Peter Rabbit, Meet Kitty-in-Boots

9780723247708Move over Dr. Seuss and make way for Beatrix Potter. She too is now among the list of beloved children’s authors with a newly found manuscript.

According to The Guardian, the treasured find, The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots, has been lying low for 100 years, hidden in the V&A archives.

The project dates back to at least 1914, when Potter informed her editor that she was at work on a story of “a well-behaved prime black Kitty cat, who leads rather a double life.”

Various life events got in the way of Potter completing the tale, including WWI and marriage, but Potter drafted a mock-up of the book, complete with one finished illustration and a rough sketch.

Publisher Jo Hanks, who found the tale, says it offers some of the “best of Beatrix Potter … It has double identities, colourful villains and a number of favourite characters from other tales [even an “older, slower and portlier” Peter Rabbit].

9780142410318_83ed6Artist Quentin Blake, who in the past created new art for Roald Dahl’s books, has been selected to illustrate the tale. He told the paper, “I liked the story immediately – it’s full of incident and mischief and character – and I was fascinated to think that I was being asked to draw pictures for it … I have a strange feeling that it might have been waiting for me.”

According to The Washington Post, the new tale will be published world-wide in September by Frederick Warne & Co, Beatrix Potter’s original publisher, now owned by PRH. The 2016 publication date coincides with the 150th anniversary of Potters’ birth.

The Guardian offers images of Potter’s illustration and the new art by Blake. The BBC provides an excerpt of the story.

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