In an old house in Paris...
On Wednesday, this original drawing and watercolor by Ludwig Bemelmans, the author of the unforgettable children's classic (and one of my all-time favorite books), Madeline, sold at Sotheby's for $126,000. The lovely illustrations make me wonder to what extent Bemelmans has influenced present-day illustrators like Maira Kalman (whose wonderful illustrated Elements of Style I highly recommend).
In the middle of one night
Miss Clavel turned on her light
and said, "Something is not right!"
LIttle Madeline sat in bed
cried and cried; her eyes were red.
And soon after Dr. Cohn
came, he rushed out to the phone
and he dialed: DANton-ten-six--
"Nurse," he said, "it's an appendix!'
This book was such an influence on me that to this day I stare at my bedroom ceiling nightly, searching for interesting cracks, to no avail. I remember, as a girl, wishing desperately (like Madeline's friends) that I too could get my appendix out!