John Bemelmans Marciano was born in 1970 and never had the chance to meet his famous grandfather, Ludwig Bemelmans. But he has carried on the legacy of Madeline in a new series of picture books that pay loving homage to the beloved character his grandfather created in 1939. Bemelmans Marciano brings his own voice and charming illustration style to the new generation of Madeline stories.
You can watch the interview below, view the interview transcript, read a short biography on John Bemelmans Marciano, or see a selected list of his children's books. (This video is also available on YouTube and iTunes.)
John Bemelmans Marciano was born in 1970 and grew up on a horse farm in Three Bridges, New Jersey — an hour's drive from downtown Manhattan. He graduated from Columbia University, and worked at a variety of jobs, including reporter in a small town. He is a self-taught artist and works in a studio that sits right across the street from his childhood farm. The studio is a converted 100-year-old country department store.
While looking through some of his grandfather's belongings, Marciano discovered a completed manuscript for a Madeline story with rough sketches that hinted at what the final illustrations might look like. Bemelmans Marciano took this story and developed a finished set of drawings to publish Madeline in America and Other Holiday Tales, a new addition to the series his grandfather started.
In addition to this first Madeline book, Bemelmans Marciano has written several other Madeline stories (one set in Rome), a first-person chapter book about a squirrel who lives in a New York City park (Harold's Tail), a picture book about a resourceful and individualistic lamb (Delilah), and a book on the life and art of Ludwig Bemelmans.