Today if you saw me in the halls of my high school, the girl you would see would be confident and strong. Seeing this would not lead you to believe that you had any role in making me who I am today, but truthfully I must give you credit. Your book Madeline aided me in gaining the much-needed self-assurance that leads me to succeed.
As a young girl, I have to admit I was a bit obsessed with your book and its characters. Not only did I have every Madeline doll they sold in stores, I also owned many of the movies based on the books, watched the Disney channel TV show religiously, and memorized the entire book. My fifth birthday party was Madeline themed, and I dressed up as Madeline for Halloween during my kindergarten year. But what drew me to this young Parisian girl? Well, I do believe it was the sense of connection I felt towards her, even at a young age.
The connection does not stem from a resemblance in appearance: Madeline was a petite redhead, while I am a tall blond. My connection to her does also not involve our similar backgrounds: I am not an orphan living at boarding school in Paris. What causes me to feel a strong connection with the girl from your stories is actually the strong sense of respect that I have towards her.
In kindergarten, when the girls on the school bus picked on me because I wore a puffy coat or because I sported a skirt daily, I didn't have the courage or confidence to stand up for myself. After reading your book, which focused on the strength and confidence of the smallest girl, I made a goal to be like her. I wanted to have the strength to roar back at the tigers in the zoo, just like her. Madeline became my role model. I believed that she and I were both different: she because she was small, I because I was young for my grade. I set the goal to be as brave and self-¬assured as she was. No longer did I put up with teasing from the other girls. I stood up for myself.
Madeline not only helped me to stand up for myself, she also gave me the self-assurance I needed to do so. She was a small girl with no family, yet she was still loved and respected by everyone else. I learned from her that just because I was young and didn't know many kids in my class, I could still thrive and have many friends. I was special the way I was, and if I showed that I was confident, others would respect me as well. My new confidence helped me to make new friends, who helped me gain more self-confidence. This continuous cycle brought me to where I am today
In a way, Mr. Bemelmans, I give you credit for my successes. Without you and your book, I don't know if I would have ever gotten the confidence to stand up for myself. Thanks to you I have lived a successful happy life so far and will continue to do so.