As if we really needed another reason to love Channing Tatum, he went and wrote a children’s book. Tatum took to Instagram on Monday to make his announcement with what is my new favorite photo of him. In the photo he’s dressed as a fairy, reading his book, Sparkella to a couple of unicorn and doll friends, and looking just as attractive doing this as he does while dancing in any of the Step Up or Magic Mike movies. Tatum wrote in his announcement that it started with accidentally locking himself in his daughter Everly’s room, prompting him to find his inner child. Sparkella is dedicated to Everly and set to be published on May 4th, 2021. May the fourth be with you, Channing Tatum (sorry, I couldn’t help myself).
After processing his announcement and wiping the drool from my chin, I began to wonder about what other celebrities have written children’s books too. While the list is more extensive than I imagined, here are a few that caught my eye:
1. Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey is best known for his roles in The Mask, Bruce Almighty, the Ace Ventura series, and my personal favorite, How The Grinch Stole Christmas. In 2013 he made his debut as a writer with the publication of How Roland Rolls. In his book, Carrey explores the incredibly difficult topic of mortality as a wave named Roland is afraid of what will happen to him when he hits the beach.
2. B.J. Novak
While on the topic of comedians, how could I not include one of the masterminds behind The Office? B.J. Novak wrote The Book With No Pictures with the instructions of reading everything in the book out loud. The book begins with a hilarious burp sound, then prompts the reader to say “I am a monkey who taught myself to read” followed by other silly statements. If you watch videos of Novak reading his book, you can tell by the laughter coming from the audience that this is a book everybody can enjoy. Well done, temp.
3. Tori Spelling
Since The Office always walks the fine line of what is appropriate to say on TV, my mind immediately jumped to Tori Spelling’s character in Scary Movie 2. If your mind works the same way that mine does, you might be thinking of a certain scene with her, a ghost, and her “Wednesday” underwear. Better known for her role in 90210 and her reality TV show Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood, the actress came out with Presenting… Tallulah, telling the story of a girl who is figuring out what kind of girl she wants to be.
4. Jimmy Fallon
While he may be one of the less surprising people on the list, Jimmy Fallon, the current host of The Tonight Show, absolutely needed to be here nonetheless. I say that it’s less surprising, because Fallon’s three most recent books Your Baby’s First Words Will Be Dada, Everything is Mama, and This is Baby have been quite the topic of discussion over the past few years. However, Fallon’s first children’s book was actually published in 2005, called Snowball Fight!
5. Jay Leno
What would you say if I told you the next person on this list was another host from The Tonight Show? Jay Leno was the host from 1992 to 2009 and again from 2010 to 2014. He wrote two children’s books, If Roast Beef Could Fly and How to be the Funniest Kid in the Whole Wide World (or Just in Your Class). The two were published one year apart, with Leno first telling the story of one summer during his childhood and then shifting into a book of jokes and advice.
6. Whoopi Goldberg
I promise, this person will be the last show host on the list. Whoopi Goldberg, the well-decorated actor, co-host of The View, and frequent face in children’s shows and movies has not only written a children’s book, but an entire series! Sugar Plum Ballerinas is a six book series, following a group of young dancers at The Nutcracker School of Ballet. Besides the series, Goldberg also wrote Whoopi’s Big Book of Manners, which is her hilarious how-to for children.
7. John Cena
John Cena, professional wrestler-turned-Nickelodeon superstar, has published three children’s books since making his debut as an author in 2018. He began with Elbow Grease, the story a little monster truck who teaches the importance of believing in yourself and (SPOILER ALERT!) that it’s ok to fail. Elbow Grease has since turned into a series, being followed by Elbow Grease vs. Motozilla and Elbow Grease: Fast Friends.
8. Kobe Bryant
While he didn’t write the series himself, I had to honor the beloved Kobe Bryant with a feature on this list. Bryant formed Granity Studios, an award winning multimedia company, as a platform for producing stories about sports. Created by Kobe Bryant and written by Wesley King, The Wizenard Series follows five teenage basketball players and their coach. Granity Studios also partnered with Believe Entertainment Group to produce Bryant’s Academy Award winning short film, Dear Basketball.
9. Julie Andrews
After talking about a king, it only makes sense to change gears and address the Queen of Genovia, Julie Andrews. Andrews is the author of a number of children’s books, including Mandy, The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, and the Little Bo series. She also has embarked on a mother-daughter journey with her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton, creating The Julie Andrews Collection. The two work collaboratively to produce books for children of all ages.
10. Will Smith
Our final royal appearance will be made by Will Smith, known mostly for his role in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, as well as Men in Black, I am Legend, The Pursuit of Happyness, and Shark Tale (another favorite of mine). Smith released his hit song “Just The Two Of Us” in 1997 as part of his debut solo studio album, Big Willie Smith. Eight years later, he released his children’s book by the same name as a portrayal of fatherly love.
11. Bob Dylan
We have another song-turned-book as we turn our attention to Bob Dylan. Dylan is an American singer and songwriter who began his career in folk music and transitioned to rock and roll. He has been a major face in the industry for over fifty years, also working with other well-known artists such as Tom Petty and The Grateful Dead. He turned multiple songs of his into books, including “Forever Young,” “Blowin’ in the Wind,” and “If Dogs Run Free.”
12. Keith Richards
Another rock and roll legend, Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones wrote his book Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar in 2014. Richards wore multiple hats within the Rolling Stones (as a co-founder, guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter), so it should come as no surprise that he would also write a book. Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar is Richard’s story of how his grandfather taught him to play guitar, which I believe is fair to assume became a major event in his life.
13. Sharon Osbourne
Our final person related to the music industry is none other than Sharon Osbourne. I remember watching her on The Osbournes, in addition to her time as a judge on The X-Factor and America’s Got Talent. She is also married to Ozzy Osbourne, one of my favorite heavy metal artists (“Crazy Train” is a running anthem, especially on those rough hills). In 2013 she wrote Mama Hook Knows Best: A Pirate Parent’s Favorite Fables, based on her character on Disney Junior’s television show, Jake and the Never Land Pirate. My first thought, though, was of “Mother Knows Best” from the movie Tangled.
14. Bethenny Frankel
Moving now to another fan-favorite mother on television, we get to Bethenny Frankel. My sisters and I are huge Housewives fans, so upon learning our favorite chef (because she’s not a cook) had also written a children’s book, she simply had to be on this list. Frankel was no rookie to the publishing industry, though, by the time she wrote Cookie Meets Peanut. Frankel already had a few books on the market, making her debut with Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting in 2009. New York City may be Bethenny Frankel’s playground, but it’s certainly not her only one.
15. George Foreman
Moving along through the food industry, and getting to the final person on our list, we get to George Foreman. A former American boxing Champion, Foreman became the promoter of The George Foreman Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine. He published his children’s book, Let George Do It!, about ten years after The George Foreman Grill had been launched. With the entire family being named George, Foreman’s book offers a quirky experience to all who read it. We should just let George do everything at this point!