Madame Badobedah
Madame Badobedah

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Annotation: Who is Madame Badobedah? Mabel sets out to prove that an eccentric new hotel guest is really a supervillain in this witt... more
Catalog Number: #215083
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 56
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 1-536-21022-6 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-7953-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-536-21022-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-7953-1
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
Is the newest resident of the Mermaid Hotel "an ancient supervillain on the run"?Mabel, the young narrator, is an adventurer who likes to go barefoot, pockets full of small packets of marmalade and butter for snacks. When an imperious old woman, hair "red and crunchy, like a candy apple without the stickiness," arrives with a great deal of baggage, two dogs, two cats, and a tortoise who skitters "along the floor like a man on a mission," Mabel dubs her "Madame Badobedah (rhymes with ooooh la la)." Mabel is certain that the new occupant of Room 32 is a fugitive criminal, perhaps "an international jewel thief." Mabel peeks in through the keyhole. But, invited in for tea, Mabel tells Madame Badobedah about the pirate Anne Bonny, and the two imagine a wild escapade on the high seas. Mabel learns that Madame Badobedah had been a ballerina and had "crossed the sea on a big ship, because there was a war." Dahl's voice for Mabel is young and amusingly opinionated. O'Hara's watercolor illustrations have a retro feel, with lighthearted views of the seaside hotel, Mabel and Madame—and some mermaids. All the characters are white. The appeal of Mabel's fanciful take on the older woman's past grows along with their friendship, transforming the poignancy and losses of old age into something sweetly adventuresome and glamorous.A warmhearted tale of intergenerational connection. (Picture book. 4-9)
Publishers Weekly
Mabel-s parents run the Mermaid Hotel, and she knows all the building-s secrets: -I don-t have brothers and sisters; I have rooms,- she explains. When a mysterious guest arrives, Mabel wants to know all her secrets, too. The newcomer, a sharp-tongued elderly lady with a feather boa, has many pets and a mountain of luggage, and she calls everyone -darlink.- She is, Mabel concludes, a villainess whom she nicknames Madame Badobedah. The girl sets up a spy operation to find out the truth about the enigmatic figure-until her ruse is exposed. Villainess or no, Madame Badobedah makes excellent company. -That bed of mine is a pirate ship,- she tells Mabel. -I call it the Not-So-Jolly Roger. Shall we set sail, Captain Mabel?- Sparky dialogue in Dahl-s children-s debut charms; watercolor vignettes and spreads by O-Hara (Hortense and the Shadow) fuse spun-sugar whimsy with theatrical drama (the Not-So-Jolly Roger surges across the waves toward the reader, with Madame Badobedah at the helm). Soon Mabel feels that she can share the Mermaid Hotel-s best secret with her. Dahl-s yarn unspools with impressive assurance as two strong female characters grapple with each other, and both emerge victorious. Ages 5-8. (Apr.)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Is the newest resident of the Mermaid Hotel "an ancient supervillain on the run"?Mabel, the young narrator, is an adventurer who likes to go barefoot, pockets full of small packets of marmalade and butter for snacks. When an imperious old woman, hair "red and crunchy, like a candy apple without the stickiness," arrives with a great deal of baggage, two dogs, two cats, and a tortoise who skitters "along the floor like a man on a mission," Mabel dubs her "Madame Badobedah (rhymes with ooooh la la)." Mabel is certain that the new occupant of Room 32 is a fugitive criminal, perhaps "an international jewel thief." Mabel peeks in through the keyhole. But, invited in for tea, Mabel tells Madame Badobedah about the pirate Anne Bonny, and the two imagine a wild escapade on the high seas. Mabel learns that Madame Badobedah had been a ballerina and had "crossed the sea on a big ship, because there was a war." Dahl's voice for Mabel is young and amusingly opinionated. O'Hara's watercolor illustrations have a retro feel, with lighthearted views of the seaside hotel, Mabel and Madame—and some mermaids. All the characters are white. The appeal of Mabel's fanciful take on the older woman's past grows along with their friendship, transforming the poignancy and losses of old age into something sweetly adventuresome and glamorous.A warmhearted tale of intergenerational connection. (Picture book. 4-9)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Perhaps it's the turtle held aloft on a cushion or the tentacles snaking around luggage bursting with treasure, but the cover indicates that there's something special about this book. Indeed, there are many somethings, but let's start with the fact that it contains a surprisingly rare thing in picture books these days, a story rich in mystery, plot, and detail. At almost twice the length of a standard picture book, the tale is divided into three parts, narrated by inquisitive, pigtailed Mabel. Mabel lives at the Mermaid Hotel, a seaside bed-and-breakfast, where she likes to know everything about everyone, hence her habit of spying. Please note her raincoat-and-magnifying-glass ensemble. This is her account of the Mermaid Hotel's most interesting guest, Madame Badobedah haughty, rich, old lady with an obscene number of suitcases and pets. It's clear to Mabel that they've got an international jewel thief on their hands. Caught at the keyhole one day, Mabel is surprised when Madame Badobedah invites her in for tea, and a friendship begins between the two. Their imagined adventures and histories give way to confessions of truths and secrets, all of which play out in the glorious watercolor illustrations, shimmering with beachy hues, whimsy, and enchanting details. Youngsters ready for longer stories should pack their bags for the Mermaid Hotel without delay.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (2/1/20)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: K-3

Who is Madame Badobedah? Mabel sets out to prove that an eccentric new hotel guest is really a supervillain in this witty storybook about an intergenerational friendship.

There’s a strange new guest at the Mermaid Hotel — a very old lady with a growly voice, bags stuffed with jewelry and coins and curiosities, and a beady-eyed pet tortoise. Mabel, whose parents run the hotel, is suspicious. Who is this “Madame Badobedah” (it rhymes with "Oo la la") who has come to stay indefinitely and never has any visitors? To find out, Mabel puts on her spy costume and observes the new guest. Conclusion? She must be a secret supervillain hiding out from the law. The grown-ups think Madame Badobedah is a bit rude — and sad — but when she invites “dahlink” Mabel for a cup of forbidden tea and a game of pirates, the two begin a series of imaginary adventures together, and Mabel realizes that first impressions can sometimes be very wrong. Conjuring two quirky heroines that young readers will love, Sophie Dahl adds her talented voice to a grand tradition of books that celebrate the alliance of the old and young in the face of humdrum adults, while Lauren O’Hara’s illustrations are as packed with intriguing details as Madame Badobedah’s suitcases.


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