Yusef, also known as Cat Stevens, is teaming up with best-selling author and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds to create a children’s picture book called Peace Train to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the song’s release on the hit album Teaser and the Firecat. The book will feature colourful pictures and lyrics from the song that was released back in 1971.
Set to be published on 11 May by HarperCollins, the book welcomes children to board the Peace Train with a group of passengers who are all eager to work together to promote peace and understanding in thew world. Speaking of the book, Stevens said: “I wrote these lyrics more than fifty years ago, and I know the words still boom as true and loud today as they did in the 1970s. It’s incredible to see how Peter Reynolds has made the words jump into life in brilliant style for a new generation with his joysome illustrations.”
As udiscovermusic reports, Reynolds said: “One of my first albums was a Cat Stevens record when I was a boy. His lyrics moved me and inspired me to forge my own ‘rails’ to create meaningful picture books for all ages. Peace Train’s powerful message is more important than ever, and I’m beyond honored to collaborate with Yusuf on this ‘duet.’ I feel as though we’re a band sharing the stage for a concert that our readers will never forget.”
Stevens has been involved with philanthropic work for decades, and was even one of UNICEF’s first ambassadors. He founded his own international relief organization and received the World Social Award in 2003, which aims to do “humanitarian relief work helping children and victims of war.” He was given the Man for Peace Award for his philanthropy in 200 by the Nobel Peace Laureates.
Vice President and Publishing Director, HarperCollins Children’s Books, Nancy Inteli, said: “Peace Train‘s messages of unity, kindness, and acceptance resonate now more than ever, and the meaningful lyrics make for a perfect picture book.
“What better way for young readers to find encouragement while reading ‘I’ve been smiling lately, thinking about the good things to come’ together with a loved one? I couldn’t be more thrilled to publish this important collaboration between Cat Stevens and Peter H. Reynolds.”
The book will also see a follow-up in 2022 based on Stevens’ song If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out.