Geri Halliwell launches kids' books

LONDON Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:48pm BST

British singer Geri Halliwell arrives for the world premiere of 'It's a Boy Girl Thing' in Leicester Square in central London December 18, 2006. Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell is back on the ''Girl Power'' trail -- but this time she is penning children's books about a feisty nine-year-old. REUTERS/Toby Melville

British singer Geri Halliwell arrives for the world premiere of 'It's a Boy Girl Thing' in Leicester Square in central London December 18, 2006. Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell is back on the ''Girl Power'' trail -- but this time she is penning children's books about a feisty nine-year-old.

Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville

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LONDON (Reuters) - Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell is back on the "Girl Power" trail -- but this time she is penning children's books about a feisty nine-year-old.

Halliwell, following in the literary footsteps of fellow singers Madonna and Kylie Minogue, announced on Thursday that she is publishing a series of six books she started writing when she was pregnant.

The tales of her heroine Ugenia Lavender will be published under a punishing schedule -- a book a month from May next year. She is also recording a special song to accompany them and will be reading the audio editions.

"She is the rebirth of Girl Power," Halliwell told Reuters in an interview to mark her signing a world rights publishing deal with Macmillan Children's Books.

"It is time to hand on the baton of Girl Power through a different medium," she said.

Halliwell, who shot to fame in the 1990s when the manufactured pop band the Spice Girls sold over 35 milllion albums around the world, has penned her own songs and written two volumes of autobiography.

But fiction is much more fun.

"It is just amazing. I can make anything happen. It is like playing God," she said of her Lavender adventures.

Among the characters featured in the book is a princess based on fellow Spice Girl Victoria, who is married to soccer star David Beckham.

"She was very flattered and I hope she is going to read the books to her boys," Halliwell said.

In this celebrity age, more and more stars are turning to kid's books which, whatever their literary merit, are skilfully marketed.

Some critics were not kind to U.S. pop star Madonna when she published "The English Roses," the first in a series of children's books, but it went on to become the fastest selling picture book of all time.

Halliwell said she was spurred into action when pregnant with her daughter.

"I had put my back out and was stuck on the couch. I have a massive amount of creative energy and love to write. I needed something to channel that energy," she said.

Halliwell, who used to devour Enid Blyton adventure stories in her back garden when she was a girl, hopes she can inspire another generation of kids to be bookworms too.

"It is important to encourage them to read but it has to taste like chocolate and feel like fun."

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