In honor of Peter Jackson’s new documentary, The Beatles: Get Back, which sheds light on the group’s collaborative process—sometimes playful and sometimes fraught—and the long and winding road leading to their legendary 1969 rooftop concert, we’ve gathered a selection of recent backlist books for young fans ages (Fab) four and up.
John Lennon and Paul McCartney, illus. by Marc Rosenthal. Little Simon, 2019 $17.99 ISBN 978-1-5344-2981-9
Rosenthal’s artwork shows a wintry landscape and its animal inhabitants transition from winter to spring as bluebirds sing, highlighting the themes of friendship and community at the heart of this Summer of Love anthem.
Paul McCartney, illus. by Kathryn Durst. Random, 2019 $17.99 ISBN 978-0-525-64867-3
“Inspired by McCartney’s own nickname and featuring a titular wink toward The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude,’ ” according to PW’s review, “this picture book debut from the musical icon hits all the right notes in the tale of a cool grandfather, his magical compass, and his grandchildren.” Illustrator Durst said of working with McCartney, “His excitement and passion for the project was infectious.”
Grandude’s Green Submarine
Paul McCartney, illus. by Kathryn Durst. Random, 2021 $18.99 ISBN 978-0-593-37243-2
In this sequel, Grandude’s inventions are the stuff of legend, and his new green submarine doesn’t disappoint, as Grandude whisks the grandkids, aka Chillers, off on another adventure. But when they find themselves in a jam, and not the musical kind, it’s up to Nandude to come to the rescue.
John Lennon and Paul McCartney, illus. by Henry Cole. S&S/Little Simon, 2019 $17.99 978-1-5344-2983-3
Our review called this picture book interpretation of the feel-good Sgt. Pepper’s tune “a sweet, songful ode to lasting friendships.” Cole told PW in an interview that, while working on the illustrations for the book and weaving them into a narrative, “the song became something totally different and more meaningful to me.”
Julian Lennon, with Bart Davis, illus. by Smiljana Coh. Sky Pony, 2017 $17.99 ISBN 978-1-5107-2083-1
In his debut picture book, singer-songwriter Julian Lennon invites readers to hop aboard a magical shapeshifting airplane, the White Feather Flier (a name inspired by his father and his own environmental and humanitarian foundation), and go on a “helping adventure” to protect the planet’s oceans and water supply.
Julian Lennon, with Bart Davis, illus. by Smiljana Coh. Sky Pony, 2018 $17.99 ISBN 978-1-5107-2853-0
The creators of Touch the Earth present another philanthropic voyage on the fanciful White Feather Flier. As the vessel morphs from plane to mobile hospital to submarine to tractor to boat, the team delivers medicine to children in a remote location, help a coral reef recover from the effects of climate change, and join reforestation efforts in the jungle.
Love the Earth
Julian Lennon, with Bart Davis, illus. by Smiljana Coh. Sky Pony, 2019 $17.99 ISBN 978-1-5107-2854-7
The third book in the White Feather Flier Adventure trilogy follows the crew as they embark on a final imagination-fueled journey—this time planting gardens, soaring with butterflies, building schools, cleaning up the oceans and beaches, and more.
All Together Now
Hope Larson. FSG, 2020 $21.99 ISBN 978-0-374-31162-9
Larson’s music-infused middle-grade graphic novel, the standalone sequel to All Summer Long, takes its name from The Beatles number (featured on the soundtrack for the 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine). In the book, young musician Bina navigates shifting friendships and confusing crushes while trying to keep her new band together.
Ann Hood. Penguin Workshop, 2018 $16.99 ISBN 978-1-5247-8511-6
Adult author Hood (The Obituary Writer) revisits the height of the British Invasion through her narrator Trudy Mixer, an unpopular sixth grader growing up in Rhode Island in 1966. When she learns that The Beatles are performing in Boston, Trudy and her fellow fan club members hatch a plan to sneak off to the concert—where she hopes to meet her crush and idol Paul McCartney. PW’s review said, “This charming coming-of-age story acts as a time capsule, offering contemporary readers a glimpse into life in the 1960s while exploring issues young people face in every generation.”