Quirky and original for sure. The stories of Madeline have a unique appeal, and this one fits in perfectly to our Book List for London and the Olympic Games.
The opening is part of the Madeleine tradition,
"in an old house in Paris" ... "Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines."
Little ones love the familiarity of that page. In a bizarre twist of fate, Madeline and her girls are flown to London as Peptio is just too sad with out them. A quirky story ensues where they put together their money to buy a horse for Pepito's upcoming birthday. The scene where the horse has eaten the entire garden tends to draw quite a few giggles and leads quite nicely in to discussions re appropriate presents!
The ending is lovely, with room found for the horse - he is now part of the family of course! The rhyming, although a little clunky in parts, adds rhythm and a certain jovial tone to the book.
Ludwig's illustrations are plentiful and bright. I loved the almost indulgent pages featuring glorious scenes depicting London's iconic landmarks.