Celebrities are known for a lot of things, but books aren’t typically on the list. However, that isn’t the case with these celebrities, all of whom have written great children’s books that are actually worth reading! From the beloved Julie Andrews Edwards, to Octavia Spencer, to Ricky Martin, these are the 30 best children’s books written by celebrities.
The Book With No Pictures
As the title reveals, BJ Novak’s The Book With No Pictures consists only of words. But don’t let that deter you! This massively popular bestseller does a lot to show kids just how powerful words can be when they’re written and spoken. If you like The Book With No Pictures, be sure to check out Novak’s follow up: The Alphabet Book With No Pictures.
The Brand New Kid
It’s hard being the new kid in class, as Lazlo S. Gasky knows very well. Not only is Lazlo new, he’s “different.” Fortunately, two girls are brave enough to be “different” too, and befriend Lazlo. The Brand New Kid is written by journalist Katie Couric, and encourages kids to embrace the differences in themselves and others.
The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit
Octavia Spencer’s The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit features Randi Rhodes, ninja detective, and her sidesicks. When the time capsule of the kids’ hometown goes missing the night before it’s meant to be opened, Randi and her friends take it upon themselves to solve the mystery and save the day. Once you’ve finished The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit, be sure to read the sequel, The Sweetest Heist in History!
Daisy and Josephine
Dog-loving kids are sure to love Daisy and Josephine! Written by Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert, this lovely picture book tells the story of a shy little girl and her best friend, Josephine, who is a dog.
The English Roses
Madonna’s great middle grade series, The English Roses has sold more than 500,000 copies! The beautifully illustrated book series follows five friends as they grow up dealing with relatable challenges like moving house, new siblings, and strained friendships.
Derek can’t wait for a summer filled with baseball — that is, until his best friend starts ignoring him. As his friend’s behavior grows stranger and stranger, Derek begins to make some serious mistakes on the baseball diamond. Suddenly, he’s not so sure just how fun summer will be. Fair Ball is a great middle grade novel written by Derek Jeter. Interestingly, Fair Ball (and its sequels) are inspired by the baseball legend’s own life and early baseball career.
Kids may not automatically recognize Kenny Loggins, but they’re bound to love his children’s book, Footloose. Loosely based on the song and movie, Footloose tells the story of a zookeeper called Jack, who decides to stay the night at the zoo in order to join the animals in an all-night party. Kids are sure to love Loggins’ lovable characters, including Marie the lemur, Mister DJ Elephant, and Louise, a chimp who loves to boogie woogie.
Famous red-headed actress Julianne Moore wrote this children’s book about what it’s like to have red hair and freckles. Freckleface Strawberry is all about a little girl who learns to love all of the freckles which make her unique. Moore’s picture book was so popular, the actress even wrote five more books about the now-beloved carrot top!
Who doesn’t love singer/songwriter Pharrell Williams’ mega-hit song, “Happy?” After hitting the Billboard Hot 100 and topping the charts in a whopping 75 countries, Williams adapted his toe-tapping tune to this great children’s book. This beautiful book features fantastic photographs that capture all the joys and wonder of childhood.
Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver
Beloved comedian Henry Winkler is the co-author of the New York Times bestselling series Here’s Hank! Perfect for the young reader who is new to chapter books, the Here’s Hank! series stars Hank Zipzer. Though he’s not the best at reading (…or spelling…or math…), Hank is great at standing up to the school bully, being a good friend and brother, and getting out of trouble.
How Roland Rolls
Funnyman Jim Carrey won the 2013 Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award for this entertaining, yet thought-provoking picture book. How Roland Rolls is the story of Roland, a wave, who is concerned that life will be over once he hits the beach. But after further though, Roland realizes that he’s not just a single wave, he’s the entire ocean. How Roland Rolls uses the metaphor of waves in the ocean to teach children about the ways in which we as humans are all connected.
I Already Know I Love You
Written by Billy Crystal, I Already Know I Love You is a beautiful ode to the relationship between grandfather and grandchild. It features stunning illustrations to go along with a grandfather’s eager anticipation for meeting his new grandchild. Not only is this book a must-have for any child, it also makes a great gift to a loving grandfather.
I Am a Rainbow
Dolly Parton is a big fan of children’s books, and she’s contributed to the genre with this great book called I Am a Rainbow. Through witty words and vibrant illustrations, I Am a Rainbow teaches children all about using colors to express their emotion. Anyone who reads Dolly’s book is sure to be “tickled pink!”
The Land of Stories
Former Glee star Chris Colfer is the author of this beloved book series for fantasy-loving middle grade readers. In each magic filled book, twins Conner and Alex travel to the “Land of Stories,” which is inhabited with all of their favorite fairy tale characters good and bad.
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
Julie Andrews Edwards
The second book written by Julie Andrews Edwards to make our list of the best children’s books written by celebrities is The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles. This charming book features three siblings and their professor friend, who travel to the Whangdoodleland — that is, the land in which all of the creatures that people no longer believe in dwell — in an attempt to find the land whangdoodle. Unfortunately, not everyone wants the beautiful mythical creature to be found.
