Judith Kerr, author of ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea,’ dies
Author Judith Kerr, best known for the children’s book “The Tiger Who Came to Tea,” has died aged 95.
Kerr was born in Berlin in 1923 and moved to England aged 10 as the Nazi party came to power in Germany.
She worked as a scriptwriter for the BBC in addition to writing and illustrating books.
“Judith Kerr was a wonderful and inspiring person who was much loved by everyone at HarperCollins,” said Charlie Redmayne, CEO of publisher HarperCollins, in a statement posted on Facebook.
“She was a brilliantly talented artist and storyteller who has left us an extraordinary body of work.”
Kerr studied at the Central School of Art and married screenwriter Nigel Kneale in 1954.
She later left her job at the BBC to raise two children, who inspired her first book, “The Tiger Who Came to Tea,” which was published in 1968.
The book’s success meant it never went out of print, selling more than 5 million copies, the Press Association reported.
Redmayne said Kerr loved life, people and parties. “Beautifully dressed and with a smile on her face she would light up the room and would always be one of the last to leave,” he said.
“Time spent in her company was one of life’s great privileges and I am so grateful to have known her.”
Kerr wrote and illustrated many other classic children’s books, including “When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit,” an autobiographical tale of her escape from Germany, and “Mog the Forgetful Cat,” which spawned a series of 15 titles.
The series ended in 2002 with the publication of “Goodbye Mog,” but the cat returned in 2015 in “Mog’s Christmas Calamity,” which raised over £1 million ($1.26 million) for Save The Children.
A new book called “The Curse of the School Rabbit” will be published in June this year.
“It has been the greatest honour and privilege to know and publish Judith Kerr for over a decade, though of course her history with HarperCollins goes back over 50 years,” said Ann-Janine Murtagh of HarperCollins Children’s Books.
“She came to visit our offices frequently — always bringing her books in person; often arriving on the number 9 bus and leaving us all full of laughter and in awe of her astonishing zest for life and absolute commitment to delivering the very best books for children.”