Beloved Where the Wild Things author and illustrator Maurice Sendak passed away in 2012, but readers will be treated to a new book by the children’s writer in 2018. The news comes thanks to a discovery by Maurice Sendak Foundation president Lynn Caponera. She was going through the late author’s files and found a typewritten manuscript, with finished illustrations, called Presto and Zesto in Limboland, which Sendak co-authored with collaborator Arthur Yorinks (The Miami Giant, Frank and Joey Eat Lunch, Frank and Joey Go to Work, Mommy?). According to Publishers Weekly, the new book title references an inside joke between Sendak and Yorinks.
Though Yorinks had often visited Sendak at his home in Connecticut, “I only knew where he lived in relation to the train station.” So when Yorinks later moved to Connecticut himself, he called Sendak and said, “‘I think we’re close,’ but Maurice thought I was about a half hour drive away,” Yorinks recalled. “Then I got in the car and I was there in three minutes. When he opened the door he said, ‘Presto!’ That became my nickname.” Yorinks, in turn, dubbed Sendak “Zesto.”
Michael di Capua, Sendak’s longtime editor and publisher, told Publishers Weekly: “What a miracle to find this buried treasure in the archives. To think something as good as this has been lying around there gathering dust.”
Look for Presto and Zesto in Limboland from Michael di Capua Books/HarperCollins in fall 2018. Read more about the discovery on Publishers Weekly.