Grandude uses a magical compass to take the four kids, whom he calls “Chillers”, on adventures to faraway places. At each location — a desert island, the Wild West, the Alps — they have a narrow scrape, but by the end the Chillers are all tucked up safely in bed, washed, brushed and ready for sleep. Hey Grandude! is a perfectly acceptable, jaunty little affair, fetchingly illustrated by Kathryn Durst, but it’s not exactly groundbreaking. In musical terms, you could say it’s more Wings than Beatles.
Hey Grandude! might be endearing in its mizzly Englishness, but there is an all-round risk-averseness here that’s puzzling. The book concludes with everyone safely tucked up in bed – tremendously comforting, aged four or 64. But every gleeful scenario ends badly, with Grandude and the chillers fleeing when some avalanche or stampede invariably kiboshes the thrills. Why didn’t an editor ask McCartney to take this sad song and make it better?