May 25

The Tale Of Kitty-In-Boots will be Dame Helen’s first audiobook recording and introduce fans to “a well-behaved prime black Kitty cat, who leads rather a double life” defeating villains. The manuscript was discovered two years ago by Jo Hanks, publisher at Penguin Random House Children’s, when she stumbled across an out-of-print literary history about Potter, which referenced a letter that Potter had sent her publisher back in 1914 mentioning the new tale. A trip to the V&A archive found three unedited manuscripts, two in children’s school notebooks and one typed, along with a rough sketch of Kitty-in-Boots and villain Mr Tod. Miss Kitty and her crime-fighting alter-ego have lain unpublished for over 100 years, but Dame Helen will soon be bringing them to life alongside favourites including Mr Tod, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Ribby and even an “older, slower and portlier” Peter Rabbit. The audiobook will be released on the same day as a new book, The Tale Of Kitty-In-Boots And Other Stories, illustrated by Quentin Blake, on September 1. Narrators for the five other stories are yet to be announced.