PEOPLE asked celebs what they read to their kids at night. Their answers: tales of mice dancing, Sneetches partying … and poverty?
JADA PINKETT SMITH Children’s books by Fred Crump. “They’re black fairy tales I found that are kind of underground,” says the multitasking mom of three (in Los Angeles with daughter Willow Camille, 6, left), married to Will Smith since 1997. “They’re written by a guy who took all of the classic fairy tales and re-created them with black characters. My daughter loves them. They’re her favorite!”
RAINN WILSON Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems. “My son [Walter, 2] loves this book—it’s about a little kid who leaves her stuffed rabbit in a washing machine,” says The Office star, currently appearing in the sci-fi kids’ movie The Last Mimzy. (In Mimzy Wilson plays a science teacher whose preteen student finds a futuristic hare.) “It’s thrilling, but we haven’t gotten to the end yet. I can’t seem to get away from rabbits lately!”
LIV TYLER Anything from the Hairy Maclary series or Slinky Malinki by Lynley Dodd. Tyler’s Lord of the Rings director, Peter Jackson, and his wife, Fran, “sent them when Milo [2, below] was born,” says the actress. “He’s obsessed with them because they are clever and really funny.” But Mom’s more of a traditionalist. “I like Goodnight Moon!” she says.
SARAH JESSICA PARKER For Every Child, a Better World, a United Nations publication. “It’s the cold hard facts [about world poverty]. We’ve read it every night for weeks, and he still asks, ‘Why don’t those children have what they need?'” says Parker about son James Wilkie, 4. “Because he lives in a country where clean water and food are at arm’s length, it’s hard for him to internalize why they aren’t available to everyone.”
MARISKA HARGITAY The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss. “All of the Seuss books are so brilliant. They’re rhythmic, and kids like that,” says Hargitay. “My husband [Peter Hermann] and I read to our son August [10 months, right] and do different voices. Then August eats the books. He doesn’t discriminate. He’ll eat whatever we have.”
GREG KINNEAR Anything in the Angelina Ballerina series by Katharine Holabird. “My daughter Lily is 3. She’s consumed with ballet,” says Kinnear. “There’s a mouse who does ballet—it’s absolutely baffling to her! But it will last about 15 minutes. Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is rising fast!”