Yusuf/Cat Stevens has announced the children’s book Peace Train, out May 11th via HarperCollins.
The book is in celebration of the song’s 50th anniversary; the track appeared on 1971’s Teaser and the Firecat. Yusuf has teamed up with Peter H. Reynolds for the book’s illustration.
“I wrote these lyrics more than 50 years ago, and I know the words still boom as true and loud today as they did in the Seventies,” Yusuf said in a statement. “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.”
“One of my first albums was a Cat Stevens record when I was a boy,” Reynolds added. 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.”
Following Peace Train, HarperCollins will publish a picture book adaptation of Stevens’ legendary song “If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out,” which first appeared in Hal Ashby’s film Harold and Maude. The book is due out in summer 2022.
Peace Train follows Yusuf’s ongoing anniversary celebration of his Seventies albums. He recently rerecorded Tea for the Tillerman — dubbing it Tea for the Tillerman² — and released a massive box set of the album as well as 1970’s Mona Bone Jakon. Last month, Haim, Incubus’ Brandon Boyd, Dave Matthews, Jack Johnson, and others covered his songs at a virtual tribute.