Paul McCartney’s first children’s picture book, Hey Grandude, is out now. The legendary Beatle became a grandfather 20 years ago and it’s to his eight grandchildren that he owes the inspiration for this project. You can find more information about the book here.
The book follows the ongoing adventures of Grandude, whose name is based on a nickname given to McCartney by his one of his own grandchildren. Grandude takes his own four grandchildren off to explore the world, courtesy of a magic compass he owns, and he appears exactly as you might expect in the warm illustrations by Kathryn Durst that accompany McCartney’s stories – grandfather-turned-laid back adventurer who rocks a pork pie hat, a bow tie and a hippy-ish ponytail.
While it’s not hard to imagine Grandude being around for Beatlemania – perhaps spotted somewhere in the crowd at Shea Stadium in 1965? – McCartney has been keen to emphasise the fact that the comparisons between him and his creation stop there, telling the BBC, “He’s magic and I’m not.”
The book’s illustrator, Kathryn Durst, said: “I am thrilled to be able to create the illustrations for Hey Grandude because I just love adventure stories with a touch of magic! This story especially resonated with me because I have wonderful childhood memories of my dad taking my siblings and me on exciting adventures, just like Grandude does in the book.
“I am very excited to be able to work with Paul McCartney on this project. It has been such a treat to collaborate with such an inspiring and accomplished artist. We both want to make an exciting and beautiful book that kids will want to read again and again!”
McCartney joins a long tradition of celebrities writing children’s books, including Danny Baker, Fearne Cotton, Greg James, David Baddiel, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Chris O’Dowd (the most successful and prolific of these is David Walliams, now arguably better known for his books than for his comedy). McCartney also narrates the audiobook, meaning there’s now another record in his discography for Beatles, Wings and Macca solo obsessives to seek out.