The loss of Maurice Sendak in 2012 was a cruel blow for anyone who delights in brilliantly-imaginative stories for children.
He was a fearless writer and illustrator, happy to buck trends and go for broke, unwilling to simple churn out the same old same old because that’s what had been done before.
This approach gave the world a slew of wonderful books, including the magically luminous Where the Wild Things Are, and now, thanks to a discovery by Maurice Sendak Foundation president Lynn Caponera, there is one more we can add to the list.
Presto and Zesto in Limboland, named after the nicknames of Sendak and his co-author and old friend Arthur Yorinks, was discovered in a pile of the author’s papers, and unlike many other books left behind by deceased authors, this was one was fully-written and illustrated and ready to go.
As Yorinks explains, the book had its narrative genesis in the friendship of the two men:
“‘It was a hysterical afternoon of cracking each other up. But after a few hours a narrative thread began to coagulate,’ Yorinks told Publisher’s Weekly of the book’s beginning. ‘The story became an homage to our own friendship so we named the characters after ourselves—Presto and Zesto.'”
Knowing there is another book coming our way from Sendak is a real joy; the only downside? We have to wait till US Autumn 2018 to read it.