Synopses & Reviews
The first of five children's books written by international superstar Madonna, this is a story about slumber parties, jealousy, fairy godmothers, and friendship; about feeling green with envy, blue with loneliness, pink with embarrassment, purple with rage, and how to find true-blue friends.
"Forget Madonna's wild ways. She offers a vital message for girls. Judge the book, not the author." USA Today
About the Author
Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone Ritchie was born in Bay City, Michigan, and is one of eight children in a large Italian family. She demonstrated an early love for musicparticularly that of nearby Motownand dance, winning a scholarship to the University of Michigan.
She arrived in New York City shortly thereafter to pursue a career in dance, eventually working with Martha Graham and the Alvin Ailey Dance Troop.
With her passion for music, Madonna joined several groups, including The Breakfast Club. She was signed to Sire Records in 1982 and began a recording career that has spanned more than two decades and is recognized as one of the most successful and influential of modern times.
Over the last 20 years, Madonna has sold close to two hundred million albums worldwide with a run of over 25 Top Ten singles, including Material Girl, Like A Prayer, Express Yourself, Vogue, Ray of Light, and Music, and has received three Grammy Awards.
Her most recent album, American Life
, was released in April 2003. On August 28, 2003, Madonnas performance opened MTVs 2003 Video Music Awards.
Madonnas film career includes the hits Desperately Seeking Susan
, Dick Tracy
, A League of Their Own
, and the acclaimed documentary Truth or Dare
. Her starring role in the film of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rices musical Evita
won her a Golden Globe Award.
Madonna has also appeared in the highly regarded Broadway production of David Mamets Speed-the-Plow
, and made her West End stage debut in spring 2002 in a sold-out run of the play Up For Grabs
She has written five books for children. The first, The English Roses
, will be released in 30 languages in more than 100 countries worldwide on September 15, 2003.
Madonna is married to screenwriter/director Guy Ritchie and has two children, Lola and Rocco. They divide their time between the United States and England.
Youve said that although youd envisioned yourself doing many things in your life, writing childrens books was never one of them. Why did you decide to write a series of books for kids? And why now?
For two reasons:
I have two children now, and they are a source of great inspiration for me.
I am on my own spiritual path and have learned a great many things. Among them is the importance of sharing and the desire to enlighten others. Children are naturally open and expansive, so I thought I would start sharing what I have learned with them first.
Youve described this as a book about jealousy and envy and how these emotions cause so much unnecessary suffering in our lives. Was there anything in particular from your own experiences, as a child or an adult, which made this an especially relevant subject for you to explore?
As a child I experienced jealousy and envy towards other girls for any number of reasons:
I was jealous they had mothers, jealous they were prettier or richer. It isnt until you grow up that you realize what a waste of time those feelings are. I now, of course, experience the reverse, with people either being jealous of me and being unkind as a result, or little girls being jealous of my daughter and alienating her.
You say your daughter was very helpful in the process of creating this book and in letting you know when it was finished. How so?
She was very involved in the creative process. She told me when the story was boring. She asked for the girls to do particular activities (her favorite things to do) and she helped me choose illustrators.
What were your favorite books when you were a child?
The Giving Tree, Charlottes Web, Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Secret Garden
Is there a common theme that ties the five books together?
Each book deals with issues that all children confront:
Jealousy / Envy
Learning not to judge people
The power of our words
Hopefully there is a lesson in each book that will help kids turn painful or scary situations into learning experiences.
In 1992, you shocked the literary world with your photo essay, Sex. This is clearly a publishing foray at the other end of the spectrum. What runs through your mind when you think of the journey youve traveled from then to now and the arc of your life that falls between these two very different literary projects? How have you changed?
The journey I have traveled between my Sex book and now is too vast and complex to define in a few sentences. Suffice it to say that I see the world and my responsibility to it in a very different way.
Youve said most people think youve made a career out of doing the unexpected without, as youve said in earlier interviews, thinking too deeply about the consequences. What changed for you that made you begin to think about the consequences of your actions?
Having children set off a chain reaction of asking questions and looking for answers. I found answers when I began to study Kabbalah seven and a half years ago. I realized that there was, and continues to be, a reaction in the world to all of my words and my actions, good and bad. I felt the implications of personal and global Karma.
Youve achieved great success in so many different areas: as a savvy businesswoman and as an artist in music, videos, films, television, live performances, and so on. How was the experience of writing these childrens books different from your experience preparing for a new album or video? And how does the satisfaction you feel from writing childrens books differ from the satisfaction youve felt in those other arenas?
Because I am donating all of my proceeds to charity, I knew when I began writing that every penny I earned would be used to help children. I was liberated, and my creativity was not motivated by ego or greed for the first time in my life.
Whats the most important lesson kids need to learn today about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness?
The most important lesson kids can learn is that we are all connected to each other on a soul level and we need to learn to love and care for our fellow man, no matter what! That our thoughts, words, and actions really do affect other people around us. That changing the world starts with a thought. That love really does conquer all.