You know them from the morning news or late night talk shows or even your favorite childhood movies, but some celebrities have more than just a dazzling red carpet walk up their sleeves. From Today‘s Hoda Kotb to late night funny man Jimmy Fallon to beloved Joanna Gaines, these famous folks have penned some pretty awesome kids books. Read on to see books that will make a great addition to any kids’ shelf.
You Are My Happy by Hoda Kotb
Hoda Kotb is a woman who wears many hats—she's an Emmy-award winning broadcast journalist and host of Today; a breast-cancer survivor and breast-cancer awareness advocate; and she's the mom to a beautiful baby girl. She's also a children's book author. Last year (2018) Hoda wrote the heartwarming (and New York Times bestseller) I've Loved You Since Forever, a book celebrating the timeless love between a parent and child. This year (Mar. 5, 2019) Hoda has written You Are My Happy, a story best read while curled up next to your own little lovebug. Told from the point of view of a mama bear talking with her baby bear as they settle down for bedtime, the story is an excellent reminder to take your children through their day—the good and the bad—and keep those lines of communication open. And best of all, it reminds your own little bears just how happy they make you. Just as with I've Loved You Since Forever, Harper Collins has made sure Kotb's poetic words are showcased by the art of Suzie Mason.
Available here as of Mar. 5, 2019.
We Are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines
You first came to know her and Chip on Fixer Upper but since have grown to love her from the shelves of Target to the pages of her grown-up design book Home Body. Now you and your kids can join JoJo and her kids on a garden adventure. Learn about how the Gaines family learned to garden, from the first little fern that Chip brought home for Jo. Get inspired to garden with your fam, too. Beautifully illustrated by Julianna Swaney, we think you'll fall in love with this book, with gardening and with the Gaines family all over again. Available Mar.26.
Preorder here. $15.99
Everything Is Mama by Jimmy Fallon
Snag this sweet story—just released in Jan. 2019—in board book format for your bestie who just had a baby, or grab a hardcover copy to giggle over together with your LO. Everything Is Mama, by Jimmy Fallon and Miguel Ordonez, features different animals teaching their own children that there are other words in the world. That is, other than mama. The perfect, adorable follow-up to Fallon's bestselling Your Baby's First Word Will Be DADA.
Find a copy here, $6.91
The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak
You may know him as Ryan from ˆThe Office, but your kids will never forget B.J. Novak for writing this hilarious book. As promised, there are no pictures—but don't let that defer you. A perfect book to read together, the book encourages kids to "trick" an adult into reading it out loud. You'll find yourself giggling right along with the kids when you declare that you "eat ants for breakfast, right off the rug!" and other nonsensical things.
Click here to get it. $10.99
Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama
Former President Barack Obama penned this sweet book in 2010. Written as a love letter to both his girls and to amazing Americans past, present and future, from all races and backgrounds, it’s the kind of wish for our children that makes parents weepy. But the message of strength and determination, as well as the history lessons of great men and women makes it a universally appealing book. It’s beautifully illustrated, too, by Loren Long.
Ages: 6 & up
Find your copy here. $12.99 hardcover.
The Hank Zipzer Books by Henry Winkler
You might think of him as the iconic Fonz from Happy Days, but these days Henry Winkler is keeping busy with a popular children's book series about Hank Zipzer: a high-spirited and funny boy who has learning differences. Inspired by Henry WInkler's own childhood as an undiagnosed dyslexic, the adventures of this loveable kid make an excellent read for children of all ages: our editor loved reading them as bedtime stories to her son. The books are printed in a special font, called Dyslexie, which helps children with dyslexia be able to read it easier. Because each letter is spaced apart, it appears more open and readable, a win for any young reader, really. Co-authored with the talented Lin Oliver, there are current 12 "Here's Hank" and 17 Hank Zipzer books.
Find out more about Henry Winkler and the series at: penguinrandomhouse.com
Grab the first "Here's Hank" book for just $5.99 here.
My Mom Is a Foreigner but Not to Me by Julianne Moore
Bestselling author and award-winning actress Julianne Moore pays homage to all the Muttis, Mammas, and Mamans who are from another country with this 2017 story that is as relevant today as it ever was. Not her first foray into children's books, Moore is also the author of the popular Freckleface Strawberry books. Funny and heartwarming, much like the author herself, this sweet story is completed with perfect illustrations by Meilo So and is a celebration of the diversity of our country and the unity of motherhood.
Get a copy for yourself right here. $8.99
"The Land of Stories" Series by Chris Colfer
Chris Colfer, beloved as Glee song-and-dance man, is also the author of six popular chapter book fairy tales. "The Land of Stories" books follow twins Alex and Conner as their reading exploits come to life and they encounter fairy tale plots and characters IRL. Released in 2018 as a complete set of six paperbacks, you can find the boxed set for just $34. Great bedtime stories!
Buy the complete set here for $34.
Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective Books by Octavia Spencer
She's won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA award and more for her work as an actress in films like The Help, Hidden Figures and Fruitvale Station, but Octavia Spencer win your kids' hearts with this spirited series about Randi Rhodes, a flaming-hared ninja detective. There are two books in the series (so far): iThe Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit and The Sweetest Heist in History. Picture Nancy Drew with the problem-solving skills of Encyclopedia Brown (but the coolness of his sidekick Sally Kimball) as a 12-year-old Bruce Lee devote and you’ve got a good idea of where this book goes. Throw in some super-cool play-along activities and this becomes a book kids tear through. And we love the diverse cast including Latino and African-American characters. Both books include awesome illustrations by Vivienne To.
Find them here. $7.99/each.
Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis
She’s Hollywood royalty, the daughter of Tony Curtis and Janet Lee. She also starred in A Fish Called Wanda and True Lies. But your kids actually know her as one of their favorite authors! Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born is perhaps the seminal kid’s book on “where babies come from” when they’re adopted. It’s told with a matter-of-fact-ness and loads of love that make this a perfect explanation of adoption for kids who were adopted, and also for those who weren’t. Our next favorite book that Curtis wrote is definitely Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods That Make My Day, a great book for talking about feelings. To be honest, you can't really to go wrong with this actress' literary canon for kids. Illustrated by Laura Cornell.
Get it here. $6.99 in paperback (also comes in board book and hardcover).
The Remarkable Farkle McBride by John Lithgow
With Emmy, Tony and Golden Globe wins, not to mention two Oscar nominations, what don’t know actor John Lithgow from? Footloose? The World According to Garp? Dexter? Though it was Lithgow’s first book, and he’s written several others through the years, The Remarkable Farkle McBride is still our favorite. It uses a remarkable little boy, who gets so bored he must learn a new instrument every year, to illustrate how all the instruments in the orchestra look and sound. With rhymes so clever and pictures so funny, kids won’t realize they just read the equivalent of a music appreciation class. If your kids like this book, also get Lithgow’s Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo, which comes with a CD of him singing the book with an orchestra!
Ages: 3 and up
Find your copy here. $8.99
— Amber Guetebier & Meghan Rose