Every child has that book that they make their parents read to them over and over again, until they memorize it and fool everyone into thinking they can read. Mine was Madeline. To this day, I can spew the rhythmic verses about the twelve little girls in two straight lines.
So I was star-struck to meet John Bemelmans Marciano, the author's grandson, who has recently written and illustrated the newest Madeline book, Madeline and the Cats of Rome. I was almost worried to read it -- could a new Madeline book hold a candle to the original? As I sat reading on the subway to meet Marciano in Brooklyn, I was overcome with memories of my mom and dad reading to me. The new book stays true to the most beautiful, distinctive aspects of the original, with added, unique charm.