A previously unpublished Beatrix Potter tale—The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots—is set to hit bookstores in September, and it’s already climbing to the top of the Amazon charts in the U.K. People just can’t get enough whimsically sentient animals from the English countryside!
It was editor Jo Hanks who dug out the story, NPR says. While working on The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit with Emma Thompson, she was reading an out-of-print collection of Potter’s writings and spotted a mention of the author working on something “about a well-behaved prime black Kitty cat, who leads rather a double life.” She went hunting in the V&A’s Beatrix Potter archive and sure enough, there it was, complete with an “older, slower and portlier” Peter Rabbit.
The story had never been finished and filed, but Hanks says in this promotional interview that “It’s obvious that Beatrix fully intended to publish this book,” and had done multiple drafts. She never finished the illustrations, either, so they got Quentin Blake—best known for his work on Roald Dahl’s books—to put his own spin on the story.
And now The Guardian reports that as of this morning, the book was already doing a brisk business on Amazon’s U.K. site, hitting number-one on the “movers and shakers” chart for quickly building sales and number-two on the children’s chart. A buyer at Waterstones predicted it would be “a highlight of the autumn publishing calendar.” In the meantime, you can check out an excerpt here.
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