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Hey Grandude! by Paul McCartney book review

Hey Grandude!
Written by Steven White

The ex-Beatles’ first picture book for children is a fantastical trip around the globe from the wildest of imaginations.

Inspired by his own experiences as a grandfather, in Hey Grandude! Paul McCartney has written a picture book that encapsulates the loving relationship between grandparent and grandchild with an inventive flick of the pen that’s bedazzled old and young for over five decades now.

Grandude – the grandest of dudes.

Just as McCartney probably is to a lot of parents reading this book to their child, the eponymous Grandude is the kind of grandad every child would love to call their own.

Eccentrically presented, from a teal bowtie down to Cuban heels, the ponytailed grandad zooms his four grandchildren away on plucky adventures across the world. Where they end up, only his magic compass knows – a magical mystery tour, if you will.

Good night, sleep tight

But a quick flick through the book – illustrated by Canadian Kathryn Durst, whose warm-toned, idiosyncratic talent bellows just as strongly as the writing on the pages, perhaps more – sees them outrunning avalanches, dodging buffalo stampedes and riding flying fish. And like all good children’s picture book authors, the story encourages sleep by ending with the grandchildren, or “Chillers” as Grandude calls them, all tucked up safely in bed.

Anything is possible with Grandude.

Though this is McCartney’s first picture book, it’s his second children’s book. Unlike 2005’s High in the Clouds, however, there’s no underlying political finger pointing. This time, it’s a pure and spatial-hopping fantasy that’s bold in imagination, bright in picture and endless in readability. And what’s not to love about a globetrotting, guitar-plucking grandad who’s still down with the kids?

Mull of Kintyre, kids?

Look out for Paul McCartney answering a few questions from FQ about his new picture book in our upcoming autumn ’19 digital issue – out 1st October.

Hey Grandude! (Puffin Books) is available now from Waterstones, RRP £12.99.

Image credits: copyright © MPL Communications Ltd, written by Paul McCartney, illustrated by Kathryn Durst.

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