After Election, Madonna Tries to Stay Upbeat

The moral of Madonna's new children's book is simple and positive: "Everything that happens is for the best." Now the singer who is constantly embroiled in controversy is trying to practice what she preaches to kids.

In an interview with ABC Radio, Madonna said she's doing her best to get over her disappointment at the outcome of the presidential election and focusing on her new book, "The Adventures of Abdi," the story of a little boy who must deliver the world's most precious necklace to the queen.

"In terms of the elections, I don't agree with so many things and the decisions that George Bush has made and I'm not happy with the situation in Iraq," she told ABC Radio's Andrea Dresdale. "I do believe that the American public has been manipulated to a great degree."

Nevertheless, Madonna -- who had urged fans at her concerts to see Michael Moore's controversial, anti-Bush documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" -- says she's not going to sit around "moaning and groaning."

"In the end, we have to say, 'OK, we didn't win, but there's other ways to fix the problems, so now what else can I do to help?' "

Still Friends With Elton John

Madonna also says there's no need to bury the hatchet with Elton John, who recently accused her of charging concertgoers outrageous prices to see her lip-synch, an allegation she's denied. Madonna says there was never a rift between the two performers.

"There was never a hatchet for me in the first place," she said. "I always thought of him as a friend. I think he was just having a bad day when he said those things and I never really took it personally."

She said the media blew the whole thing out of proportion.

"The press made a bigger deal out of it than I did," she said. "I don't really care. I don't read the press."

Madonna, who's married to British director Guy Ritchie and lives in England these days, says she invited John to induct her into the U.K. Music Hall of Fame on Thursday, but he had a previous commitment.

"I thought, that would be cool if Elton John gave me the award and then we could kiss and make up in front of everybody because everybody seems attached to the idea we're having this feud in the first place," she said.

Mother and Author

Now the 46-year-old performer is focusing on her latest book, "The Adventures of Abdi," the story of a little boy who must deliver the world's most precious necklace to the queen.

In the story, Abdi is robbed in the desert, thrown in a dungeon, and has a surprising encounter with a snake. The book, aimed at readers ages 6 and older, aims to teach kids about the power of positive energy, Madonna says.

Her first children's book, "The English Roses," was an international best seller and made publishing history with a simultaneous release in 30 languages, becoming the fastest-selling book ever by a first-time children's author.

It was followed by "Mr. Peabody's Apples," and Madonna says she plans to write a sequel to "Roses."

The singer, famous for reinventing her look and sound so many times, is thrilled by the latest turn in her career. The children's books are bringing her new fans -- and even winning over some people who weren't too crazy about her music.

"Oh, I got tons of letters like, 'I never liked her records but I like her books.' I'm like, 'Thanks a lot," she said, laughing.

Her two children -- Lourdes, 8, and Rocco, 4 -- give her a lot of feedback on her writing, Madonna says. Lourdes is especially involved.

"She comes in when I'm writing and says, 'That's a good idea, that's a stupid idea, that's boring, Mom, Oh, I like that. I want more of that.' And my son likes 'Yakov and the Seven Thieves' because he likes bad guys."

Lourdes has written a short story for a Christmas book that is being published for charity in Britain.

"I'm incredibly proud," Madonna said. "She has an active imagination and she always writes in her journal."

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