No matter how many awards and accolades they gather for acting, singing or other outstanding accomplishments, celebrities often feel the need to prove they’re talented in other areas. Some actors try singing, some singers attempt acting, and politicians will often try any creative endeavor to prove they’re more than the image created by their publicists.
While some celebrities pen autobiographies or books on healthy living, most never tackle the challenge of writing a novel. However, the idea of writing a children’s book seems oddly appealing to many stars. The titles and subjects run the gamut from pure silly fun to life’s lessons learned but all give a little glimpse into the frequently veiled psyches of our favorite entertainers.
Russell Brand‘s Trickster Tales book series is set to launch this fall, an endeavor he promises will take traditional fairy tales and retell them in ways children can better relate to. In the meantime, check out these books written by a range of celebs from football players to stand-up comedians.
If Roast Beef Could Fly by Jay Leno
Leno often joked about his bad eating habits as long-time host of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, so a book about roast beef seems apropos. The book is actually a cute short story about a childhood experience involving a plastic fork and a hot beef roast written with colorful hyperbole that appeals to many children.
Silly Street by Jeff Foxworthy
The third in a series of books by the guy who made the statement, “You may be a redneck if…” popular, the rhyming prose has characters like flying squirrels, pink elephants and a pony whose favorite food is bologna. Foxworthy proved his great rapport with kids as host of Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? and that connection comes through in spades in his writing.
Queen of the Scene by Queen Latifah
The Queen’s first children’s book focuses on a girl that can do it all and, like the author, she won’t be dissuaded by any obstacles. Latifah’s inspiring words are accented by the dynamic art of Frank Morrison, a combination that will rouse girls of all ages into going after what they want with courage and resolve.
My Name is Cheech the School Bus Driver by Cheech Marin
No, the school bus is not made from “organic” materials but with Cheech at the wheel, it couldn’t be more fun. As he mans the wheel, he stirs the imaginations of his young passengers and insists they can put together a mariachi band worthy of winning a talent contest.
Rock Steady by Sting
Best known for his musical talent and amazing tales of tantric sex, a book based on the Bible story about Noah’s Ark was even more surprising than Russell Crowe’s portrayal of the title character. A tree hugger from way back, Sting‘s take on the story focuses on the importance of treating the earth and all its creatures with reverence and respect.
It’s About A Little Bird by Jessica Lange
Depending on your age, you may remember Jessica Lange as a smoulderingly hot movie sex symbol of the 70s, the scary star who sends chills down your spine in her various roles on the gruesome TV series American Horror Story or, if you’re lucky, both. A whole different side of Lange is revealed in her children’s book, a gentle tale of a treasure found by two young sisters in their grandmother’s barn.
The Jolly Mon by Jimmy Buffett and Savannah Jane Buffett
When Jimmy Buffett occasionally meanders outside the perimeter of Margaritaville, he pairs up with daughter Savannah Jane to write for children. The Jolly Mon is one of two Buffett books and tells the story of a man, his magical guitar, and how it brings together the inhabitants of a group of islands.
The English Roses by Madonna
Madonna has changed personas more often than some people change their minds but she’s one of the first big stars who delved into children’s book writing. Her 12-part book series called The English Roses tells the story of five young ladies living in London who live and learn through adventures that educate them on life while reminding them of the importance of friendship and love.
The Teddy Bears’ Picnic by Jerry Garcia
Before Jerry Garcia transcended to the true land of The Grateful Dead, he added a children’s book to his incredible list of artistic contributions. The Teddy Bears’ Picnic transforms the popular children’s song into a readable story. A CD comes with the book featuring Garcia singing the original song.
Man Gave Names to All of the Animals by Bob Dylan
In his long lifetime, Bob Dylan has been labeled everything from a troubadour to a traitor. While you can’t always understand his singing, his lyrics never fail to inspire or at least make you wonder what the hell he’s talking about. He took one of his more easily comprehendible songs and transformed it into a lovely, enchanting children’s book enriched by the awesome illustrations of Jim Arnosky.