28 APRIL 2008

Click here to see a video of Geri reading excerpts from her book

You could have heard a pin drop when Geri Halliwell introduced her cartoon heroine Ugenia to children at a reading at London Zoo on Sunday. Her attentive audience was the first to hear about the adventures of the mischievous, freckled schoolgirl, who is the star of the Spice Girl's debut children's book.

The fledgling children's author began Ugenia Lavender, the first in a series of six books, when she was pregnant with daughter Bluebell Madonna, who turns two on May 14.

And the singer is keen to stress it's all her own work. "I know there is a prejudice again celebrity authors, but if you read my stories you'll know they're not ghostwritten – only that I could be bonkers," quips the talented mum.

Geri readily admits redheaded Ugenia - who's the daughter of a dinosaur expert and TV presenter - is her alter-ego or, as she puts it, "my inner brat".

The little girl's struggle to make friends at a new school are loosely based on the 35-year-old's own experiences in Watford, seeing off playground bullies and her "fantastic memories of playing kiss chase with the boys".

Photo: ©
Pint-sized and mischievous, the main character in the Spice Girl's first book for kids is clearly inspired by Geri's own experiencesPhoto: © Rex
Photo: ©
The singer tested out the tale, which is aimed at under-sevens, on an appreciative audience at London ZooPhoto: © Rex
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