After the success of The English Roses, Madonna is back with the next in her series of children’s books, Mr Peabody’s Apples.
AOL members have been posting questions for the queen of pop, and here are Madonna’s answers to some of the best of them. Members whose questions have been chosen will also be the lucky recipients of a signed copy of the book.
Host: Welcome to CelebConnect! We’re joined by Madonna, whose second children’s book, Mr. Peabody’s Apples, launches on 10 November. We’ll get started with AOL member questions. Here we go, Madonna, are you ready?
Madonna: Yes, I’m ready!
Host: Excellent! This is from AOL Member Sweett2th, who asks you, “I’m wondering if you have a specific number of books planned and is there some common thread that runs through all of the books?”
Madonna: Yes, I set out to write five books to begin with but I’m intending on writing sequels to a few of the books and writing some additional new books. The common thread that is united through all of these books is that I’m hoping that each one of these books has a spiritual message to impart to children who read them.
Host: AOL member Kuttinloose5 asks, “What was the main inspiration that made you decide to write this book?”
Madonna: The main inspiration was the fact that I had children and I wanted to write books that not only would inspire them to be better children and adults but also other children, because I just felt like there weren’t enough books that are actually about something important or teaching children tools or ideas or themes that could help them deal with problems that occur every day in life.
Host: We get a lot of member questions from around the world and this one is from AOL UK member Rob n Pier SW4, so that’s London, right? And they ask that it’s mentioned that Mr Peabody’s Apples is a lesson about how people must choose their words carefully as to avoid causing harm to others. Have you written this story based on how other people’s words have affected you… or how you have, in the past, affected others with your own words?
Madonna: Both. I’ve obviously been affected by other people’s words. I think we all are. And I’ve also hurt people with my words, absolutely. I think it’s a lesson that we all can learn, and I’m speaking from experience.
Host: AOL UK member Syntheticsilk asks, “I’d like to know which books inspired you the most when you were a child and if you could be any character from children’s literature who would you be and why?”
Madonna: Characters from books that inspired me as a child – I would say that one of my favourite characters is the Little Prince, in children’s literature, and I’ve always identified with him because the Little Prince wasn’t satisfied with the answers grown-ups gave him and he was constantly asking questions about the world around him and trying to find an expression for his love. He was unique and straightforward, and I always related to his character.
Host: We obviously get thousands and thousands of well-wishers for you and here is one from AOL member Bclikes and they say: “Just wanted to say how much I admire the way you got started, and what you have accomplished in your life!”
Madonna: Thank you very much!
Host: AOL member EdweirdMonster asks, “What lessons might adults get from these books?”
Madonna: They’ll get the same lessons that children get, for instance, English Roses is about dealing with jealousy and envy and being grateful for the gifts and blessing that you have. Mr Peabody’s Apples is about choosing your words carefully and understanding the power of your words and not judging others before understanding exactly the whole picture and not judging a situation. I have another book, Lotsa De Casha, and that’s about how the key to happiness is sharing with others. So I think that the lessons that children get will be the same lessons that adults get and that was kind of my intention, so that while the parents are reading the book to their kids they are also getting something out of it.
Host: AOL member Scrappychick1 asks, “I’m a mother of four and a teacher. I was pleased to see that you wrote a children’s book and wonder are there other children’s causes that you stand for?”
Madonna: Well, I’m writing children’s books because I feel that children need to understand the laws of the universe, and I think children are the future and if we can educate them and give them the tools to deal with chaos or pain or suffering in their lives then they are going to be able to, in turn, go out into the world when they become adults and effect change for the better. So for me, that’s the most important children’s cause to stand for, their spiritual education.
Host: AOL member Allie0327 asks, “How has literature changed your life?”
Madonna: Literature has changed my life in so many ways. I don’t remember not having a book to read and obviously there have been so many books that I’ve read throughout my life that have had a profound effect on me, so that’s like asking me how life’s changed my life. I just feel that it’s an incredibly important part of life, reading and awakening your mind and using your imagination through reading books.
Host: AOL member Mars Czar asks, “How do the moral lessons of your book reflect aspects of your public life?”
Madonna: Well, one of the lessons of the books I’ve written is in Mr Peabody’s Apples is the power of words and we discussed this previously, the whole idea that you have to choose your words, because everything that you say has an effect on the world around you and once they are out in the atmosphere you can’t take them back. Now obviously that affects me, I’m a public figure. People hear and listen to what I say, what I say affects other people, so that’s like instant application the understanding that my words will affect other people – I know that I must choose them carefully.
Host: And finally, AOL member ImKelH comments, “I applaud your foray into children’s literature. As a preschool teacher and child development advocate, they are refreshing and applicable to their lives. Thank you!”
Madonna: You’re very welcome.
Host: Thanks for joining us Madonna!
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