It’s been a while since we shared what we’re reading but we recently received a lovely copy of the brand new The Tale of Kitty In Boots by Beatrix Potter. The manuscript by Beatrix Potter was rediscovered two years ago when Jo Hanks, publisher at Penguin Random House Children’s, stumbled across an out-of-print literary history about Beatrix Potter from the early 1970s. Hanks found in the book both a reference to a letter that Potter had sent her publisher in 1914, which referred to a story about ‘a well-behaved prime black Kitty cat, who leads rather a double life’, and an unedited manuscript of the tale.
A trip to the V&A archive, where many of Potter’s items are kept, revealed three manuscripts, handwritten in children’s school notebooks, one rough colour sketch of Kitty-in-Boots, a dummy book with some of the typeset manuscript laid out and a pencil rough of arch-villain Mr. Tod. Other letters in the archive revealed that Potter intended to finish the tale, but ‘interruptions began’ – and continued: from the beginning of the First World War, to marriage, to sheep farming, to colds. And so she never went back to the story.
The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots
This year sees 150 years after the birth of Beatrix Potter so it is wonderful to see and hold a copy of The Tale of Kitty-In-Boots.
When Miss Kitty sneaks out to go hunting in her beautiful boots, she gets herself into all sorts of scrapes, but on this particular night she meets the foxiest hunter of them all – Mr. Tod!
An utterly entertaining tale filled with mistaken identities, devious villains and even an appearance from Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots is brought to life with illustrations from the world- renowned Quentin Blake.
This is a lovely story, full of Beatrix Potter’s trademark dry humour and wry observations. It felt strange reading a Beatrix Potter story but looking at illustrations by Quentin Blake (who we so often identify with the stories of Roald Dahl) but my 4 and 6 year olds both loved the tale and I’m sure it will become a classic.
The Tale of Kitty In Boots by Beatrix Potter, illustrated by Quentin Blake, published 1st September 2016 by Frederick Warne & Co. Hardback version priced £12.99.
The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots Exhibition
To coincide with the publication of The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots there will be The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots Exhibition, featuring Quentin Blake’s original illustrations, from today (2 September 2016) until 5th February 2017. The exhibition is taking place at the House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, King’s Cross, London N1C 4BH. Open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm.
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