Ten Little Rabbits, a previously unpublished count-along picture book by Maurice Sendak, will be released by HarperCollins Children’s Books on February 6, 2024. Editorial director Antonia Markiet acquired North American rights from the Maurice Sendak Foundation.
The story introduces readers to a young magician, Mino, whose act involves a wand, a magic hat, and a parade of ornery rabbits. “As only Maurice could, the simplicity of a counting book becomes much more—a tale about how things can take an unexpected turn at ‘the drop of a hat,’ ” Markiet told PW. “Maurice’s stories were always full of surprises and triumphs, whether big or small. And while the line drawings seem so much more simple and easy compared to his lush full-color work, they are astonishingly full of vigor and expression.”
The illustrations in Ten Little Rabbits are stylistically similar to Sendak’s earlier works such as Nutshell Library and A Hole Is to Dig and have “a playfulness and charm that stand up to his glorious full-color artwork in a way that is uniquely their own,” Markiet added. “Ten Little Rabbits continues a legacy that has delighted generations of children.”
Ten Little Rabbits was originally created in 1970 as a 3.5 x 2.5-inch paper-bound pamphlet for a fundraiser for Philadelphia’s Rosenbach Museum, a museum and library that celebrates the written word. It was printed in a very limited quantity and has until now remained in collection of the Maurice Sendak Foundation, which not only preserves Sendak’s work, but supports arts organizations, mentors emerging artists, and promotes children’s and animal rights causes. This new edition will be released in a 7 x 9 format.
“The Foundation’s mission is to have all of Maurice’s books—past, present, and even future—be made available to as wide a readership as possible and this is the right time for this little gem to continue the legacy begun so many years ago when the tiny book was available to only a very few. Now, in a new format, everyone can enjoy it,” Markiet said.
Sendak’s children’s books have sold more than 50 million copies and have been translated into more than 40 languages. He received the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are and is the creator of such classics as In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There, and Higglety Pigglety Pop! In 1996, Sendak was honored with a National Medal of Arts in recognition of his contribution to the arts in America and in 2003, he received the first Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, an annual international prize for children’s literature established by the Swedish government.
Sendak died in 2012 at the age of 83, from complications from a stroke. Ten Little Rabbits isn’t the first posthumous Sendak title HarperCollins has published. Less than a year after his death, My Brother’s Book was released, followed by Presto and Zesto in Limboland in 2018, a fully illustrated story by Sendak and friend Arthur Yorinks, which was uncovered in his files nearly 30 years after it was written.
This November, HarperCollins will celebrate the 60th anniversary of Where the Wild Things Are, which was originally published on November 23, 1963.