Too often these days, we see that the first thing a person does when they become famous is to write a book. This usually turns into some inane biography of a short life lived with boring anecdotes. There are plenty of winners but just as many that don’t meet the bar. These celebrities have chosen a different route and have written children’s books. Popular, fun, bright, and entertaining books at that! I’m betting that you won’t know more than a few of the books on this list.
Let’s kick this off right with Jason Segels’ book Nightmares! Although he co-wrote the book with veteran Kirsten Miller, much of his anecdotal ideas about his own nightmares as a child fly to the foreground through the story. He wanted this to be a comforting book about how nightmares can be scary but we can always overcome our fear. It’s a Bluebonnet winner and has more than 4-stars on just about any site that you visit. Definitely give this one a read. This title is Junior fiction.
Santiago the Dreamer in Land Among the Stars was written by Ricky Martin, a Grammy winning, international superstar. The story was inspired by his own childhood that was brought on memories that he was making with his own children. He recalled how jittery he had been his first time on stage and how his father helped him on the right path when he was rejected from the school play. This is a great book to show kids who might be concerned about their own jitters but want to be stars. This title is junior picture book.
The Book With No Pictures has quickly become a staple to our libraries because of its silly sounds, lack of pictures, and fantastic use of parental voice. B.J Novak, best known from The Office, made a great choice when he decided this was the way to go. What a legacy to leave behind as children all over the world now enjoy this pictureless book. What a feat! This title is meant to be a junior picture book but it obviously has no pictures.
You might imagine that the actors from Glee have too much going on to be bothered with writing but you’d be very, very wrong. Chris Colfer, who played Kurt Hummel, is also a singer and writer it seems. Though The Land of Stories is a grand retelling of old rhymes and fairytales, it does not disappoint. It is a beautiful compendium of great classics and a more suitable gift for book lovers alike. This title is Junior Fiction.
One of the better authors I found was the weirdest man himself, Weird Al Yankovic! He wrote a book called When I Grow Up. With nothing less than a 4-stars on any given site, most people are proclaiming that its one of the greatest children's books they’ve ever read! Weird Al brings his trademark silliness, wit, and rhyming to a story that asks, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” This title is a junior picture book.
The late basketball legend Kobe Bryant even got on this train, with Wesley King and Annie Matthew, and sank a three from downtown! He created two masterpieces that I can personally attest to: the Wizenard series and the Legacy and The Queen. Two magical tales that bring wonderment and life to the mundaneness of our lives. Worth the read just to feel closer to this legendary man. This title is junior fiction.
Lupita Nyongo is more than just a pretty face and proves it by her first book Sulwe. She writes a beautiful story about a young girl learning to love the skin she's in after wishing to be lighter. It’s ultimately a tale about colorism but remains lighthearted and informational. This award-winning book is a staple with People of Color and is highly sought after. This title is a junior picture book.
Bette Midler wrote about a very real event that happened in New York City Central Park with The Tale of the Mandarin Duck: A Modern Fable. A tale about keeping your head up to see the wonder of the real world instead of the constant looking down at your phone. A real duck landed in Central Park and made for a very entertaining story. She also wrote The Saga of Baby Divine, a cutesy tale about a baby whose only word, “More,” helps her on her journey to love and laughter. This title is a junior picture book.
Everyone's favorite Queer Eye man, Karamo Brown wrote a tale about loving who you are, exactly as you are in I am Perfectly Designed; Something we could all hear more of in these trying times. With a global rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars, there is no doubt that the majority of people really enjoy the words and the tale itself. Karamo himself has come under fire in 2023 for an ill-informed episode on his new talk show but I still think this book is a good read. This title is a junior picture book.
While there are many more great titles with famous people attached, I will leave it up to you to decide if you'd really like to go down that rabbit hole and be surprised. These titles are all a-list in their genre and create many pathways to learning about life and living it. Comment below on other celebrities who have written books you love!