Ringo Starr is asking a few more people to join him in that octopus’s garden.
Starr is taking the Beatles song – one of the few that Starr wrote and sang for the group – and turning the idea into a children’s book. The picture book is planned for an October release in the UK and a January 2014 release in the US and will be published by Simon & Schuster.
The book will be accompanied by a CD, which will contain a never-before-heard portion of music by Starr. The text will be illustrated by children's book illustrator and author Ben Cort.
“It gives me great pleasure to collaborate with Ben Cort and Simon & Schuster for the further adventures of Octopus’s Garden,” Starr said in a statement. “Peace and Love, Ringo.”
Simon & Schuster publishing director Ingrid Selberg said in a statement that the book was very special to her personally because of her love of the Beatles.
“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,” she said. “This a a beautiful and funny book that children, parents and grandparents will love sharing.”
Starr reportedly got the idea for the song when he was on board actor Peter Sellers' boat and the ship's captain told him how octopi construct gardens by using rocks and other shiny things that they find on the ocean floor.
This isn’t Starr’s first foray into the world of children’s entertainment. He’s also recognizable to children and parents of the ‘90s for his role as the narrator on the children’s television series “Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends” from 1984 to 1986. Later he took on the role of conductor on the TV show “Shining Time Station” from 1989 to 1990, with his character telling the other actors stories about Thomas and the other trains.
Ringo is also publishing a book called "Photograph" this month. "Photograph" features never-before-seen photos of the Beatles taken by Starr.