HarperCollins Children’s Books will publish a 50th anniversary hardback of the beloved classic When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr this autumn.
Its new edition will be published on 30th September and include Kerr’s original line drawings. The audio version of the book will also be read by Kerr’s daughter, actor and artist Tacy Kneale.
The book is based on Kerr’s early life and her family’s escape from Nazi Germany when she was only nine years old. It is told from Anna’s perspective, who is too busy with schoolwork and tobogganing to listen to the talk of Hitler. But one day she and her brother are rushed out of Germany in alarming secrecy, away from everything they know, to embark on an extraordinary journey to a new life.
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit features on education curricula across the globe and was described by Michael Morpurgo as "the most life-enhancing book you could ever wish to read".
Kerr, who passed away in 2019, had said she was inspired to write it after taking her children to see "The Sound of Music". She said: “After the film, they said, ‘Now we know what it was like for mummy when she was a little girl’ and I thought, no, it wasn’t like that at all. As well as giving me a chance to tell my children about my experience, the book was also a way for me to remember my parents, and for them to be remembered.”
Ann-Janine Murtagh, executive publisher at HarperCollins Children’s Books, said: “When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit is unique in exploring history from a child’s eye view and is told with Judith Kerr’s indomitable spirit, her passionate belief in freedom and the enduring power of family love. Indeed, Judith always told me that her parents had made their escape from Nazi Germany feel like one big adventure and she carried that positivity throughout her life.
“We are honoured that Judith’s own daughter, Tacy, will be recording the audiobook, inviting a whole new audience to share her mother’s remarkable story. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit remains one of the most important books for children to read today and we are incredibly proud to publish it on the HarperCollins Children’s Books list.”
The anniversary publishing will also be supported by a range of educational and outreach activities for schools, libraries and bookshops, plus a major marketing and PR campaign.