One of Britain’s most successful children’s authors, Judith Kerr died at the age of 95 at her home after a brief illness.
Best known for The Tiger Who Came to Tea, the author was producing stories and illustrations from a child’s perspective well into her 90s. Kerr’s tea-drinking tiger story has been enjoyed by parents and children since it was first published in 1968. The book has reportedly sold more than five million copies.
Kerr was born in 1923, who was later forced to flee with her parents when Adolf Hitler came to power. The family came to London in 1936, when she was 13. In a trilogy of children’s books, she wrote about her childhood and her life as a refugee, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit being one among them which went on to become a part of the curriculum in German schools.
Adieu, beloved friend & neighbour, bonus grandmum to our girls, gentle, wry, unique Judy. Our hearts are heavy, yet you’d be urging us to tell stories, to live, laugh & love, unstintingly, with every breath we are given, as you did for 96 remarkable years. Ruht wohl #JudithKerr pic.twitter.com/mvd4zIxOZw
— Howard Goodall (@Howard_Goodall) May 23, 2019
— Gary Kemp (@garyjkemp) May 23, 2019
When I was 5 or 6 I got to play Mog in a school play. I have loved the books ever since. I always recommend ‘Goodbye Mog’ to parents looking for ways to explain the loss of a beloved pet. Thank you #JudithKerr for your beautiful books. I hope you got to see what happens next. 💕 pic.twitter.com/IYmWE8Z0sR
— Sarah Ockwell-Smith (@TheBabyExpert) May 23, 2019
Kerr wrote The Tiger Who Came to Tea when she was a full-time mother of two kids. She reportedly began telling the story to her daughter and drew illustrations of the tiger and children.
The celebrated author began her Mog the Cat series when her son protested that the books he was learning to read from were boring, leading to 17 picture books about a family cat, first published in 1970.
Kerr’s next book The Curse of the School Rabbit will reportedly be published in June.