They sing, dance, act and now, many celebrities are picking up a pen to write their own picture books. In 2012, we saw a screen legend, a songwriter and a comedian all add theirs to the bunch, and their imaginative tales are sure to put smiles on the faces of kids and parents like. (If reading dark-humorist Michael Ian Black’s book about a girl struggling to impress a talking potato doesn’t leaven the ritual of story time for parents, what will?) Check out some of the stars who’ve entered the kids’ book fray.
“That’s What I Do,” by Jewel
Singer Jewel’s debut picture book is a great addition to bedside reading. Written as a lullabye from mother to child, the books comes paired with a CD of the author singing the words on the page.
“The Very Fairy Princess: Here Comes the Flower Girl!” by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton
Written with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, Julie Andrews has delighted young readers with her Very Fairy Princess series of picture books. In the latest installment released this April, little Gerry is asked to be the flower girl in her Aunt Sue’s wedding. Though a rain shower threatens to ruin the fun, Gerry helps prove that love is really all you need.
“Tyler Makes Pancakes!” by Tyler Florence
Chef Tyler Florence puts down the frying pan to give kids an educational spin on a story about breakfast. From the cows and chickens on a farm to items in a grocery store, a young Tyler and his dog Tofu learn exactly where all the ingredients in their pancakes come from.
“Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops,” by Jill Biden
The Second Lady writes a story about Natalie, a little girl whose father is deployed to an unnamed war. This picture book delivers a portrayal of military families that promises to pull your heartstrings.
“Chocolate Me,” by Taye Diggs
Actor Taye Diggs’ first children’s book is about a boy who looks different from all his friends. With the help of his mother, he learns not only to accept his differences, but to love them.
“The Boy With the Pink Hair,” by Perez Hilton
Gossip blogger Perez Hilton tries his hand at inspirational messages. From bullying to self-acceptance, Hilton tackles the issues of a boy who is just a little bit different.
“Tilly the Trickster,” by Molly Shannon
Molly Shannon, former “Saturday Night Live” star, takes a break from television and film to write her first children’s book. It’s all about being a mischievous little kid–and how sometimes, that mischief can backfire.
“Mario and Baby Gia,” by Mario Lopez
Known for his role on “Saved by the Bell” and his turn on “Dancing With the Stars,” Mario Lopez has now written his second children’s book, in which little Mario babysits his cousin Gia and discovers how much of a handful–and a joy–a baby can be.
“Being Wendy,” by Fran Drescher
Fran Drescher, currently starring on TV Land’s “Happily Divorced,” makes her first foray into children’s literature. Wendy is from a little town where everyone wears an identical cardboard suit. On each box is written the person’s job–the teacher’s box says “teacher,” the doctor’s says “doctor”–and it’s almost time for Wendy to choose what word to put on hers. But when she decides instead to live out of the box, the whole town is turned on its head.
“Little Man,” by Dionne Warwick and David Freeman Wooley
The second children’s book from diva Dionne Warwick, “Little Man” is about making your dreams come true. Playing drums is Little Man’s favorite thing to do, but he quickly discovers that finding his rhythm requires practice, practice, practice.
“I’m Bored,” by Michael Ian Black
Comedian Michael Ian Black writes a story of a little girl faced with the ultimate kiddie dilemma—boredom. But when she meets a potato who tells her that children are really boring, she sets out to proved the chatty spud wrong. If anything, this picture book will prove itself to be an antidote to any tyke’s disinterest.