Comedian and actor Russell Brand will soon be adding “children’s author” to his resume: Brand has signed a deal with Atria Books for three kids’ books, the first of which will come out in November. This isn’t the musician/actor’s first foray into the publishing world: His 2007 memoir My Booky Wookearned him bestseller status.
Still, children’s books are a different animal entirely, and we’re eager to see what he’ll come up with. Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards announced last month that he was writing a children’s book, so we here are Bookish are left to assume that all kinds of unexpected celebrities have a children’s book in them. For example, we bet Kim Kardashian is dying to put out a book now that her half-sisters are published authors, and we are totally rooting for a Mindy Kaling/ B.J. Novak collaboration. Here are some other celebrities and the kids’ books we wish they’d write.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
We know mommy-mogul Kim Kardashian will need something to read to her daughter North at bedtime, at least until she’s old enough for Kendall and Kylie Jenner’s Rebels: City of Indra. We imagine all major characters would have first and last names that start with the letter “K” (although we’d also accept direction-themed names: East, West, Up, Down, etc.), and that everyone in the illustrations would be spectacularly well-dressed. Hopefully, father and rapper Kanye West would be willing to contribute some sick rhymes, too. We think this duo could give Dr. Seuss a run for his money.
Let’s face it: Lorde is a badass. Her lyrics are smart and zeitgeisty, and her feminist ways set a great example for fans young and old. From her, we’d expect a book featuring a strong female protagonist who isn’t overly concerned with material possessions and is supremely confident in her appearance. The world already has a lot of children’s books that convince little girls they want to grow up to be princesses. We’d like to see Lorde write one about how most of us will never be royals (royals…), but life can be pretty sweet anyway.
Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler has written lyrics about raising children before: In the title track from the Grammy-winning LP The Suburbs, Butler sings, “So can you understand why I want a daughter while I’m still young? / I want to hold her hand and show her some beauty before all this damage is done / But if it’s too much to ask, if it’s too much to ask, send me a son.” This is a great sentiment—what parent isn’t motivated by a desire to show their children how wonderful the world can be? We’d like to see Butler put some of that on paper in an innocent and nostalgic book about growing up in the suburbs—something that could be read to a son or a daughter.
Neil Patrick Harris
Pictures of Neil Patrick Harris and his family dressed up as characters from children’s books on Halloween are all the evidence anyone could ever need that Neil would be an excellent kids’ author. Clearly the man adores books and loves sharing them with his young family. There’s a definite theme in the Halloween costumes he’s picked in the past: From Tweedledee to Captain Hook, they’re all from children’s fantasy books. So we’d definitely expect to read about some fantastical creatures, faraway lands, and a rockin’ bromance.
Maisie Williams has said that working on Game of Thrones (where she plays Arya Stark) has changed her view of how narrative works: She was used to the good guys always winning, but the Game of Thrones doesn’t work that way. We like the idea of this fresh-faced young actress writing a children’s book with a more nuanced take on the “good guys” versus the “bad guys” cliche. By drawing on her own learning experiences as a cast member on GoT, Williams could impart a more complicated view of morality and narrative to the reader, and in doing so, show that things aren’t always black-and-white.
We know we aren’t alone when we say we love Mindy Kaling. She, like Lorde, is a smart feminist role model for girls (and boys!) everywhere. Aside from her great fashion sense, she also has a fantastic sense of humor, which we think she might be able to apply to writing a kids’ book. Instead of Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, maybe she could write something for the middle-grade set. We’re just spitballing here, but what about Is It Okay If I Sit Here? or Can I Work On This Group Project With You Guys? Who knows, maybe her writer-BFF B.J. Novak would write a companion series.