Madonna, Kids’ Lit Superstar
Madonna has found something better than Sex.
More than a decade after the enterprising entertainer published a much-panned dissertation on carnal knowledge, she is finding a more receptive audience, and some even better reviews, for her latest, less-salacious tome.
The family-friendly The English Roses, published in 100 countries on September 15, will bow at the top position on the October 5 edition of the New York Times’ best-seller list for children’s pictures books, her publisher announced Thursday.
It’s also moving up the charts at USA Today (number seven on the newspaper’s general best-seller list) and Amazon.com (19th among all books on Friday afternoon; number two among the kids’ books).
The news is good news for Madonna’s U.S. publisher, Callaway Editions, which ran off a whopping 900,000 copies. A total of 1.4 million editions were printed worldwide.
The runs are unheard of for first-time children’s authors. But few first-time children’s authors are Madonna, able to cross-promote their work through an endorsement deal with the Gap.
The English Roses is a 48-page, illustrated tale about a clique of four girls, the English Roses, who playa hate a smart, beautiful, but ultimately misunderstood classmate named Madonna. Sorry, we mean Binah.
Binah is the Hebrew term for understanding. Madonna reportedly was inspired to write Binah’s story after some prodding from her teacher in Kabbalah, the Jewish mystical philosophy.
In the book, the obligatory fairy godmother helps the English Roses come to understand that Binah, despite her ghetto-fabulous life, isn’t immune from tragedy and drudgery. For one thing, her mother’s dead. For another, she has to clean her own floors.
And what about when that new album of hers sold disappointingly? (Oops–Madonna again.)
Anyway, the English Roses come to put aside their jealousy and accept Binah.
“This morality tale is nothing new under the sun, but it is cleverly told, with many teaspoonfuls of good humor,” judged Amazon.com.
A sampling of other reviews:
“The book has an entertaining, if relentless, smart-aleck tone, and I would heartily recommend it over Madonna’s last few movies.” – Neal Rubin in Madonna’s hometown Detroit News.
“Forget Madonna’s wild ways. She offers a vital message for girls. Judge the book, not the author.” – Deirdre Donahue, USA Today.
“Don’t hate [Madonna] because she’s beautiful, the story transparently pleads. OK, we won’t. But so long as she can’t write her way out of a paper slipcase, we sure can’t respect her very much.” – David Kipen, San Francisco Chronicle.
All in all, much better notices than when Madonna left little to even the most twisted imagination in her 1992 printed-page debut, Sex.
Her publisher claims the success of The English Roses has sparked a new generation of M One imitators. This time, instead of teen girls donning “Boy Toy” T-shirts, it’s grade-schoolers “dressing like the English Roses, practicing their dance steps and learning the lessons of the story,” Callaway Editions’ Nicholas Callaway said in a statement.
Madonna is embracing her new life as a kids’ lit star. The 45-year-old mother of two is scheduled to appear at a book signing Monday in New York City. She’s also prepping for the release of her next book, the second in a series of five, due out November 10.
The new tome’s title? Mr. Peabody’s Apples. Owing to Madonna’s latest image transformation, we’re pretty sure that’s not a euphemism.
Source: Joal Ryan, E! Online