llustrated by Jeffrey Fulvimari
Callaway, September 2003
Reviewed by Barbara Fielding

THE ENGLISH ROSES features the story of four little girls, Nicole, Amy, Charlotte and Grace. They are the best of friends, love all the same things, especially dancing, and spend all their free time together. There is just one small problem. They are a bit jealous and when a beautiful girl Binah moves into the neighborhood their jealousy takes over.

The girls try to devise a plan for dealing with Binah and finally agree to completely ignore her. One night Nicole has a sleep-over with her friends, her Mummy suggests the girls include Binah because she is a very beautiful but lonely little girl. Troubled by the suggestion, the English Roses all have the same dream that night. A fairy appears in their dream, sprinkles them with fairy dust, and shows them a day in the life of Binah. The dream causes the little girls to see Binah in a totally different way.

Pop music singer, Madonna has branched out in a new and surprising direction with this new children's book.  Madonna has written a delightful book dealing with girlish rivalries. The topic is handled in a wonderful way, guiding the girls through empathetic understanding of how painful jealousy can be. The illustrations are lovely and the caricature drawing of the girls are very appealing. THE ENGLISH ROSES is the first in a five book series. MR. PEABODY'S APPLES is due out in November 2003.


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