When I first heard that
Madonna not only published a children’s book, but has also lined up a five-book-contract,
I have to admit, I was a bit miffed. I found many peers in the struggling writing
community who shared my apprehension.
“She already has enough money, why
does she have to cut into our market...
can’t she leave that to
“If she had submitted her manuscript under a pen name, it would have
never hit the market. She would have had to struggle just like the rest of
“Look at her, how can she possibly write a good children’s
Those were some of the comments we made. Then one day I decided
that I shouldn't be judgmental without having the books to judge. After all, I do like
her music so I ordered a book through my church’s bookstore and asked them to “just get
anything by her as long as it is a children’s book.”
When the order came
in, I immediately felt ashamed of myself. The cover art is absolutely beautiful. Then I
opened the book and on the back of the jacket, it states that all the proceeds of the
book go to The Spirituality for Kids Foundation.
Four little girls, called
the English Roses, complain about the beautiful girl down the street. It takes the gentle
intervention of a fairy godmother to get the girls to understand how wrong they are.
When I got to page 15 of the 46 pages, Madonna hit me over the head. Not
for real, of course, even though in this case being a book review, the term “literally”
might be the most fitting after all. Madonna’s writing style is very conversational;
phrases such as “I am going to tell your mother.” or “Now stop interrupting me,” make the
flow of the story more of a story told freely rather than reading it from a book. It
involves the reader/listener taking a more active part in the story.
especially like Madonna’s portrayal of the Fairy Godmother who is more than happy to help
these girls see the truth while pointing out that she does not have all day, as she has
other appointments to keep. I find it very refreshing.
the essence of preteen girls in a clique situation quite well. However, on the back of
the book is a comment about this book “...and the entire series of five – being for
grown-up children as well.” I felt the comment was justified and now I cannot wait to
get the next book.
The message I believe Madonna is trying to convey in
The English Roses is that you can’t judge a book by its cover...but in this case,
however, you can go right ahead and do so. The cover is very beautiful and so is the