Media playback is unsupported on your device

Madeline in New York: Bemelmans' iconic schoolgirl on display as she turns 75

10 July 2014 Last updated at 03:08 BST

The New York Historical Society is showing an exhibition dedicated to Madeline, the little girl living in a boarding school in Paris.

"Madeline in New York" features artwork from creator Ludwig Bemelmans 75 years after the book was first released.

The Austrian-born Bemelmans lived and worked in New York and was "the ultimate hipster", according to the chief curator Stephen Edidin.

First published in 1939, Madeline has sold millions of book copies and led to merchandise such as dolls, stickers, pyjamas and later a TV series.

Bemelmans' grandson, John Bemelmans Marciano, has continued his grandfather's work with three more books of Madeline's adventures.

He says that Madeline is not French, but a real New Yorker.

The BBC asked John Bemelmans Marciano and curator Jane Curley who the real inspiration was for the little rebellious girl - and obtained two very different answers.

Produced by the BBC's Anna Bressanin

Madeline artwork courtesy of TM and Ludwig Bemelmans, LLC

Picture This is a series of video features published every Thursday on the BBC News website which illustrate interviews with authors about their new books.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.