Sweet is not an adjective that many people would apply to Rolling Stones founding member Keith Richards. They might reconsider after reading Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar by Richards and his daughter illustrator Theodora, a children's book about a boy and his grandfather.
As a Baby Boomer who has listened to my share of Rolling Stones songs, I was charmed by this story that tells how Richards became a musician. His musical interest was inspired by his warm and attentive grandfather Gus, who introduced the boy to many instruments and musical genre. When Keith was able to play "Malaguena" on guitar, Gus told him "I think you're getting the hang of it." A career was launched.
I like the book's illustrations which blend bands of color into pen and ink drawings. They move from page to page, carrying the narrative forward. I also like how I had to turn the book 90 degrees for one two-page spread. Gus and Me is fun to read.
Gus and Me comes with a compact disc of Richards happily reading the book with a little of his own guitar accompaniment. Be sure to listen.
Richards, Keith. Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar. Megan Tingly Books, 2014. ISBN 9780316320658.