On June 7 2004, Callaway Arts & Entertainment announced the release of Madonna’s third book for children, Yakov and the Seven Thieves, on June 21, 2004.
Yakov and the Seven Thieves was illustrated by Gennady Spirin, an award winning and internationally revered artist, who had illustrated 33 previous children’s books.
Madonna’s first two children’s books, The English Roses and Mr. Peabody’s Apples, both debuted at No. 1 on the children’s picture book best-seller list of The New York Times, and remained on the list for 18 and 10 weeks, respectively.
Madonna described Yakov and the Seven Thieves as “a story about how all of us have the ability to unlock the gates of heaven-no matter how unworthy we think we are. For when we go against our selfish natures, we make miracles happen, in our lives and in the lives of others.”
Publisher and CEO of Callaway Arts & Entertainment, Nicholas Callaway made this statement about the book: “Yakov and the Seven Thieves again proves the amazing range of Madonna’s storytelling talent. Her first book was set in contemporary England and the second in post-World War II America. Now, she takes us to a completely different cultural milieu-a small 18th-century town in Eastern Europe. We therefore selected a world-renowned Russian artist, Gennady Spirin, to illustrate this book, because his traditional artistic style perfectly complements the old-world setting of the story.