With some publishers offering seven-figure book advances to peek into the lives of today’s hottest stars, it’s no surprise that celebrity memoirs are big business. But keep browsing your local bookstore and you’ll probably see some of these same celebrity names lining the shelves of the children’s section.
Here are some celebrities you probably didn’t know wrote children’s books.
Jamie Lee Curtis has written 13 children’s books.
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis has had a film and television career spanning 40 years. In that time, she has also written 13 children’s books.
Her debut book “When I Was Little: A Four-Year Old’s Memoir of Her Youth” was published in 1993 and her latest book, “Me, Myselfie & I: A Cautionary Tale” was released earlier this year.
Octavia Spencer’s two-part series is about teenage ninja detectives.
She is most well known for her roles in “The Help” and “Hidden Figures,” but back in 2013, actress Octavia Spencer published the first of a two-part middle-grade book series titled “The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit.” The “Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective Series” follows a 12-year-old with a Taekwondo black belt and her friends as they save their town.
Chris Colfer writes both middle grade and young adult fiction.
The “Glee” alum is more than a singer and actor. Chris Colfer has written two young adult novels, “Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal ” and “Stranger Than Fanfiction,” as well as “The Land Of Stories Series,” a collection of six illustrated children’s novels and five companion books.
His novel “Struck By Lightning” has also become a movie- and Colfer starred in it.
Whoopi Goldberg wrote a six-book series.
In 2006, “The View” co-host and EGOT winner published the children’s book “Whoopi’s Big Book of Manners.”
But kids probably know her best as the author of the six-book “Sugar Plum Ballerina Series.” The book series includes the names of her daughter, granddaughter, and some of Goldberg’s Hollywood friends.
Jim Carrey won an award for his children’s book.
“How Roland Rolls” by actor and comedian Jim Carrey is about a wave who figures out he’s not just a wave, but the whole ocean. Carrey’s debut children’s book won a 2013 Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award
Madonna has written a 12-book children’s book series.
In 2003, Madonna published the first of what would become a 12-book series titled “The English Roses.” In addition, she has written several other children’s books including “Mr. Peabody’s Apples,” “Yakov and the Seven Thieves,” “The Adventures of Abdi,” and “Lotsa de Casha.”
Will Smith adapted one of his songs into a children’s book.
In 2001, Will Smith adapted the lyrics of his 1997 hit “Just The Two Of Us” into a children’s book with beautiful illustrations by award-winning artist Kadir Nelson. According to Scholastic, Nelson won an NAACP Image Award for “Just The Two Of Us.”
Spike Lee and his wife have written three children’s books together.
Like Will Smith, the Lees turned over their books’ illustrations to award-winning artist Kadir Nelson. Their third children’s book, “Giant Steps to Change the World,” an inspirational story about activism, was released in 2011.
Julianne Moore’s main character is a red head, too.
The Academy Award-winning actress has written several children’s books and easy readers starring the red-haired protagonist of her first book, “Freckleface Strawberry.” In 2013, Julianne Moore penned an homage to mothers around the world titled, “My Mum Is a Foreigner, But Not to Me.”
Ricky Martin was inspired by his twins.
Back in 2013, singer and actor Ricky Martin told USA Today that his twins, Matteo and Valentino, were the inspiration to write “Santiago the Dreamer in Land Among the Stars.” The story follows a young boy who is upset when he doesn’t get the lead in a school play. With help from his father, Santiago learns about dedication and determination.
LL Cool J wrote a book for the HipKidHop book series.
In 2002, rapper, actor, and television host LL Cool J penned a children’s book titled “And The Winner Is…” as part of the HipKidHop book series. The story about a young basketball player teaches lessons of good sportsmanship and humility.
Kristi Yamaguchi writes about animal figure skaters.
Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi has penned three children’s books. “Dream Big, Little Pig!” and “It’s a Big World, Little Pig!” about a figure skating pig named Poppy, and “Cara’s Kindness” about an ice-skating cat that lends her friend a helping hand.
B.J. Novak thinks words can be as fun as pictures.
Jay Leno retells a story from his childhood.
In his children’s book “If Roast Beef Could Fly,” comedian and television host Jay Leno uses hilarious hyperbole to write about a childhood summer when his dad decided to build an extra large barbecue patio.
Chelsea Clinton aims to inspire kids.
Chelsea Clinton wrote her first children’s book, “It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going!” to teach children about how they can make a difference in the world. The former first daughter’s next book, “She Persisted,” introduced kids to inspirational and determined American women. The companion book, “She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History,” tells the stories of woman around the globe who have helped shape our world.
Kelly Clarkson named her books after her daughter.
Inspired by her daughter River Rose, singer Kelly Clarkson penned the first of her two children’s books, “River Rose and the Magical Lullaby” in 2016. The following year, Clarkson released the companion book “River Rose and the Magical Christmas.”
Alex Rodriguez tells his own story.
Retired New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez draws upon his own experiences as a young baseball player in his debut children’s book, “Out of the Ballpark.” It is a story of how even when you make some mistakes, determination and hard work can make your childhood dreams come true.
Jerry Seinfeld remembers his childhood Halloween celebrations.
In his first picture book titled “Halloween,” comedian and actor Jerry Seinfeld tells the funny but true stories of experiencing Halloween as a kid. James Bennett’s caricature-like illustrations bring Seinfeld’s hilarious stories to life.
Julie Andrews Edwards has co-authored over 20 children’s books.
She’s also co-written over 20 picture books for children and, with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, she heads the “The Julie Andrews Collection” publishing program, dedicated to publishing books that encourage creativity and the arts.
Jimmy Fallon is a three-time children’s book author
You may have heard Jimmy Fallon talk about his children’s books “Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada” and “Everything is Mama” on his show, but you probably didn’t know that these were not his first foray into kid lit. In 2005Fallon wrote “Snowball Fight!” about a young boy’s fun snow day.
For more great stories, head to
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.