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.
Marciano (Madeline at the White House, 2011) continues his series of sequels to his grandfather’s original works. With gouache, pen and ink, he closely duplicates the style of the classic titles and even includes a number of pages executed in black on yellow. The rhythm of the rhyming text is also reminiscent, as when the action begins with an unexpected visitor: “One afternoon at a quarter past five, / a long black car pulled into the drive.” It’s Lord Cucuface, who conducts an inspection of the premises and discovers a “most / splendid telescope,” which he promptly takes with him. But in the middle of that night, Madeline hears moaning and groaning. It’s the ghost of an astronomer, who needs the telescope back in time to observe a comet he’s been waiting 221 years to see so that he can rest in peace. The kids help Madeline and Pepito pull off a clever trick that involves a convincing costume and a bit of dramatic theater. Of course Lord Cucuface is scared silly, so that by the final page, “a girl and a boy and a ghost were peeping / at a rare and brilliant sight, / a comet streaking through the night.”
Encore, Madeline! (Picture book. 4-8)