Paul McCartney just released his 18th solo album, Egypt Station, and is currently on his “Freshen Up” world tour, but music isn’t the only thing on his brain. The 76-year-old just announced that he has authored his first children’s picture book, Hey Grandude!
“Basically, it’s about a character called Grandude who represents grandfathers everywhere,” explained the iconic Beatles co-founder in a video uploaded to YouTube.
“He has four grandchildren and he calls them ‘Chillers.’ They love him and they go on adventures with him, and he’s kind of magical, so you’ll see in the book. I wanted to write it for grandparents everywhere — and the kids — so it gives you something to read to the grandkids at bedtime.”
McCartney said that he got the idea to for the book after one of his eight grandchildren one day called him Grandude out of the blue. He liked the sound of that name and was known as Grandude from that day on.
As he thought more about the endearing moniker, he started to write down some stories, which he eventually pitched to book publishers. One really liked his tales and offered him a publishing deal.
Of course, the book’s title, Hey Grandude!, is a clever nod to the Beatles classic hit “Hey Jude,” which McCartney co-wrote with the late John Lennon back in 1968 — 50 years ago!
"I wanted to write it for grandparents everywhere – and the kids – so it gives you something to read to the grandkids at bed time…" Find out more about Paul's forthcoming picture book HERE: https://t.co/deHEwITfDV pic.twitter.com/hUCgP9IKdM
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) September 27, 2018
Random House Books for Young Readers, who will publish the 32-page hardcover, called the character Grandude “a super-cool, intrepid-explorer grandfather with some amazing tricks up his sleeve.” Also, he has a magical compass that he uses to transport his four grandkids on spontaneous adventures all around the world.
While children of all ages — and diehard Beatles fans — will surely enjoy McCartney’s offering, it is deemed most appropriate for kids between the ages of 4 and 6.
Canadian artist Kathryn Durst colorfully illustrated the pages of McCartney’s book. He called her images “brilliant.”
We are thrilled to work with @PaulMcCartney on his new picture book, HEY GRANDUDE! out in the U.S. September 5, 2019!
— Random House Kids (@randomhousekids) September 27, 2018
While Hey Grandude! is the first children’s book he wrote completely solo, this isn’t McCartney’s first tome. In 2005, he collaborated with writer Philip Ardagh and illustrator Geoff Dunbar on a kids’ book, High in the Clouds: An Urban Furry Tail, about a squirrel forced to leave his home in the woods who winds up helping animals in trouble.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee also released Blackbird Singing, a collection of poems and lyrics, in 2001.
Hey Grandude! can already be pre-ordered on Amazon.com and other websites that sell books. The official release date is September 5, 2019.