->''In an old house in Paris, that was covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines. In two straight lines they broke their bread, and brushed their teeth, and went to bed. They smiled at the good, and frowned at the bad, and sometimes they were very sad. They left the house at half past nine, in two straight lines, in rain or shine. The smallest one- was Madeline.''

''Madeline'' is a series of children's picture books first published in 1939 by Ludwig Bemelmans, about a little French boarding school student, her eleven friends, her teacher, Miss Clavel, Spanish prankster and friend Pepito (first appears in ''Madeline and the Bad Hat''), and her dog, Genevieve (who first appears in ''Madeline's Rescue'').

The rest of the books were written and published in TheFifties, including ''Madeline and the Bad Hat'', ''Madeline and the Gypsies'', ''Madeline in London'', ''Madeline's Christmas'' (although it wasn't published until the `80's), and Caldecot-winner ''Madeline's Rescue''. After the death of Bemelmans, his son, John Bemelmans wrote several others, including ''Madeline in America'', ''Madeline Says Merci'', ''Madeline and the Cats of Rome'', and ''Madeline at the White House''.

[[Creator/CookieJarEntertainment CINAR]] and Creator/{{DiC Entertainment}} produced several ''WesternAnimation/{{Madeline}}'' cartoons from TheEighties up through the early 2000s. These ranged from TV specials adapted from the original books, to TV shows and direct-to-video movies with original stories.

Tristar released [[{{Film/Madeline}} a live-action feature-length movie]] based on ''Madeline'', ''Madeline and the Bad Hat'', ''Madeline and the Gypsies'' and ''Madeline's Rescue'' in 1998. It followed the books, but also expanded the plotline, because... well, it's a picture book series. The expanded plot was for Madeline and her friends to stop Lord Cu-Cu Face (portrayed here as having the "real" name of Lord "Covington") from selling the boarding school. Madeline was also turned into an orphan in this version.

Basically, it's not ''a'' children's book series, it is ''the'' children's book series.

!!Madeline provides examples of:
* AdultFear: Miss Clavel noticing Madeline's empty bed in ''Madeline and the Gypsies'', then [[OhCrap quickly realizing]] that Madeline got left behind at the circus. The cartoon also shows Pepito's parents (who were apparently off on a business trip in the book) worrying about him also getting left behind.
* BadassAdorable: Madeline.
* BelligerentSexualTension: Madeline and Pepito, especially in "Madeline and the Bad Hat" though it still does occasionally occur afterwards.
* BilingualBonus: Generous doses of it, considering that the girls are speaking untranslated French through half of everything. ''Lost in Paris'' springs to mind.
* BreakTheCutie: Pepito begins to waste away after being separated from Madeline. Luckily his parents rectify this by inviting the little girls to London for his birthday party.
* CatchPhrase: Miss Clavel turning on the light and whispering "Something is not right". Usually happens [[OnceAnEpisode Once Per Book]]. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_cK2aoIowc It was even turned into a song]] in the 1993 movie.
* CheerfulChild: Madeline herself.
* ChristmasEpisode: The book series has, of course, ''Madeline's Christmas''.
* CircusEpisode: ''Madeline and the Gypsies'' involves Madeline and Pepito joining a travelling circus.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Pepito is a brat and he is almost killed when one of his pranks goes too far and [[spoiler: he's caught in the middle of pack of dogs fighting over a cat. Not to mention Madeline rubbing it in while the poor kid is bedridden and covered in bandages.]]
* EekAMouse: Inverted.
-->"Although she was small, the smallest of them all, she was not afraid of mice."
* [[EverythingSoundsSexierInFrench Everything Sounds Cuter In French]]
* {{Foil}}: Pepito to Madeline. Both are rebellious, brave and adventurous. He's probably what she would have become without her supporting friends and Miss Clavel.
* FreudianExcuse: ''Madeline and the Bad Hat'' shows glimpses as to Pepito's behavior; since his parents are busy ambassadors, he vents out his frustrations on animals.
* HeelFaceTurn: Pepito in "Madeline and the Bad Hat"
* LittleMissBadass: If you ever face a tiger, always do what Madeline does. Say this:
-->'''Madeline''': (to tiger) Pooh-pooh!
* MamaBear: Miss Clavel.
* MerchandiseDriven: Well, it started with books, and even today, toys are still being produced.
* MoralDissonance: Pepito is called out for his ''cruelty'' towards animals. But in the hospital, Madeline does almost nothing to comfort him. Instead, she spends the entire time telling him what an ass he is ''as he's reeling in pain from it and already knows.'' And then, the girls force him to become a vegetarian, [[{{Anvilicious}} just to make it more obvious]] they don't like him torturing animals. And before he even does a thing, the girls judge him at first sight. Their cruelty to ''him'' is ''never'' called out. Miss Clavel's "I'm sure he's just misunderstood" is the closest to an objection raised. And even that is revealed to be misguided.
* NamedByTheAdaptation: Madeline's peers had no names given in the original books, but have received them in adaptations of the series:
** Musical play: Juliette, Regine, Kate, Daphne, Simone, Camille, Marie, Amy, Dominique, Isabelle, and Anne
* NiceHat: The girls' all wear yellow hats with black ribbons on them, plus Pepito and his family wear nifty black hats ... even if it does denote their respective personalities.
** HairDecorations: Madeline and her friends had a penchant for wearing ribbons in their hair.
* NoAntagonist: Inverted ''then'' played straight. Through all the adaptations themselves, Pepito starts out as an antagonist, but is then redeemed a little later on.
* NonHumanSidekick: Genevieve, the dog.
* OhCrap: Madeline helped Pepito free all animals and no longer abuse them. [[spoiler: It worked a little too well when Pepito starts freeing ''animals in the zoo''!]]
* PintSizedKid: Madeline's short height is often a source of frustration for her, like the time she was rejected from a ballet production because her legs were too small, or that time Yvette told her, "Short girls don't model, ''ever!"''
* ThePowerOfFriendship: "We love our bread. We love our butter. But most of all, we love each other."
* PutOnABus: Pepito left for London in ''Madeline in London''.
** The DiC WesternAnimation series brought him back.
* [[RedHeadedHero Red-Headed Heroine]]: Madeline.
* RhymesOnADime: Everyone in the books and specials, the narrators of the series and movie.
* RupturedAppendix: This happens to Madeline in the first book.
* ShipperOnDeck: The Spanish Ambassador for Madeline and his son Pepito, mainly before Madeline visits Pepito later on in "Madeline and the Bad Hat".
* SickEpisode: ''Madeline's Christmas'' has Madeline's friends and Miss Clavel all catch a cold.