Superstar-turned-children's author Madonna felt compelled to write, because the fairytales she read her daughter LOURDES were unrealistic for modern girls.

The 45-year-old mum has written The English Roses in a bid to give children something more modern to read than tales of sleeping princesses and "passive" heroines.

She says, "You know the women in Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty or SNOW WHITE are really passive. They don't move the plot along at all.

"They just show up, they're beautiful, they get snapped up by the princes, the princes tell them they want to marry them and then they go off and live happily ever after.

"I thought, 'What's a girl supposed to get out of this?' That's such a load of c**p. I'd read to the end and I'd say to LOLA, 'Wait a minute, nobody asked her what she wanted.'"

Madonna's new book is a moralistic tale about four girls who exclude another girl from their friendship.

The pop superstar admits Lourdes is the inspiration for her lead character BINAH.

She explains, "My daughter is, to a certain extent, a little bit of Binah because in school often children can be quite mean and ostracise her because I'm her mother.

"Whether it is in Los Angeles or in London, the kids are constantly bringing in magazines like OK! or HEAT and coming up to my daughter and saying, 'Look Lola, there's a picture of your mum. And there's a picture of you.' I just don't know why people let their children go to school with that c**p."

15/09/2003 09:22