Versatile TV and radio personality Nick Cannon will soon be adding “published poet” to his list of professional accomplishments. Today Scholastic announced it will publish Neon Aliens Ate My Homework and Other Poems, a hip-hop-influenced children’s poetry book written and partially illustrated by Cannon, in March 2015.
The poetry collection will include “funny, silly, gross, heartwarming, as well as serious poems,” according to the Scholastic press release. Cannon—a musician, comedian, actor, producer and host of America’s Got Talent—will do some of the illustrations himself, while others will be the work of notable streets artists like Califawnia (a.k.a. Fawn Arthur), Art Mobb (a.k.a. Michael Farhat), and MAST.
Neon Aliens is inspired by Cannon’s love for both poetry and hip-hop. “Writing is at the center of everything I do as an artist,” Cannon said. “As a kid, it was my escape from the inner-city pitfalls.” He credits Shel Silverstein in particular with fostering his passion for writing poetry and creating art from a young age—and aspires to do the same for kids today with his book. “I hope that poems in Neon Aliens will help inspire kids to want to get out a pen and paper to write or draw their own thoughts, rhymes, and stories.”
The book deal is the result of a collaboration between Nick Cannon’s production and management company Ncredible Entertainment, Vice President at Scholastic Debra Dorfman, and the investment group Impact Republic. Scholastic is set to publish a previously announced children’s book by Cannon in November, Roc and Roe’s Twelve Days of Christmas.