Madeline and the Gypsies is an illustrated children's novel by Ludwig Bemelmans. It features popular children's character Madeline. First Published in 1959 by Viking Press. Published by Viking Juvenile.


Pepito, the son of the Spanish Ambassador invites Madeline and her fellow students to a Gypsy carnival. However, in the chaos caused by a sudden rainstorm, Miss Clavel and the other girls lose sight of Madeline and Pepito, who are unintentionally left behind on the ferris wheel. The two children find themselves guests of the gypsies, and soon wind up part of the carnival themselves.


  • Madeline and the Gypsies Ludwig Bemelmans Publisher: Viking Books ISBN 0-670-44682-3 Edition: Hardcover; 1959-09-01

  • In 2008, it was adapted into a musical, with script by Barry Kornhauser and score by Michael Koerner, which premiered at The Children's Theater Company in Minneapolis, MN.

Differences between the book and the special

  • In the book, when Madeline and Pepito were left behind the Gypsy Mama tucks Madeline and Pepito in bed and gives them medicine. In the special, she feeds them a meal.
  • The Gypsy Mama sews the children in a lion costume in the book when she finds out that Miss Clavel is coming to get them. In the special, she sewed Madeline and Pepito into a lion costume because the performing lion was sick.
  • The lion gets fed in the book and in the special while Madeline and Pepito are still in the costume and but in the episode, when they're put to bed, only Madeline and Pepito are put to bed and not in the lion costume, just like in the book.
  • In the book, when Madeline and Pepito get out of the lion costume, Miss Clavel cuts some thread off their heads, but in the special, she sees them in the lion costume.
  • Madeline gets a bath in the book after getting dirty but in the special she doesn't get dirty.
  • In the end of the special, Miss Clavel and Pepito's parents sternly tell them not to wander off ever again and they promise not to do something like that ever again. In the book, they don't promise.

Songs that appear in the special


  • On one page, Pepito's face is pink. This error was not fixed in Mad About Madeline:The Complete Tales.