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CNN SUNDAY MORNING

Interview With Nicholas Callaway

Aired September 14, 2003 - 07:13   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: After making it big in music, Madonna has her material eye on a literary career. Tomorrow, her first children's book, "The English Roses," as you see it there, hits book stores in more than 100 countries and 30 languages.
Let's find out more now from Nicholas Callaway. He is the publisher of the book.

Good morning to you, Nicholas. Thanks for being with us.

Tell us why Madonna undertook this project.

NICHOLAS CALLAWAY, PUBLISHER: Good morning.

I think it's the experience of being the mother of two children, and reading to them nightly, as well as her desire to pass on some of the lessons that she has learned in her amazing life, to children around the world of the next generation.

COLLINS: Tell us a little bit about the book, if you would. I know it's about four little girls, but what is the message here that Madonna is trying to get across?

CALLAWAY: The message is to look beneath the surface and not to judge someone or to come to premature conclusions about someone based on superficial things like appearance.

COLLINS: OK. And as we kind of already mentioned, this is sort of a publishing first, and obviously you are involved on that side of things. It's going to be released in 100 different countries, 30 different languages. What sort of a project was that to undertake?

CALLAWAY: Well, it is the widest release of any book in history, in fact, and I think it sends a strong message that 32 of the most distinguished literary houses around the world have all spoken with one voice, that they think this book and the four books to follow, because it is a series of five books, were so extraordinary that they wanted to be part of this historic publishing event.

So I am here in London and in Paris, where the media and publishers and figures from the literary world have all gathered to celebrate this historic event.

COLLINS: Yes, we just saw a little bit of the video of that, and people are pretty excited about the release. But, you know, Nicholas, I do have to ask you, some would say that Madonna has had a sexually explicit lifestyle, at least in front of the media or in front of the cameras. Her most recent event that happened at the "Video Music Awards," Britney Spears, Christina Aguilara, a lot of people talking about that. And those people would probably say, now she's trying to teach children something. They might have a problem with that. What would be your response?

CALLAWAY: I would reassure parents that these stories are wholesome and appropriate for children of all ages and inspiring as well.

COLLINS: All right, Nicholas Callaway, we certainly appreciate your time this morning, coming to us from London. The name of the book, "The English Roses," to be released tomorrow. Thanks so much.

Stephen, back over to you.

CALLAWAY: Thank you.

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