Very Busy Spiderwebs
Pommes "Frites"


by Ludwig Bemelmans

What's not to love about Madeline? With a heroine who inspires us all to approach each day with joie de vivre, adventures in Paris, timeless illustrations, and text written to be read and repeated many times over, this is a true a classic.


There are six Madeline books written by Bemelmans (see the all in the shop).

The series has also been continued by his grandson with several books, including Madeline and the Cats of Rome.

About the Author

Ludwig Bemelmans was more than just a children's book author. He was first a restaurateur, and then became an accomplish artist. Some of his paintings are even in the Metropolitan Museum in New York. To read more about Bemelmans, see the Official Madeline Website's Author Biography

In this Issue



Pommes Frites or French "Fries"

Enjoy making this recipe with your young reader after reading Madeline, by Ludwig Bemelmans. To see all of our Madeline activities, click here.

There is a great debate over whether French fries developed in France or Belgium. No matter where they originated, these are deliciously healthy, thanks to being baked instead of fried. We’ve adapted the recipe to make a snack size serving for two, but it can easily be doubled if you want more. 

Note about whether to spray your baking sheets: If you are using a nonstick baking sheet, there is no need to spray the pan. If you are using a regular baking sheet, you can spray with nonstick spray or go without. The nonstick spray will make your fries slightly less crispy. If you don’t use spray, they might stick a little, but are easily removed with a spatula.

Pommes Frites or Homemade French Fries - Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans - Off the Shelf

Pommes Frites or Homemade French Fries - Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans - Off the Shelf

Pommes Frites or Homemade French Fries - Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans - Off the Shelf-500wi

Pommes Frites or Homemade French Fries - Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans - Off the Shelf

Pommes Frites

Adapted from Easy French Food's Oven French Fries.

Makes 2 servings.

  • 1 pound potatoes
  • 3/4 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Slice potatoes lengthwise into about 1/2 inch thick strips.
  3. Place potatoes in a large bowl and add oil and salt.
  4. Stir with wooden spoon or hands to evenly coat the potato slices with oil and salt.
  5. Arrange potatoes on a baking sheet so that none of the pieces are touching.
  6. Bake fries for 7 minutes, and then remove from oven and stir.
  7. Place fries back in oven for about 8 more minutes until cooked through.
  8. When potatoes are cooked through, turn oven up to 450 degrees for five minutes.
  9. Remove from oven, and cool for about 5 minutes.
  10. Enjoy with ketchup or mayonnaise.

You Might Also Enjoy: Sweet Potato Fries


Citron Pressé or Lemonade

Citron pressé is a form of lemonade served in French cafés. Once ordered, you receive a glass with ice and the juice of a lemon, a pitcher of water, and some sugar. You can then adjust the recipe for your own taste, whether you like it sweeter or more tart. 

Citron Pressé or Lemonade - Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans - Off the Shelf

Adapted from Country Topics for Craft Projects: France.

Citron Pressé

For each serving you need

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Water
  • Crushed ice cubes
  1. Slice lemon in half.
  2. Using a citrus reamer; a juice press; or your hands, over a strainer (to catch the seeds!), squeeze lemon juice into a bowl.
  3. Pour juice into a glass. 
  4. Add sugar to glass and stir well.
  5. Add ice, and then fill the rest of the glass with water.

You Might Also Enjoy: C is for Carrot Lemonade


A House Covered with Vines

An Old House Covered with Vines craft - Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans - Off the Shelf

Using a box of any shape or size, perhaps a box from cereal or crackers or your latest home delivery, encourage your child create Madeline’s house or any other house that inspires their imaginations. If the box is printed, help to cover it with paper or paint. Any variety of paper will work such as brown craft paper or a brown paper bag, construction paper, wrapping paper; whatever you have on hand. If painting, be sure to protect your work surface with newspaper.

A House Covered with Vines

  1. Help your child to create a roof by taping up the flaps of the roof to form a roof. If choosing a flat roof simply glue or tape the flaps down flat.
  2. If the box is covered with print it can be covered with brown craft paper, construction paper, wrapping paper or whatever you have on hand. The box could also be painted. Lots of fun! Watercolors would be too thin so be sure to give your child washable tempera paint. A day or so can be expected for drying due to the thickness of the paint
  3. Time for details! Encourage your child’s imagination to go wild with doors, windows, flower boxes, vines or any other details. These can be made from paper, yarn, ribbon, craft sticks, etc. and glued on.


Madeline Book Play

Time to Operate

In the story, Madeline is rushed to the hospital to have her appendix taken out. Be like Dr. Cohn and and take out Cavity Sam's Butterflies in the Stomach (and Broken Heart, and Charley Horse...) by playing a game of Operation

Travel to Madeline's Paris

Madeline is filled with illustrations featuring the sights and monuments of Paris. Most copies feature a list of these scenes in the back of the book. Your young reader (and little world traveler!) might want to see pictures of the some of the actual monuments. Also included with each site are some fun facts and historical information. 

If you and your young reader enjoyed Madeline and learning about Paris, you might also enjoy reading This is Paris by Miroslav Sasek!


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