MadonnaTribe’s Review of the Adventures of Abdi
Madonna‘s fourth release in her children’s book series, “The Adventures of Abdi” is out next week. MadonnaTribe had the chance to preview the book and here’s our review.
“The Adventures of Abdi” is quite different from the other Madonna stories published so far, first of all it develops in a much wider timespan. While the plot of “The English Roses” was substantially happening in one night’s dream, and the story in “Mr Peabody’s Apples” and “Yakov and the Seven Thieves” evolved in the space of a few days, the events of “The Adventures of Abdi” span in a longer time, from when a precious neckless is being “ordered” to Abdi’s master – a Jeweler – to the moment the final product reaches the Queen’s neck, really giving the idea of both a real journey and metaphoric one through everyday’s obstacles.
“The Adventures of Abdi” also describes a unrecognizable time and space, and seems inspired by classic “desert” fables such as Aladdin and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. The action takes place in what might be identified as “somewhere in the Middle East”, but it also presents imagery elements coming from the most incredible Middle-Age bestiaries such as miniaturized camels that keep Abdi company while he’s inprisoned, blue lions used as hat decoration or winged black panthers – not to mention a very peculiar snake.
Children will get their happy ending, but they will be also left thinking about the moral of the story which this time is not so “in your face”. With this story Madonna wanted to explain that “the power of certainty is without limits“, meaning that if we try to perceive the problems and obstacles we have in our lives as something to learn from, we can ultimately overcome them with positive thinking.
The book shows Madonna’s writing skill at its best and as she usually does in her pop song lyrics she delivers a message that can be read at different levels.
Madonna‘s long time positive message about the importance of optimism and the knowledge that if we really believe in the power we have in ourselves we can reach so many goals is now beautifully turned into an incredible story splendidly illustrated by russian couple Olga Dugina and husband Andrej Dugin.
The artists spent one-and-a-half to four months of work on each image and gathered research materials from libraries and museums to give the illustrations the best details. They were also delighted with the artistic possibilities that “Abdi” presented, such as showing exotic places as the desert, different kind of buildings, from small houses to a palace, and the already mentioned mythological animals. This was also the project that brought Andrej back to the illustrating job after a period in which he had stopped working.
And speaking of Adventures, Madonna‘s biography on the last page of the book has been revamped, reminding to readers she has had many adventures of her own in her varied and successful career as a musician, actress and author.
“The Adventures of Abdi” has been unfairly dismissed by some critics, who probably didn’t spend their time to read it, as “Kabbalah preaching disguised as a kiddie book”. We don’t really see why this hard critic comes out now – with the fourth story – nonetheless the story is really universal and it suggests children (and grown ups) to believe in themselves and respect others, which is something we think it’s important… Kaballah or not.
And speaking of Adventures, Madonna’s biography on the last page of the book has been revamped, reminding readers she has had many adventures of her own in her varied and successful career as a musician, actress and author.