Books by John Bemelmans Marciano

THE NO-GOOD NINE by John Bemelmans Marciano
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"A tongue-in-cheek romp with currently topical overtones. (Fantasy. 11-13)"
Nine (or thereabouts) Depression-era Naughty Listers set out to petition Santa for toys rather than coal in their stockings. Read full book review >
RUNAWAY ROSA by John Bemelmans Marciano
Released: Aug. 21, 2018

"Trials, tempests, and triumphs in a still-beguiling Italian country setting. (historical and cultural afterwords) (Fantasy. 8-10)"
Gender expectations get a tweak with the arrival of a new little sibling for twins Emilio and Rosa. Read full book review >
RESPECT YOUR GHOSTS by John Bemelmans Marciano
Released: April 18, 2017

"A droll picture of life yesteryear in a—seemingly—ordinary Italian town. (map, cultural note) (Historical fantasy. 8-10)"
Nine-year-old Sergio may not be the brightest bulb in town, but he shines after helping to settle a 137-year-old feud between two ghosts in Marciano's latest visit to Benevento. Read full book review >
BEWARE THE CLOPPER! by John Bemelmans Marciano
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"The tongue-in-cheek tale goes on, with enticing hints of adventures and revelations to come. (Fantasy. 8-10)"
In a third episode set in the (supposedly) witch-ridden Italian town, curious Maria Beppina makes a startling discovery when she stops running from the scary "Clopper." Read full book review >
MISCHIEF SEASON by John Bemelmans Marciano
Released: April 12, 2016

"Witches never actually step into sight, but their offstage presence adds shivery hints of danger to this lightweight opener. (town map) (Fantasy. 8-10)"
Of all the magical residents in an Italian town long renowned for its various sorts of witches, the mischievous Janara may be the most mysterious—and troublesome. Read full book review >
THE ALL-POWERFUL RING by John Bemelmans Marciano
Released: April 12, 2016

"A fresh and pleasing Continental sojourn for chapter-book readers. (map, historical note) (Fantasy. 8-10)"
Primo is sure that the gold ring he finds in a fish's stomach must have magical powers. But what are they? Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 5, 2014

"A lively perspective on globalism as it relates to currency and systems of measurement."
Marciano, best known as an illustrator and author of popular children's books (Madeline at the White House, 2011, etc.), delves into the political ramifications of the American and French revolutions on the adoption of the metric system. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 8, 2013

"Encore, Madeline! (Picture book. 4-8)"
Much-beloved and as spirited as ever, Madeline is back in Paris to help out a miserable ghost and create a scare of her own intended for the school's headmaster. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 3, 2013

"Freely embracing the literary principle that, at bottom, evil is better fun than good, this envelope-pushing bonbon may not have an easily discernible moral, but that's its strength. (Gothic humor. 10-14)"
Adult readers may find themselves desperately searching the subtext of this book for hidden lessons; children will probably just relish it. Read full book review >
MADELINE AT THE WHITE HOUSE by John Bemelmans Marciano
Released: Jan. 1, 2011

"In an old white house in Washington, D.C., / Lived as lonely a girl as there can be…." Madeline and her cohorts revisit America in the latest sequel from Bemelmans' grandson—this time to join the president's solitary daughter for Easter egg-rolling on the White House lawn. That night (as Miss Clavel and the other girls sleep off the effects of too much party food), Penelope and Madeline enjoy an aerial nighttime tour of the city's monuments courtesy of the magician introduced in Madeline's Christmas. As before (Madeline and the Cats of Rome, 2008, etc.), Marciano closes with a note linking this spinoff to his grandfather's unfinished work. He also pairs verse that channels his esteemed progenitor's in tone and occasionally forced rhyme to illustrations that make a close but not exact match in style. Sandwiched between endpaper views of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Bemelmans is buried in Arlington), this homage offers a reasonably seamless continuation of the classic series, far closer in lilt and spirit than, for instance, the recent spate of Corduroy and Curious George travesties. (Picture book. 4-6)Read full book review >
MADELINE AND THE CATS OF ROME by John Bemelmans Marciano
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

