Did Madonna Write a Children’s Book? Remembering ‘The English Roses’ Series
Did you know that Madonna wrote a children's book?
The Queen of Pop released her children's picture book, The English Roses, on September 15, 2003, via Callaway Arts & Entertainment.
The book, which was released in more than 100 countries worldwide and translated into 42 different languages, debuted at the top of the New York Times Bestseller list and ended up selling over 1 million copies worldwide.
What Is The English Roses Series About?
The story follows four friends — Charlotte, Amy, Grace and Nicole — who go to school together in London. While the girls lead charmed lives that include attending picnics and going ice skating together, they're all jealous of the popular cool girl, Binah.
After a lecture from one of their mothers, the girls experience the same magical dream during a sleepover. Magic dust transports them to Binah's house to see what her life is really like, which is not at all what the girls had assumed.
When they wake up, the girls realize their behavior toward Binah was wrong and invite her to join their friend group for dances and parties, becoming a squad of five instead of four.
Madonna reportedly created the characters based on her daughter Lourdes' friends at school, who a real-life teacher had once dubbed "The English Roses," which the pop icon found amusing.
She also drew inspiration from her own life for main character Binah by using her experience of losing her mother at a young age, as well as Lourdes' experience being the child of a famous singer.
Madonna Promoted the Book With Tea Parties, Readings and Book Signings
To promote the book's release, Madonna hosted on-theme tea parties, including one at London's Kensington Roof Gardens.
Guests were treated to a venue featuring a sparkly pink carpet and butterfly and rose-themed decor. Tea party guests ranged from children to celebrities, and Madonna read aloud to the crowd from the book before giving everyone gift baskets to celebrate.
Madonna also appeared on talk shows and did book signings for young fans. A website to promote the series featured a merchandise web store, games, downloadable wallpapers and more.
Why Did Madonna Write a Children's Book?
Publisher Nicholas Callaway originally had the idea for Madonna to release a children's book after witnessing her read a story to a group of teens at a "pajama party" event in New York City.
Initially, Madonna was too busy to take on the project, but after becoming a mother again in 2000, she decided to move forward, taking inspiration from iconic authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Flannery O'Connor.
How Many Books Are in The English Roses Series?
There are technically 14 books in The English Roses series.
The original book was published in 2003, and a sequel, The English Roses: Too Good to Be True, was published in 2006.
An additional 12 chapter book sequels were released between 2007 and 2008.
Who Illustrated The English Roses Books?
The books were illustrated by graphic artist Jeffrey Fulvimari, who rose to prominence in the '90s with a line of Japanese merchandise.
Fulvimari used whimsical, colorful line drawings to bring characters Charlotte, Amy, Grace, Nicole and Binah to life for The English Roses.
How Many Books Has Madonna Written?
Madonna has published 30 books in total, including The English Roses books.
One of her most notable works is the 1992 coffee table book Sex, which was written by the "Like a Virgin" singer and features photography by Steven Meisel and Fabien Baron.
The book was controversial upon its release as it features softcore pornography and simulations of sexual acts.