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Madame Pamplemousse and Her Incredible Edibles

Madame Pamplemousse and Her Incredible Edibles

3.9 7
by Rupert Kingfisher, Sue Hellard (Illustrator)

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Madame Pamplemousse is the story of Madeleine, forced to work in her unpleasant uncle's horrible restaurant, The Squealing Pig. By chance she comes across the most marvellous shop, run by Madame Pamplemousse, which is quiet, discreet, yet full of delicious and otherworldly 'edibles' - Pterodactyl Bacon, Scorpion Tails in Smoked Garlic Oil, and Great


Madame Pamplemousse is the story of Madeleine, forced to work in her unpleasant uncle's horrible restaurant, The Squealing Pig. By chance she comes across the most marvellous shop, run by Madame Pamplemousse, which is quiet, discreet, yet full of delicious and otherworldly 'edibles' - Pterodactyl Bacon, Scorpion Tails in Smoked Garlic Oil, and Great Squid Tentacle in Jasmine-Scented Jelly. A quiet comradeship develops between Madeleine, Madame Pamplemousse, and Madame's cat, Camembert. And together they create some wonderful culinary magic. Exquisite, beautifully formed prose that has echoes of Angela Carter belies a narrative that is full of pace. A wonderful fairy tale that will appeal to both adults and children.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Candice Ransom
Every summer, Madeleine is sent to stay with her Uncle Lard. While her parents are on safaris, Madeleine must wash dishes in the kitchen of her uncle's restaurant, the Squealing Pig. Monsieur Lard's ambition is to become the greatest chef in Paris. In truth, Madeleine is a better cook than he is. Her lemon soup is sublime compared to her uncle's icky dishes, such as Pig's Ear Pizza or Crab Ravioli in Warm White Chocolate Sauce. When the restaurant runs out of Mixed Innards Pate, Madeline offers to buy more. A strange white cat leads her to a shabby little shop called Edibles, owned by Madame Pamplemousse. She sells Madeline a tiny unlabeled jar. The pate makes Lard's customers dreamy and childlike. Greedy Lard knows he has a source of incredible food, the kind that will make him Paris' top chef. He sends Madeleine to Edibles to act as a spy. This breezy story—part Chocolat, part Monsieur Pamplemousse mystery by Michael Bond—cheerfully leads readers on a gustatory romp. Broadly-drawn characters (sleazy waiter, oily restaurant critique, despairing head chef, sneaky cat, and the mysterious Madame Pamplemousse) contribute to the theme that the best food, like most things in life, is simple and a little magical. Line drawings reminiscent of Bemelmans add a dash of charm. Reviewer: Candice Ransom
School Library Journal

Gr 3-4

Madame Pamplemousse makes the rarest, most delicious delicacies in all of Paris in the basement of her small, shabby-looking shop. Monsieur Lard, who runs a fancy restaurant, The Squealing Pig, wants to be recognized as a famous chef, but his cooking is "revolting." His young niece discovers Madame Pamplemousse's shop when the restaurant runs out of pâté and she is sent to buy some. Word gets out about how wonderful it is, and Monsieur Langoustine, the most powerful food critic in Paris, books a table at the restaurant. Monsieur Lard volunteers Madeleine to be Madame's assistant so he can get one of her mysterious recipes. The child is given precise but minimal instructions and discovers the secret to Madame Pamplemousse's success. The friendship that develops between them is nicely done, and the fairy-tale ending is satisfying. Charming pen-and-ink spot art is a humorous accompaniment to this fanciful tale.-Debbie S. Hoskins, Grand Rapids Public Library, MI

Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.45(w) x 8.02(h) x 0.68(d)
970L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

This is Rupert Kingfisher's first book although he is working on another. His favourite authors as a child were Roald Dahl, Susan Cooper and Ursula le Guin. He also loved American horror comics and French cartoon books such as Asterix and Tintin. It was on a family holiday to Paris that he visited a bookshop dedicated to books such as Tintin - and also ate anchovies for the first time, on a pizza from a street vendor. He says that both experiences were equally life-changing.

Rupert studied Philosophy at Bristol University and Play Writing at the Central School of Speech and Drama. Rupert has had plays performed in Dublin, Edinburgh, London and on BBC Radio 4. He grew up in Oxfordshire and now lives in Brentford, Middlesex.

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Madame Pamplemousse and Her Incredible Edibles 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
British author Rupert Kingfisher paid his first visit to Paris on a family vacation. We gather this trip took place during his youth as he describes his stay there as time when he had two life changing experiences - he discovered a shop filled with cartoon books and he first tasted anchovies. We also assume that he loved Paris as that seems evident in his descriptions of the city found in this delightfully imaginative tale.

Madeleine is the heroine of our story. She's a sweet young girl who is practically indentured by her parents to her mean, greedy Uncle Lard who owns a restaurant in Paris, the Squealing Pig. Although Madeleine has told her parents of his cruelty they do not believe her and trot off on safari or on a cruise around the world, leaving her to toil for Uncle Lard.

She is only allowed to wash dishes and scrub cookware even though she is a wonderful chef. The food in Uncle Lard's restaurant is abominable, even though he believes it to be grand. He's a fat dictator who orders his staff to smile all of the time, which is difficult to do when each and every one is usually cowering in fear.

One day the Head Chef discovers they are out of pate, which he desperately needs lest he be slaughtered or boiled alive. Eager to leave the kitchen Madeleine volunteers to go and buy some. She decides to take a different route on that day through "narrow lanes and winding alleys." Along the way she sees a long white cat, and believes it to be the same one she has seen "perched on the wall above the dust bins" while she is washing dishes at night. She follows the cat and is led to a shop Then, the most amazing thing happened - she saw the cat stand up on its hind legs, and go inside.

This is a far from ordinary shop run by Madame Pamplemousse who is clothed in black from head to toe and has the unsettling habit of appearing suddenly and then just as suddenly vanishing. When Madeleine tells her she is looking for pate, Madame Pamplemousse gives her a small bottle containing something dark green. The bottle label reads "Pate of North Atlantic Sea Serpent with Green Peppercorn Mustard."

What could that possibly taste like? How would people respond after eating it?

In some ways Kingfisher's story reminds me of "Chocolat," as the emphasis is very much on edibles and their unique effect on people. And, very much like "Chocolat," the characters in Kingfisher's story cry out to be adapted for a big screen. Each of them is unique and so deftly described that they are vivid in the reader's mind's eye. I can see Camembert the cat who each evening shares a bottle of Rose-Petal Wine with Madame Pamplemousse, and the beaked nose Monsieur Langoustine, the city's eminent food critic.

Illustrations, which appear on most pages are little gems in black and white, each amplifying the narrative and further illuminating the characters.

This title is recommended for 9 - 12 years olds - I'm a good bit older and it intrigued me from start to finish. There's something for everyone in Madame Pamplemousse and Her Incredible Edibles.

- Gail Cooke
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an instant classic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cute story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it! It is an instant classic- 100000000 stars!!!!
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