With the news that Nick Cave is releasing his very own children's book this month, we reflect on some of the most unexpected children's authors we've seen over the years. Apparently, there's no such thing as being too rock 'n' roll to appeal to children!

Nick Cave, 2019 / Photo credit: Aaron Chown/PA Images

Nick Cave, 2019 / Photo credit: Aaron Chown/PA Images

Nick Cave

This goth icon is the epitome of darkness and misery (the highest compliment we can afford the rock singer) so the idea of him writing a children’s book is quite the surprise. The book is called The Little Thing and is about “a little thing that goes on an epic adventure to discover the true nature of its identity”. Featuring his own illustrations, it’s set to be released on November 15th. 

Madonna

Encouraged by her Kabbalah teacher, the Queen of Pop unveiled her first children’s picture book, The English Roses, in 2003. It sold more than a million copies worldwide, and tells the story of four girls with a jealous vendetta against a new girl, only for them to slowly become friends. Madonna went on to release two sequels to the story, along with a series of chapter books, and she also released four other picture books.

Madonna performing in 2016 / Photo credit: Ron Elkman/SIPA USA/PA Images
Madonna performing in 2016 / Photo credit: Ron Elkman/SIPA USA/PA Images

Ricky Gervais

For a comic who frequently manages to offend with his no-nonsense brand of comedy, the idea of a children’s book by Ricky Gervais is a little worrying. But Flanimals is a wonderful concept about a group of stupidly named creatures with completely useless abilities. There are six books in the Flanimals series so far and they’re all crazier than the next.

Ricky Gervais at the NTAs 2021 / Photo credit: Ian West/PA Images
Ricky Gervais at the NTAs 2021 / Photo credit: Ian West/PA Images

Keith Richards

Someone as rock ‘n’ roll as the Rolling Stones’ guitarist writing a children’s book is intriguing to say the least, but his story - Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar - is all about how he learned his instrument from his grandfather when he was just a child. A great book for any budding young musician!

Keith Richards performing in 2021 / Photo credit: Jason Moore/Zuma Press/PA Images
Keith Richards performing in 2021 / Photo credit: Jason Moore/Zuma Press/PA Images

Lil Nas X 

When he’s not been gyrating on Satan, Lil Nas X has been writing a book for children entitled C Is For Country. Released at the beginning of 2021, the book features the queer rapper himself and Panini the pony as they take their readers through the country-themed alphabet.

Lil Nas X at the LACMA Gala, 2021 / Photo credit: Admedia, Inc/SIPA USA/PA Images
Lil Nas X at the LACMA Gala, 2021 / Photo credit: Admedia, Inc/SIPA USA/PA Images

Russell Brand

With a reputation for womanising and drug addiction (something he’s long put behind him), it’s rather bizarre to think of him as a children’s author. Russell Brand's Trickster Tales: The Pied Piper of Hamelin was released in 2014 with illustrations by the legendary Chris Riddell. Unfortunately, this modern retelling of classic tales was panned by critics, but amongst the public it has been rather divisive.

Russell Brand at 2017 charity launch / Photo credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Images
Russell Brand at 2017 charity launch / Photo credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Images

MORE: Seven banned and brilliant LGBTQ+ children’s books

Simon Cowell

TV mean guy Simon Cowell has turned into a bit of a softie since the birth of his son, and last year announced that he would be writing a seven-book series with the 7-year-old entitled Wishfits, which is all about a group of adorable animal hybrids. The books have yet to be released but we seriously hope the project won’t be shelved.

Simon Cowell at 'America's Got Talent' Live in 2021 / Photo credit: OConnor/AFF/PA Images
Simon Cowell at 'America's Got Talent' Live in 2021 / Photo credit: OConnor/AFF/PA Images

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk