We caught up with musician Dave Grohl at the first annual Milk & Bookies story time celebration organized to promote children’s literacy. The rock star remembers his mom reading Richard Scarry’s Busy, Busy Town to him as a boy and now reads to his young daughters, who turn 4 and 1 next month. Violet, the elder, is “over Seuss. She’s in a Scooby-Doo phase. The more you read to your kid and spend time exercising their imagination, the better. When we’re in the car, we make up our own stories,” said Grohl, who as the son of a writer and an English teacher grew up with a love of books. Violet doesn’t like him to sing to her, though. “Whenever I pick up a guitar she’s like, ‘Dad, put it down.’ I think that she knows that it’s my job.”

Now fronting two bands, he’ll play California’s Coachella music festival and concerts in the U.S. and Europe with Them Crooked Vultures and start working on a new Foo Fighters album in September. “The last tour we did, we used biofuel buses and we did Future Forests. They calculate the energy spent producing and making your album and plant trees in Louisiana to offset,” noted Grohl. At home, “We try to teach the kids as best we can to conserve energy and water, and recycle. We had a Smart Car for a while, but it’s completely impractical for a dad and a drummer. I couldn’t put my drums or my kids in it, so I had to get rid of it. But we do whatever we can.”

“We drive a hybrid. It’s still accelerating. I had to jump out of the car today,” quipped Jason Biggs. Celebs including Jennifer Garner, Jonah Hill and Greg Grunberg were invited to read to kids, and American Pie star Biggs coincidentally chose Pickle-Chiffon Pie, joking that as a child, he skipped over picture books. “I was reading War and Peace by the time I was 2-and-a-half.” You may see him on the small screen next. “I’m trying to get a TV thing going,” he revealed.

“I always loved the world of books and imagination and reading when I was a kid,” said The Office’s Rainn Wilson, who remembers his mom reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy to him over the summer when he was 6 years old. He often reads to his 5-year-old son Walter, a dinosaur-lover and budding mad scientist, and he is writing a book based on the Web site he created, Soul Pancake.

“It’s a social networking site for people who are interested in exploring big questions like ‘What happens to us when we die?’ It’s people from all over the world having civil discourse on life’s big questions. It’s not about answers but asking the right questions as you’re moving forward in your life,” explained Wilson, who loves the new direction his TV character has taken. “He’s the last person I’d have thought would turn into a ladies' man but the writers get no end of joy out of writing Dwight as a playa.”

When it comes to green living, Wilson uses rechargeable batteries whenever possible and recycles non-rechargeable ones. “If you throw batteries in the garbage, they go in the landfills and the acid goes into the earth and our drinking water,” he reminded. “You can Google battery recycling to find out where to take them in your neighborhood.”

Jennie Garth (90210) and Peter Facinelli (Nurse Jackie, the Twilight movies) attended with their youngest daughter, Fiona, a fan of princess books. “I try not to let the water run when I’m brushing my teeth. We drive a hybrid, a Prius. We try to do as much as we can for the environment,” said Facinelli. “Sometimes people say, ‘What can one person do?’ but I think if every person does something we can help the world. So we try to teach our children. They’re the future.”

In Nurse Jackie’s second season, returning to Showtime on March 22, Facinelli’s Dr. Cooper “has a Twitter obsession and he becomes the poster boy for All Saints Hospital. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse comes out June 30 and involves more action for the Cullens. “If I didn’t go home with a bruise I didn’t feel like I put in a good day’s work,” explained Facinelli, who did as many stunts as they allowed him to do. “We got to do a lot of fight training, choreography, and I’m looking forward to the fans seeing that.”

Accompanied by his 8-year-old son Shawn, Marlon Wayans toted a copy of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham, his own childhood favorite, to read aloud. “I might get a hybrid car. I’m tired of the gas-guzzlers I drive and being irresponsible. All the problems with the Earth, I think it’s because we’re taking oil out of the ground. We’re killing it. I think we should all be a little more responsible,” he said.

With several movies in the works, Wayans will play “a lawyer who decides he’s gonna sue the church and all hell breaks loose” in The Year of Living Biblically (an adaptation of the A.J. Jacobs book) while trying out a standup comedy act to prepare to play Richard Pryor in a biopic. Playing such an iconic figure requires research and study, he acknowledged. “It’s an undertaking. You have to know their life, mix their emotions with some of yours and try to live as truthfully as you can. It’s a process. The script is done, and I’ll work on it before it’s time to go shoot.”

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Additional photo credit: Jennie Garth by Wenn.com; MNN homepage photo: John Shearer/Getty Images