Parents' Guide to

The English Roses

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Madonna's first book has good message for grade-schoolers.

Book Madonna Friendship 2003
The English Roses Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 3+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 6+


Very nice pictures

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 2+

Two of My Favorite Names

Rose and Madonna.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (8):

Well-known entertainer Madonna makes her debut as a children's book author with the first in a series of five entertaining books, each based on a different set of emotions. Now a mother herself, Madonna says that she was inspired by her Kabbalah teacher to share with children some of the insights that she gained in her Kabbalah work. Parents may find plotting about a fairy godmother and a lonely girl also seems like well-tread territory, but at least the girls acknowledge it ("'She reminds me of Cinderella,' said Amy"). Likewise, the message about inclusion is a fairly familiar one -- though it is age appropriate for the 6+ kids this book targets.

As illustrated by fashion designer Jeffrey Fulvimari, the characters are wide-eyed, skinny, and fashionably dressed -- a bit like Bratz dolls. Parents might object to their slouchy, skinny-body, big-eyed fashion-model look -- and it's certainly worth addressing -- but it is eye-catching art that works well with the often sassy narration ("Have you ever been green with envy?...If you say no, you are telling a big, fat fib and I am going to tell your mother.") Also, it may help early elementary kids making the transition from picture to chapter books feel like this is a book for THEM.

Book Details

  • Author: Madonna
  • Illustrator: Jeffrey Fulvimari
  • Genre: Friendship
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Callaway
  • Publication date: October 24, 2003
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 6 - 11
  • Number of pages: 46
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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