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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 June, 2003, 11:21 GMT 12:21 UK
Madonna 'to set publishing record'
Madonna with daughter Lourdes
Madonna started writing the books after reading to daughter Lourdes
A children's book by Madonna will be published in 100 countries in what is being hailed as the biggest ever release of its kind.

The English Roses will appear in bookstores around the world on 15 September, translated into 42 languages.

It is the first of five children's morality tales planned by the singer, based on Hebrew texts she is studying from the Kabbalah religion.

US publisher Callaway Editions said it would become the "widest simultaneous multi-language release in publishing history".

Madonna - mother of Lourdes, six, and Rocco, two, - has criticised what she called "vapid and vacant" books that offered no lessons in life for younger readers.

American Life album cover
Madonna's latest album has sold well
The English Roses, which has a projected US print run of 400,000, is described as "a story... about friendship, jealousy, sleepover parties, and fairy godmothers".

It is illustrated throughout with colour pictures.

The book is being published by Callaway and Penguin Group, in association with various publishers around the world.

The title and release date of the second book will be announced when the first one appears in shops.

It remains to be seen whether critics will be kinder to Madonna's literary abilities than her acting, which has been universally derided.

Aged 44, she remains a top-selling recording artist after 20 years in the music business.

Despite mixed reviews her latest album, American Life, topped the charts in the UK and US - selling nearly half a million copies in America.

Madonna plans 'morality tale'
17 Apr 03  |  Entertainment
Madonna to write children's books
03 Mar 03  |  Entertainment
Madonna fights to keep pop crown
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American Life: Your views
21 Apr 03  |  Entertainment

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