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Harry Chapin, other songwriters inspire new children’s books

"We Are the Dinosaurs?" comes from the lyrics of Laurie Berkner's tune of the same name. Credit: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

These recently released children’s books are inspired by songs by the famed Beatles, Long Island folk singer Harry Chapin and New-York based children’s musician Laurie Berkner.

Beat Bugs books are loosely inspired by Beatles hits. They feature characters from the animated Beat Bugs preschool TV show. They include the hardcover picture book “I Am the Walrus” (Harper Collins Childrens, $9.99) and the “I Can Read” beginner book “Ticket to Ride” ($3.99).

The “Mr. Tanner” picture book (Ripple Grove Press, $17.99) is based on the song of the same name released in 1973 on Chapin’s “Short Stories” album. The character of Mr. Tanner runs an Ohio dry cleaning shop, and customers encourage him to go to New York and sing professionally. Chapin was killed in a car accident on the Long Island Expressway in 1981.

“We Are the Dinosaurs” (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $17.99) comes from the lyrics of Berkner’s tune of the same name. The song marks its 20-year anniversary this year. The book is geared to ages 4 to 8.

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