Publisher Simon & Schuster announced on Tuesday, June 11 that the company would turn The Beatles' "Octopus's Garden" into a picture book for children. Beatles' Ringo Starr will work with illustrator Ben Cort, who is known for illustrating Claire Freedman's "Aliens Love Underpants" and its spinoffs.
"It gives me great pleasure to collaborate with Ben Cort and Simon & Schuster for the further adventures of Octopus's Garden. Peace and love," said Starr in a message to fans. The children's book will come with a CD. The audio will include a previously unheard track and a reading of the story by Starr.
"By bringing Ben Cort on board we have arranged the 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," said Ingrid Selberg, children's publisher at Simon and Schuster United Kingdom. "This is a beautiful and funny book that children, parents and grandparents will love sharing."
Starr wrote "Octopus's Garden" in 1968, during his holiday in Sardinia. The captain of Peter Seller's yacht then told him everything about octopus including "how they go round the seabed and pick up stones and shiny objects and build gardens." The 72-year-old singer said, "I thought, 'How fabulous!' Because at the time I just wanted to be under the sea too. I wanted to get out of it for a while."
The children's book is scheduled to be published in Britain on October 24 and in the U.S. in January, 2014.
Starr is not the only member of The Beatles who works on children's projects. George Harrison lent his voice for a soundtrack of British cartoon "The Bunbury Tails" while Paul McCartney published "High in the Clouds", a children's adventure novel, in 2005.