludwig Bemelmans's jaunty rhymes and simple, evocative drawings, and the ferocity with which the feisty Madeline suspects, condemns, and rebuffs the boisterous new boy neighbor. In the end, however, everything comes out right, and we, along with Miss Clavel, can relax.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do you think the Bad Hat is?
•  What do you think is going to happen to Madeline and the Bad Hat?
•  Have you read any other Madeline books?

•  Ambassador: representative of another country
•  Bliss: happiness
•  Menagerie: collection of animals
•  Molest: bother
•  Outlet: way of expressing
•  Sorrowing: sadness
•  Barbarian: a wild person

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What/who is the Bad Hat in this story?
•  What things does Pepito do that bothers Madeline and the other girls?
•  How does Pepito change?

Craft ideas:
•  "Teddy Bear" bad hat.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!