They sing, they act, and they also… write books? Many superstars have released their own children’s books, and we’re here for it! So we’ve rounded up a list of our favourite reads, written by names that you may know and love.
Nowadays, celebrities are multi-hyphenates. They’re phenomenal at what they do, like acting or singing, and adept at dabbling in other things too, including writing books for kids. Yes, you heard that right… there are books out there for children written by famous folk, and though some of the topics covered may be adult in tone (racism! gender identity! adoption!), the illustrations make the books both easy and fun to read. As this niche category continues to grow, we’ve muscled together our favourite picks of children’s books written by celebrities. Enjoy!
HoneyKids Book Club: Our fave children’s books by celebrities
1. Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o
This beautifully inspiring book is a glowing example of what we think parents should read to their little ones. It follows Sulwe, a Kenyan girl with “midnight dark” skin who wishes to be more like her light-skinned family members… until she embarks on a magical journey and eventually embraces her complexion. According to the Oscar winner, “sulwe” means star in Lupita Nyong’o’s native language, Luo.
2. The English Roses by Madonna
She’s one of the world’s most well-known celebrities (who doesn’t know Madonna?!) and it turns out, she counts writing children’s books as one of her accomplishments. The first book in this series is an inspiring story that compounds the importance of compassion and not judging, well, a book by its cover. We reckon Queen Madonna has written this from the heart – a topic with which she’s had plenty of experience and wisdom!
3. Kiki & Jax: The Life-Changing Magic of Friendship by Marie Kondo
Getting the kiddos to clean up is a monumental task – do you agree, parents? Marie Kondo, AKA the “Spark Joy” lady, has released a children’s book that discusses how to make room for each other in a friendship. Of course, there’s that bit about tidying up and embracing joy in the story too! And maybe this will inspire your children to start cleaning up their rooms more often…
4. Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada by Jimmy Fallon
As a baby grows, there’s often some sort of competition between parents on what their bub’s first word will be (come on, admit it!). Is it going to be “mummy”? Or will it be “daddy”? The first book by talk show host Jimmy Fallon details the struggles all fathers face to ensure that their littlie’s first word will be “dada”.
5. How Do You Care for a Very Sick Bear? by Vanessa Bayer
Dealing with a significant illness is bad enough, more so when the sick person is a child. Drawing from her personal experience, actor Vanessa Bayer wrote this children’s book to teach readers how to help their friends who may be sick. We say this is a valuable read that’s good to have on your bookshelf. Or even as a gift to others!
6. Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis
One of the tricky things to navigate as a parent is explaining tough topics to the kids. This illustrated book talks about adoption in a sweet and sunny manner. A little girl asks her parents about the night she was born, relishing the story again and again while also learning more about familial love and acceptance.
7. I Already Know I Love You by Billy Crystal
We’ve already reflected on the importance of grandparents in a kid’s life, so here’s a written ode from the other side of the spectrum. Award-winning multi-hyphenate Billy Crystal lists down all the celebratory moments he can’t wait to share with his soon-to-arrive grandchild. This is a heartwarming book that grandies will love reading to the littlies.
8. Just the Two of Us by Will Smith
Just the two of us. We can make it if we try. Just the two of us. You and I. Based on the superstar’s hit release, this picture book by Will Smith illustrates the loving relationship between a father and his son, from childhood till he reaches adulthood. Daddies, read this out loud the next time you’re tasked with storytelling. There won’t be a dry eye in the house when you’re done with this book.
9. How Roland Rolls by Jim Carrey
This is a great book to read whenever you’re at the beach. Roland is a wave who’s afraid of his life being over should he hit the beach one day… until he realises that he’s part of a more significant thing! (Spoiler alert: it’s the ocean.) Who would’ve thought that comedic actor Jim Carrey could come out with something so thought-provoking?
10. Natalie Portman’s Fables by Natalie Portman
Everyone loves a good fairy tale. Well, how about three? The Tortoise and the Hare, The Three Little Pigs, and Country Mouse and City Mouse have been revised for more inclusive storytelling in this collection. Readers of all ages can derive insightful life lessons after going through this charmingly illustrated book by the lovely Natalie Portman.
11. Tomatoes for Neela by Padma Lakshmi
Reading and eating are two activities that go perfectly together. And Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi probably has the same thought – I mean, why else would she write this book! Go on a gastronomical adventure with Neela, as she discovers delicious flavours and fun food facts while cooking with her Amma. Sadly, she couldn’t physically share her cooked food with her Paati, who lives far away in India. But that didn’t stop Neela’s connection with her grandmother. A mouth-watering read.
12. The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris
Do you believe in magic? Well then, here’s a book that’s filled to the brim with it – there are even lessons on how to carry out magic tricks! The story follows street magician Carter, who ran away from his uncle but was captured by a greedy carnival owner. Don’t worry: he managed to escape and made friends with five fellow illusionists. We enjoyed this tale very much, and we promise you will too!
13. The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit by Octavia Spencer
Here’s a fun page-turner that’ll keep the kids out of your hair for a couple of hours! 12-year-old Randi Rhodes, the world’s first ninja detective, has three days to find her town’s missing time capsule. Will she and her friends be able to save the day? When you’re done with this, continue the ninja adventures with the second instalment, The Sweetest Heist in History.
14. Superheroes are Everywhere by Kamala Harris
Superheroes are all around us – you just need to know where to look. Madam Vice President Kamala Harris invites readers on an empowering journey showcasing the many superheroes that we encounter every single day. We may even know some superheroes personally in our lives! Also included in this book is a guide on how you can be a superhero. Cape and mask are optional.
15. I Promise by LeBron James
“Nothing is given. Everything is earned.” These are the wise words dispensed by the NBA champion, which have been translated beautifully into this children’s book. Follow a diverse group of students as they go about their day, making promises that may seem impossible but are actually good mantras to uphold. This uplifting story doesn’t come across preachy, and everyone can use a good reminder now and again.
16. Freckleface Strawberry by Julianne Moore
I’ll let you in on a secret: sometimes, I wish I had freckles. I would even draw some faux ones on my face! However, those with freckles would rather not have them, which includes the titular character of this book. How did she end up embracing this unique feature of hers? Well, pick up this book to find out! This book series by the very talented Julianne Moore is so massively successful that it has spawned a musical and two apps.
17. I Don’t Want to Read This Book by Max Greenfield
Do you have a child who’s not into reading? Gasp! Get your little reluctant reader this whimsical book, pick a cosy corner in the house, and start flipping the pages. Sure, there may be words… sentences… some paragraphs… but we assure you, by the time the littlies are done with this book, they’ll want to read it all over again!
Know of any other children’s books written by celebrities? Share them with us via DM!