Late for School
Beloved comedian Steve Martin is the author of this must-read children’s book, in which the morning trip to school has never been so fun! With funny and vibrant illustrations, Late for School tells the story of the hilarious adventures one kid faces as he attempts to get to school before the tardy bell.
Little Bo in Italy: The Continuing Adventures of Bonnie Boadicea
Julie Andrews Edwards and Emma Walton Hamilton
Julie Andrews Edwards is one of the most beloved people, well, ever, and her children’s books are no less charming than any of her most famous characters. One of Edwards’s best characters is Bonnie Boadicea, or Little Bo. In Little Bo in Italy, Little Bo joins Lord and Lady Goodlad’s yacht, Legend, so that she may continue to travel the world in search of her long-lost siblings. Little Bo’s journey involves a number of challenges that test her courage, but prove that even a tiny cat can make a difference in the world. Interestingly, Edwards’s beloved Little Bo books are co-written by her daughter, Emma.
Marge in Charge
When comedic actress Isla Fisher writes a children’s book, you know that book is going to be hysterical! Such is the case with Marge in Charge, a compendium of three stories for transitioning readers. Each hilarious story features siblings Jake and Jemima, and their eccentric new babysitter, Marge.
Modelland is supermodel Tyra Banks’s contribution to the teen fiction genre. Loosely based on Tyra’s life and career, Modelland is full of larger-than-life characters, dream-like settings, and backstage glimpses at both the amazing and the shocking sides of modeling and fashion.
My Brave Year of Firsts: Tries, Sighs, and High Fives
Jamie Lee Curtis
Trying new things can be hard for kids who thrive on routine and familiarity. But thanks to Jamie Lee Curtis and this great children’s book, children might be inspired to try something new. My Brave Year of Firsts follows the likable Frankie as she learns to ride a bike, becomes friends with a dog, and help out her father. With each experience, Frankie discovers that trying new things is how she grows.
The Old Man of Lochnagar
H.R.H. Charles Prince of Wales
He may be a prince, but he’s also a children’s book author. Who knew?! Prince Charles’s delightful picture book, The Old Man of Lochnagar tells the story of an old man’s hysterical adventures around the Scottish countryside — and the even more hysterical characters he meets along the way!
River Rose and the Magical Lullaby
Grammy Award-winning artist Kelly Clarkson is the author of this great children’s book. Named after Clarkson’s own daughter, River Rose and the Magical Lullaby tells the story of a little girl who is going to the zoo. But River Rose is so excited to see the animals, that she can’t sleep the night before her trip! Fortunately, River Rose’s mama is there to help her sleep with a soothing song and important reminder. As an added bonus, the book comes with a link to the original lullaby written and performed by Clarkson herself.
Rock Steady: A Story of Noah’s Ark
Rock Steady: A Story of Noah’s Ark is a great literary adaptation of Sting’s song, Rock Steady. This beautiful book, which features illustrations by Hugh Whyte, is a wonderful way to introduce children to the story of Noah.
Santiago the Dreamer in Land Among the Stars
Ricky Martin’s children’s picture book, Santiago the Dreamer in Land Among the Stars tells the story of Santiago, a young boy who wants nothing more than to become a famous stage actor. But when Santiago is passed over for the lead role in the school play, he is devastated. Santiago’s father encourages him to work hard towards his goal, and reminds him that the path to success isn’t always so straight forward.
The Sissy Duckling
This picture book by actor Harvey Fierstein is all about Elmer, a little duck whose favorite hobbies include things like drawing, baking, and performing his own puppet shows. When his father agrees with the other ducks that Elmer is a sissy, the heartbroken Elmer runs away. But when Elmer’s father’s life is in danger, Elmer uses his talents, cleverness, and bravery to save the day.
Former Lost star Evangeline Lilly has valuable lessons to teach children who read her bestselling picture book The Squickerwonkers. Part Grimm, part Disney, but also entirely its own, The Squickerwonkers tells the story of Selma, a clever little girl who is spoiled to the core. When Selma meets a troupe of marionettes, she gets a bit more than she bargained for and learns that she can’t always get her way.
The Sugar Plum Ballerinas
Actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg is the author of the The Sugar Plum Ballerinas, a whole series of middle grade novels. The series takes place at the Nutcracker Ballet School in Harlem, New York, and follows a group of aspiring dancers as they work hard towards their goal of dancing in ballet. Each book features lovable characters and valuable life lessons.
Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born
Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis and illustrator Laura Cornell have teamed up for a slew of bestselling children’s books, one of which is Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born. This beautiful children’s book features a little girl who asks — yet again — to hear the story of her birth and adoption. This book is especially meaningful for those families with adopted children.
Tilly the Trickster
Former Saturday Night Live star Molly Shannon is the author of Tilly the Trickster, a charming picture book about a girl who is a little too mischievous for her own good. Though Tilly is used to playing practical jokes on her friends and family, she learns a hard lesson when the tables are turned and a joke is played on her.
The Very Fairy Princess: Attitude of Gratitude
Julie Andrews Edwards
Julie Andrews Edwards is a great children’s book author, as evidenced by the fact she’s all over our list of the 30 best children’s books written by celebrities. In The Very Fairy Princess, Edwards introduces readers to Princess Gerry, who is very excited to show her gratitude and give thanks on Gratitude Day — even when things go terribly wrong.