Five years after his death, it seems the world has not heard the last from Maurice Sendak. Presto and Zesto in Limboland, a fully illustrated manuscript by Sendak and frequent collaborator Arthur Yorinks, will be published in the Fall of 2018 after nearly thirty years in seclusion.
The spectacular find was made by Lynn Caponera, President of the Maurice Sendak; Ironically, Caponera had been going through the author’s files to see what could be discarded. “What a miracle to find this buried treasure in the archives,” said Michael di Capua, Sendak’s former editor and publisher. “To think something as good as this has been lying around there gathering dust.”
Image courtesy of The Guardian
Sendak, creator of children’s classics including Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen, initially drew the illustrations in 1990 to accompany a London Symphony Orchestra performance of Rikalda, a series of Czech nursery rhymes set to music. When attaining good English translations of the nonsensical rhymes proved too difficult, the illustrations sat in Sendak’s drawer for 7 years until Yorinks suggested that the illustrations could make a book. Together, Sendak and Yorinks hashed out the plot of Presto and Zesto—their nicknames for each other—basing it on their own playful friendship. Despite their enthusiasm for the work, the two men moved on to other projects, quickly forgetting Presto.
Image courtesy of Publishers Weekly
Yorinks, who has provided a few minor alterations to the text, is thrilled that the book will finally see the light of day. “We always had a lot of laughs for two really depressed guys,” he remembered fondly.
Featured image courtesy of New York Natives