10 Celebrities’ Favorite Children’s Books


If you’re a fan of children’s books (or ever were), today is the day to brush them off and take a new look. That’s right, International Children’s Book Day, which falls every year on Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday. To celebrate the day, we recommend curling up with a good picture book. If you need any suggestions, check out the favorite kids’ books of ten famous readers after the jump. What’s your favorite children’s book? Let us know in the comments.

John Krasinski — James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl

“I was always a HUGE fan of all things Roald Dahl. Every book from James and the Giant Peach to The BFG to The Witches, nobody wrote more imaginative stories for kids. These worlds he created had the nonsensical appeal of Dr. Seuss, while at the same time, the characters were all written with wonderful complexities and enormous heart. It was a feast for any imagination! And with so many great books, short stories and poems to choose from, you could go on an adventure any day of the week!” [via First Book]

Ed Asner — Ferdinand The Bull, Munro Leaf

Ferdinand The Bull, written in 1936 by author Munro Leaf, has always held a warm spot in my heart because it is about a bull who would rather stop and smell the flowers than fight. Ultimately Ferdinand wins the day because of his peace-loving beliefs.” [via First Book]

Neil Patrick Harris — Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson

“[It] was a book my mother read to my brother and me before we would go to sleep. Well written, beautiful imagery, full of imagination. Quite an emotional ending, though. Mom stopped reading it aloud for weeks, finding excuse after excuse as to why she was busy. We finally forced her and, sure enough, we all had a good cry.” [via Examiner]

David Duchovny — Stone Soup, Marcia Brown

Stone Soup is the best children’s book. It tells you that art and life are made of nothing but imagination.” [via Men’s Health]

Anne Hathaway — The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett

“I wanted to be Mary Lennox so badly. I still have a soft spot for gardens and I’m always going off to see if I can find locked doors inside them.” [via The National]

Jim Creeggan — Alligator Pie, Dennis Lee

“A book that resonated with me as a kid was Alligator Pie. I spent hours gazing at the pictures and wondering if I was ever going to bump into a real Mole. But maybe the best memory I have of that book was how my Mom laughed out loud whenever she read it to my brothers and me.” [via ABC Life Literacy Canada]

Barack Obama — Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak

“This is one of the all-time classics. I love this book.” Watch him talk about it in this amazing video.

Scarlett Johansson — The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Roald Dahl

“I was in second or third grade when my sister read this to me. I remember that when she was finished, I insisted she start right over again. I attribute my love of drama to having heard her do all the characters’ voices.” [via Oprah]

Kathy Bates — Impunity Jane, Rumer Godden

“In one of my favorite books, Rumer Godden’s Impunity Jane, a little doll is brought and taken home to sit on a pincushion in a dollhouse. She calls herself Impunity, which means, “escaping without hurt.” She sits in the dollhouse for more than fifty years, longing to live in a pocket and see the world. When finally a seven-year-old boy named Gideon reaches into the dollhouse and steals her, she has all kinds of adventures. “I’m Imp-imp-impunity,” she cries. As I was growing up and feminism was spreading throughout America, I often thought of Impunity Jane. Like her, I wanted the whole world to be open to me — I didn’t want to live like a doll in a dollhouse.” [via Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Children’s Book ]

Stan Lee — The Poppy Ott series, Leo Edwards

“When I was young, I read everything I could lay my hands on. My mother used to say that if I didn’t have a book to read while I was eating, I’d read the label on the ketchup bottle. But I particularly liked the books by Leo Edwards, the Poppy Ott series. There was a tremendous amount of humor and adventure in these books. They bore titles that were ridiculously imaginative — Poppy Ott and the Stuttering Parrot, Poppy Ott and the Galloping Snail, Poppy Ott and the Freckled Goldfish, and Poppy Ott Hits the Trail.” [via Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Children’s Book ]