Top 10 Musicians Who Have Written Children's Books
Today is International Children's Book Day, celebrated every April 2 on the birthday of Little Mermaid author Hans Christian Andersen. It's a day to honor the joy of reading to your children (which I do with Lovecraft because, well, I'm kind of a bad person), and some wonderful musicians have gotten into the act of creating works for young readers. They include...
10. Shel Silverstein
Behind Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein (Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic) is probably the greatest author of rhyming stories for kids. He was also an accomplished songwriter, penning "A Boy Named Sue" for Johnny Cash, which became the Man in Black's only Top 10 single on the Billboard charts. He was also the man behind Loretta Lynn's hit, "One's On the Way," and Dr. Hook's "Cover of the Rolling Stone."
In 2003, Madonna signed a five-book deal with Callaway Arts & Entertainment, and released her first children's book, The English Roses, illustrated by Jeffrey Fulvimari. It follows a group of female friends who are jealous of a new girl whom they believe to have a life of ease and luxury, only to discover she's actually sad and lonely. It's a sweet story about friendship that is actually the fastest-selling children's picture book ever.
8. Paul McCartney
Sir Paul entered the world of kid literature by writing High in the Clouds with Geoff Dunbar and Philip Ardagh in 2004. The book follows a squirrel who witnesses his mother being killed by a bulldozer, and leaves to search for an animal utopia free from human development. While it's not especially well-written and somewhat transparently political against economic expansion, McCartney keeps the story moving fairly well. It's hard not to root for an orphaned squirrel.
7. Bob Dylan
While Dylan himself hasn't written an original children's book himself, several of his songs have been illustrated by various artists for young readers. Blowin' in the Wind, Forever Young, If Dogs Run Free, and Man Gave Names to All the Animals are available as picture books accompanying the master poet's lyrics.