Andersen Press will publish the four original Mr Benn books by David McKee, who recently won the British Book Award for Illustrator of the Year.
Editorial director Libby Hamilton acquired world rights direct from the illustrator. Mr Benn: Red Knight and Big Game Mr Benn will be published in February 2021, with Big Top Mr Benn and 123456789 Benn to follow in July 2021.
The series inspired the TV show "Mr Benn", which McKee produced. Next year marks 50 years since the TV show first aired on the BBC in 1971 and discussions for special programming to mark the occassion are "ongoing" with the BBC.
Klaus Flugge, founder and publisher of Andersen Press, said: “We are proud to publish David McKee, from Elmer, King Rollo to Not Now, Bernard, now we’re thrilled that another of David’s iconic characters, Mr Benn, is joining the Andersen Press family. To bring these iconic, classic books back to bookshops has been a long-held ambition of ours, and to do so in celebration of 50 years since they were brought to life on TV is very fitting."
The original Mr Benn stories were published in the 1960s and 1970s by Dobson and resissued by Tate Publishing in 2011. Rights reverted to McKee when the books went out of print.