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Last Updated:  Monday, 3 March, 2003, 11:33 GMT
Madonna to write children's books
Madonna with daughter Lourdes
Madonna [pictured with daughter Lourdes] will write five books
Pop star Madonna has signed a deal with publisher Penguin to write five children's books.

The first, entitled The English Roses, will be published in hardback in September 2003.

Each of the books, which will be aimed at those aged six and above, will feature the work of a different, celebrated illustrator.

"Madonna is an artist with a universal appeal and these books will touch children of all backgrounds everywhere in the world," said John Makinson, of Penguin Books.

"Penguin is delighted to be working with Madonna on this distinctive and exciting publishing venture."

Madonna joins a long list of celebrated authors and illustrators whose works are published by Puffin, the children's arm of the Penguin Group.

The late Roald Dahl, Raymond Briggs, Eric Carle and Allan and Janet Ahlberg are among them.

Lifelong passion

In the US, the titles will be published by illustrated book publisher Calloway Editions and distributed by the Penguin Group.

"As with everything she does Madonna is once again going to surprise, delight and lead the way," said Nicholas Callaway, founder of Calloway Editions.

"She has drawn on a lifelong passion for and deep familiarity with literature and children's books.

"These are magical stories for children of all ages - even grown up ones."

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