June 12, 2013

Beatles song will become a children’s book


Ringo Starr, former Beatle and soon-to-be children’s book author

Alison Flood reports for the Guardian that a song that Ringo Starr wrote for the Beatles in 1968 will be turned into a children’s book later this year. “Octopus’s Garden” comes from the Abbey Road album, and frankly sounds like it was inspired by a children’s story to begin with, so this is a fitting step, and one I’m surprised didn’t happen sooner.

Starr has given permission for his lyrics to the song to be turned into a hardcover picture book, to be published by Simon & Schuster in October in the UK, and January here in the US. It will be illustrated by Ben Cort, of the Aliens Love Underpants books, and will include a CD that includes a never-before-heard track from Starr. Ingrid Selberg of Simon & Schuster UK describes the project as a “perfect marriage of a truly child-friendly text, based on Ringo’s popular song, with illustrations that revel in the imaginative opportunities presented by the lyrics.”

The inspiration for the song is kind of bonkers and worthy of a book in and of itself; Starr was vacationing in Sardinia and became fascinated when the captain of Peter Sellers’ yacht started describing octopuses’ habits. The actual Octopus’s Garden book, unfortunately, won’t be surreal in quite that style. Flood writes that “the book will take five children on an underwater adventure in an octopus’s garden, hosted by a playful cephalopod who gives them rides on turtles, plays pirates in a sunken city and shelters them from a storm in its cave.”

We can only hope that this is the start of a trend that will lead to a series of Beatles books for kids, like Eleanor Rigby and Revolution 9.


Nick Davies is a publicist at Melville House.