My life in books: Theodora Richards

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Rolling Stone Keith Richards has written a children’s book, Gus & Me, illustrated by his daughter, Theodora. To mark its release we find out which books have shaped the daughter of rock royalty. 

Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar, by Keith Richards and art by Theodora Richards

The book’s filled with love and depth, with Dad focusing on himself as a child with his grandfather, and that ‘Excalibur’ moment when he picked up the guitar for the first time. I did the black and white illustrations against colour backgrounds – it’s natural and raw. I see it as the ultimate love letter to my family.

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Perfect Percy, by Bonnie Pryor

This is the first ever book I remember reading. It’s about this little grasshopper that has a perfect life, but his parents are messy. So he goes and lives with this other family who are perfect and clean. But in the end, he realises that he wants to be with his family most of all, and that they’re perfect in their own way. It’s a story that’s definitely stuck in my mind.

Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

In terms of illustrations, I love Ralph Steadman and everything that he’s ever done – his Alice in Wonderland artwork is so beautiful. I’ve always really loved that floppy, sketchy, watercolour-slammed-on-the-page art style. It makes sense for kids; but it also makes sense for adults. I love that it can be so universal.

Flappers, by Judith Mackrell

I’ve been really interested in reading about flappers in the jazz age, and this one book in particular about [world-famous entertainer] Josephine Baker is great. It’s about all these fabulous women who were so experimental and way ahead of their time.

Travels with Charley, by John Steinbeck

It’s a book that always makes me laugh out loud. It’s just him [Steinbeck] going around America with his dog. I’ve always been a floater and a social butterfly; I’ve never really tied myself down to one group or person, but I also have the desire for roots. And this is one book that really puts that across. 

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