Is Madonna’s Sex Book Really So Different From Her Children’s Books?

Madonna may have changed the game with her 1992 coffee table book, Sex, but that doesn’t mean her tamer literary years of children’s books in the early and mid-00s didn’t have their fair share of tongue-in-cheek paragraphs. Of course, they’re not exactly the sexiest reads on an overt level, but they maintain the same sense of irreverence that Madonna established with her first foray into the world of prose.

The motherly type
The motherly type
The series of five children’s books began with The English Roses, released in 2003. Paralleling the the same amount of balking that occurred when M put the Sex book out, this time people were up in arms over the fact that the pop star would deign to think she had any place to instill life lessons within children. She was, after all, the author of Sex. How could she possibly be in a position to give kids a message that wasn’t laden with sexuality?
Madonna, children's book author
Madonna, children’s book author
Billed as “Books for children (even grown up ones),” the series covered a range of issues that we all must endure in our childhood, and well into adulthood, including, but not limited to, jealousy and coveting of other women (The English Roses), how to deal with gossip (Mr. Peabody’s Apples), the importance of doing good deeds–way Cher Horowitz (Yakov and the Seven Thieves), understanding that fate isn’t always in your hands (The Adventures of Abdi) and the notion that money is definitely not everything (Lotsa de Casha).
Cover of Lotsa de Casha
Cover of Lotsa de Casha
In Sex the messages may be different, but the book itself resulted in a large portion of Madonna’s inspiration for the themes she would later convey in her children’s books. For the backlash against her during this time resulted in many lessons learned, indeed.