He may once have been dismissed by John Lennon as not “even the best drummer in The Beatles” but when it comes to entertaining children, Ringo Starr is a musician without equal. Having achieved legendary status for a generation of kids for narrating the first two series of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, Ringo upped the ante earlier this week with the announcement that his “Octopus’s Garden” is to be turned into a children’s book, illustrated by Ben Cort.
We’re presuming it’s going to involve a protagonist (Ringo?) saddling up with scuba gear and venturing to a friendly octopus’s garden for shouting, running abouting and shading from the harsh sun traditionally found deep under the ocean waves.
And, while Ringo’s sole other Beatles songwriting credit (“Don’t Pass Me By”) is unlikely to inspire a second kiddies’ book (“You were in a car crash/ and you lost your hair”), there’s plenty more in The Beatles’ armoury ripe for being turned into kids’ storybooks (“Penny Lane”, “Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds” etc). Not to mention, “Yellow Submarine”, though may have been done...
We’d also like to see the White Album’s “Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey” illustrated, with John and an animated simian solving mysteries (John’s catchphrase: “Come on!”; the chimp’s “Take it easy!”).
McCartney’s “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” is already written as nursery rhyme so wouldn’t need much imagination to be storified. Though, an edit may be needed to make the serial-killing Maxwell Edison (maj. medicine) more child-friendly. Timmy Mallett’s Mallet perhaps? All would be hits, surely. Though if there’s one thing in the world more difficult than getting a children’s book to resonate with kids, it’s getting the rights for anything involving a Beatles song.