Madonna: Bedtime Stories of a DIFFERENT Kind?
By Paul Majendie
LONDON (Reuters) - Harry Potter taught kids around the
world the joy of reading. Now 9-time RAZZIE "winner" Madonna is going global in
the thriving kids' book business with a publishing first: The pop
superstar's first children's book -- "The English
Roses" -- is being published simultaneously in
more than 100 countries and 30 languages.
State-of-the-art technology has sent language barriers tumbling
so printing plants around the world can spring into action in
every tongue from French to Faroese. "This is a publishing
first with regard to numbers of languages and territories,"
said Nicholas Callaway, President of the New York-based Callaway
Editions, the originating publisher, who has coordinated the
global release. "We have languages as varied as Chinese and
Czech, Thai and Turkish, Hebrew and Hungarian," he told
Reuters. Internet advances have shrunk the globe. "This
would not have been technically possible 18 months ago. We send
so many digital files through the Internet," Callaway added.
More than one million copies are hitting bookstores around the
world at once, backed by a marketing blitz that takes Madonna
from London to Paris, then on to the Oprah Winfrey talk
show in the United States.
Critics may carp at the spotlight focusing on Madonna, a self-described
genius at both spotting and setting pop and fashion trends. Helen
Fraser, managing director of Penguin Books who will be
publishing the book in Britain, concedes that cynics will grumble
about hype as the 45-year-old mother of two bursts into print
after years as a raunchy pop icon and failed movie star. Her only previous book was the
graphically illustrated coffee table S&M tome, SEX.
"Whenever somebody as famous as Madonna does something,
cynics will use the "H" word," she told Reuters.
Fraser apparently was referring to "hype" and not
"whore," -- which actually starts with a "w."
Fraser insists that the book -- the first of five written
by Madonna for kids -- will "appeal to people from eight to
80, not just dirty old men like her SEX book!"
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