Having inched his way into his grandfather's spotlight with a Madeline board book and other tie-ins, Marciano tries out a full-dress solo performance here—and makes the grade nicely. Looking and sounding just like the classic episodes, this all-original outing takes Madeline and her schoolmates on a rhymed trip to sunny Rome where, after visiting the Sistine Chapel and other familiar sights, she and Genevieve hare off after a young thief who snatches Miss Clavel's camera. After a brisk chase they reclaim the camera, but find themselves (briefly) under arrest and also saddled with an entire old houseful of stray cats. Though an unexplained general costume change partway through breaks the visual continuity, Marciano sketches children, tourists and their surroundings with that old, loose, familiar vim—in (as further homage) alternate sets of full-color scenes and pages in yellow and black. Like the newer Amelia Bedelias, this doesn't exactly take the perennial favorite in new directions, but it does seamlessly extend the series. (Picture book. 6-8) Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 2005

Lonely and bored, Luca would love to play outside in the summer sun rather than help run the family café in Venice. Grateful to leave early one afternoon, he walks toward the Grand Canal to find hordes of tourists crowding St. Mark's Square. Missing his wintertime playmates who are on vacation, Luca laments his predicament as he sits along the steps of the canal. Suddenly, he's surprised by the unlikely appearance of a dolphin. Angered and embarrassed when the dolphin hides from his unbelieving and less than amused parents, Luca falls into the canal in a moment of heated ranting, lands on the submerged dolphin's back and takes off on a wild, adventurous romp through the city of waterways as dolphin and boy leap over and under bridges, gondolas, hanging laundry and astonished onlookers. Marciano, grandson of the famous creator of the Madeleine books, has embedded choice Italian phrases within his colorfully painted scenes of Venice, adding to the ambiance and symbolic flavor of the city and its residents. Imaginative and playful. (glossary, author's note) (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
HAROLD’S TAIL by John Bemelmans Marciano
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

Ever thought about the difference between a rat and a squirrel? Marciano has—and the result is a study of prejudice and elitism that never once loses sight of its frolicking tail . . . er, tale. Harold, squirrel and proud owner of a fluffy tail, has the perfect life in Manhattan. Admirers have always lovingly supplied him with food. But Sidney, a conniving rat, alters his life forever when he fools Harold, naïve and sweet, into relinquishing his tail fur to Sidney and is immediately taken for a rat. Harold loses his home to Sidney and must now make his way in a world where he's despised. A friendly group of rats takes him in and teaches him the ways of scrounging. Oddly, it takes many months for Harold's tail to grow back, but having learned that it's what's behind the gray fur that matters, Harold eventually returns to his island. This is an endearing adventure, enhanced by black-and-white drawings, and a unique approach to a ubiquitous societal issue. (Fiction. 7-11)Read full book review >
DELILAH by John Bemelmans Marciano
Released: May 1, 2001

Life on the farm was lonely and hard for Red, at least until a sweet lamb named Delilah came along to change everything. Red had raised chickens and cows and even donkeys, but he had no idea what a difference one little sheep could make. All Red could afford was one young and unschooled sheep and she arrived, stepping from the back of the delivery truck on wobbly legs. From the first day, they did everything together. They watered the plants, weeded the garden, collected the eggs, and rode in the tractor. Together they looked forward to the delivery of the dozen new sheep in the spring, but their arrival would change everything for the two friends. The new sheep told Delilah that it was unseemly for a sheep to act in such human ways, and confused, she decided to follow their lead. Months passed, but Delilah was determined to blend in with the rest of the sheep, leaving Red alone once again. Finally, when she could stand it no longer, one lick from her tongue let Red know that they could be friends once more. Delightfully simple pencil-and-gouache illustrations accompany the quiet story of an unlikely friendship. Delilah is sure to become a bedtime favorite. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >