Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

The 17 Most Random Celebrity Children’s Books, Ranked

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Raych Krueger

Staff Writer

Raych has so many kids (like, two, but they’re super young, which makes it seem like there are more of them) and this really cuts into her reading time. She’s using her degrees in Early Childhood Education and English Literature to teach the toddler to read to the baby so she can get back to her trashy Victorian sensation novel, or whatever. She’s also teaching her kids to travel and eat broadly, mostly through example (Do As I Do is super important, you guys), and hasn’t gone a year without hopping on a plane since she was a teenager. She recently moved from the Canadian coast to the Canadian prairies, where it gets hella cold, and if not for the internet, she’d surely be dead. Blog: Books I Done Read Twitter: @raychraych

Being good at a thing makes some people think they are good at all the things.

Some people think that children are just tiny, dumb adults and that anyone can write a children’s book. Some people are hella famous AND ALSO halfway decent story tellers. What I’m saying is, mileage varies. Here are a bunch of mileages, varying.

The Princess and the Pony – Kate Beaton

Surprisingly exactly no one, this is fucking amazing. Warrior princess gets fat pony for birthday instead of glorious battle horse! Disappointment and high jinks and cozy sweaters ensue! Also farting!

The Book With No Pictures – B J Novak

The book starts off all like, It might seem like no fun to have someone read you a book with no pictures, and that is a pretty accurate summation of Children’s Comments I Have Heard, but then I read it to my kid and we died laughing and then re-read it a thousand times. Brace yourself to make funny noises.

Let George Do It – George Foreman

I have read this a dozen times already and we cannot stop laughing at it. NOTHING EVEN REALLY HAPPENS except that all of the brothers are named ‘George’ and they’re getting ready for one of the George’s birthdays and it’s all like, Package for George!’ called the deliveryman. [All the Georges come running.] ‘It’s for George,’ said George. IT’S NOT EVEN THAT GOOD OF A GAG and yet, here we are, laughing so hard.

Queen of the Scene – Queen Latifah

Ughhhhhhh this is so great. I love tiny ladybitches kicking ass at physical shit. Hopscotch! Football! Swinging, ffs. USE YOUR TINY, POWERFUL BODY, Scene Queen. Also, musicians seem to have a leg up when it comes to making their books readable, for what I guess are obvious reasons.

Freckleface Strawberry – Julianne Moore

The first time my dad told me that kids had teased him by calling him ‘freckleface strawberry,’ I was like, That…is a pretty benign insult. HOWEVER, anything said with the right amount of venom is going to be hurtful, and as Moore’s heroine points out, people are just ALWAYS FUCKING SAYING STUFF ABOUT IT. Freckleface Strawberry tries to get rid of her freckles, and tries to cover them up, and eventually realizes that her friends don’t care about them and that some people even like freckles. THIS BOOK IS FINE AND THE ILLUSTRATIONS ARE ADORABLE.

The Remarkable Farkle McBride – John Lithgow

Wheeeee, so fun! Farkle McBride excels at every instrument he picks up [instrument noises go here] but gives up on each one after a year until he finally discovers SYMPHONY CONDUCTING. Super readability, much noise-making with the mouth.

Just the Two of Us – Will Smith

This is literally just the lyrics to the song ‘Just the Two of Us’ alongside some illustrations, but they’re illustrations that will make you FEEL FEELINGS. Ugh new parents trying to white-knuckle their baby home from the hospital I FEEL YOUUUUU. (Also, lol CD ROM, I remember u.)

Wandering Wenda – Margaret Atwood

Margaret, you magnificent weirdo. This book is written almost entirely in words beginning with ‘W.’ SOMETIMES IT IS A STRETCH and the quality of writing suffers a little, but it’s pretty fun to read out loud. Wenda’s parents are whisked up by a whirlwind and then she goes a-wandering and is press-ganged into a Wunderground Washery and so on. It is veerrrrrry wordy and long, so if you’re looking for a three-minute read THIS HERE IS NOT FOR YOU.

Flanimals – Ricky Gervais

This is, to be honest, a terrible read-aloud book. It is basically a taxonomy of Gervais’ mind-critters and is FUNNIER than a zoology text, but only about that fun to get your mouth around.

The Boy With Pink Hair – Perez Hilton

I wanted this to be either amazing or terrible but it really just middles that road. If I’m being completely honest, the message of self-acceptance comes through pretty strongly, and the moralizing is pretty on par with a lot of children’s books.

When I Grow Up – ‘Weird’ Al Yankovic

I expected better. Or kookier, anyway. This is literally exactly what you’d expect from the title – some regular jobs and some zany ones!

Mr Peabody’s Apples – Madonna

Ok so like the MORAL of this story is pretty alright? A boy sees his baseball coach take an apple without paying for it and tells everyone and then everyone thinks the coach is a thief and the kid later finds out that the coach pays for all his apples at the end of the week (because he is a super weirdo – who does this?) and THEN the coach is all, Like unto a pillow full of feathers that has been cut in half and thrown to the wind, so is my reputation in this town (only he makes the kid also actually cut a real pillow full of feathers in half to more fully illustrate his point). And OK words mean things and you can never put the toothpaste back into the tube but hnnnnnngh this is pretty moralizy.

Mud Tacos – Mario Lopez

LAME. This is what comes of people thinking kids’ books are easy to write, you end up with lines like ‘Marissa’s happy smile flip-flopped upside down.’ Bluuuururhrhrhgh and also mean kids are mean and little girls giggle and I’m dead.

Halloween – Jerry Seinfeld

This book so weird; it’s like an illustrated stand-up routine. ‘Remember the rubber band on the back of those [Halloween] masks?’ I DO remember them, yes. You know how doesn’t remember them in the half-annoyed, half-nostalgic (annostalgic? nostalganoyyed?) way your tone suggests? CHILDREN, that is who. Also, kid-Jerry is pretty rude to the candy-doling old ladies. “What are YOU supposed to be?””I’m supposed to be done by now. You want to move it along with the 3Musketeers?” No thank you for your bad manners and your bad jokes, Jerry.

Cookie Meets Peanut – Bethenny Frankel

This is like the apex of famous people who are famous for famousness sake slapping their famous name onto some ghost-written tripe to make some extra monies. Also, people who take their dogs for ‘walkies’ get my HARDEST eye-roll.

If Roast Beef Could Fly – Jay Leno

This is some boring dude telling a cool story bro about his dad but also there are asides about how thrifty his Irish mom’s family is but back to his dad! Also a LeBron James simile! And at the end, his dad accidentally chucks the roast beef and the dog eats it. It’s so boring and also the kid looks about 40 because he is Tiny Jay Leno. (Not Child Jay Leno, just Regular Jay Leno But Shrunk.)

My Senator and Me – Sen. Edward M Kennedy

What the fuck even is happening here. If you want to learn about the Senate, and conference committee meetings, and also Portuguese water dogs? And a handful of monuments and how old they are…who is this book even for. ‘The Senate has voted to approve our education bill!…But the House of Representatives passed a different education bill.’ Dat plot, so thick.

What’s the best/worst celebrity fiction you’ve ever read?