New York, NY [March 11, 2014] — Megan Tingley, Executive Vice President and Publisher, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, announced today the upcoming picture book publication of Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar from world-renowned Rolling Stones rock star Keith Richards, with illustrations by his artist daughter, Theodora Richards. Inspired by a childhood experience shared in Richards’s New York Times bestselling memoir, Life, the story was written with Barnaby Harris and Bill Shapiro and will simultaneously release in hardcover and ebook on September 9, 2014, with the hardcover edition including an exclusive audio CD featuring bonus book content. The author and artist were represented in the deal by Richards’s manager, Jane Rose, and Ed Victor Ltd.
Long before there was a band, there was a boy: a young Keith Richards, who was introduced to the joy of music through his beloved granddad, Theodore Augustus Dupree, affectionately known as “Gus,” who was in a jazz big band and is the namesake of Keith’s daughter, Theodora Dupree Richards. Gus & Me offers a rare and intimate look into the childhood of the legendary Keith Richards through this poignant and inspiring story that is lovingly illustrated with Theodora Richards’s exquisite pen-and-ink collages. This unique autobiographical picture book honors the special bond between a grandfather and grandson and celebrates the artistic talents of the Richards family through the generations. It will also include selected photographs from the Richards family collection.
“I have just become a grandfather for the fifth time, so I know what I’m talking about,” says Keith Richards. “The bond, the special bond, between kids and grandparents is unique and should be treasured. This is a story of one of those magical moments. May I be as great a grandfather as Gus was to me.”
“When I found out they wanted me to be a part of this project, my immediate instinct was to say yes, and I am so happy I did,” comments Theodora. “To be able to explore my father’s relationship with his grandfather was a gift in itself. The things that I’ve learnt during this whole process have just been life affirming.”
Megan Tingley remarks, “Who wouldn’t welcome the opportunity to meet Keith Richards as a young boy? Gus & Me invites readers to be in the room at the electrifying moment that Keith holds a guitar in his hands for the first time. We are excited to be bringing this vivid and moving story to children and families and proud to be publishing the debut of talented artist Theodora Richards.”
The world English rights acquisition was made by Megan Tingley, who will also edit the book. It will also be published simultaneously in the UK by Orion Children’s Books, an imprint of The Orion Publishing Group, a division of Hachette UK. Fiona Kennedy, Managing Director and Publisher, Orion Children’s Books, adds, “I can only echo Megan’s words and say how much we are looking forward to publishing Gus & Me, an amazing father-daughter collaboration that has produced an utterly charming and beguiling book, which will become a family favourite.”