Madonna cast aside her raunchy pop image Sunday to throw a tea party for the launch of her first children’s book.
The pop icon, who has had more style makeovers than David Bowie, played the demure 45-year-old mother of two to publicize “The English Roses,” her first dip into the highly lucrative world of children’s publishing.
About 100 children sat eagerly at her feet in a London roof garden as she read from her illustrated tale which, with Harry Potter-style hype, is being launched Monday in 30 languages and more than 100 countries.
Madonna, flanked by her son, Rocco, and her daughter, Lourdes, sat on a garden swing chair reading in her best bedtime story voice.
Forget the steamy pop videos, conical bras and foul-mouthed outbursts. Here was “Mamma-Donna,” elegantly attired in a floral cream dress and sporting spectacles that would not have looked out of place on a prim schoolteacher’s nose.
Before launching into her brief reading, the icon who is hounded by paparazzi and tabloids around the world confessed to the children: “I like little kids better than big people because they don’t have any bad habits yet.”
“I think I am being upstaged by my children,” she said as Rocco fidgeted in the seat beside her and Lourdes beamed with pride.
Madonna got the biggest cheer from the children when she showed them one of the illustrations — a picture of kids who were literally colored green with envy.
Madonna’s latest album “American Life” was panned by some critics and her latest movie “Swept Away,” made by her film director husband Guy Ritchie, went straight to video in Britain after being slated in the United States.
But she launched into her latest literary career with panache, answering questions from a string of showbusiness reporters who queued up to grill her.
Madonna was the first to hail her children as both her inspiration and harshest critics.
She told Reuters TV: “I tried out all the stories on my children and whenever they got bored and started fidgeting, or complaining, or looking for other things to do, I knew I had to fix that part of the story or get rid of it”
She concluded with a poignant confession. Madonna, whose own mother died when she was five, said: “The only thing that I put in of myself is that Binah, the main character, is growing up without a mother. Her mother died when she was young so that was the similarity.”
Source: Paul Majendie, Reuters