Judith Kerr, bestselling author and illustrator, talks about her life and career Sept 24th Soho Literary Festival

My daughter has been engrossed in Judith Kerr’s autobiographical books of late and until reading her bio just now I hadn’t realized that she also wrote The Tiger Who Came to Tea and Mog- old favourites of ours.  She will be speaking as part of the Soho Literary Festival in September.

Judith Kerr escaped with her family from Nazi Germany to England in 1936. Judith wrote about her experiences in her classic autobiographical story, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and will talk about her life, her best-selling character Mog and her latest illustrated book, essentially for adults, My Henry.

In addition to the trilogy Out of the Hitler Time Judith is renowned for her favourite feline creation, Mog. This enduringly popular character has charmed generations of children and has starred in a whole stream of books. Mog books have featured on bestseller lists for the past 30 years and have sold more than 4 million copies.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea was Judith’s first picture book, published in 1968. She wrote it after telling the story at bedtime to her daughter Tracey and son Matthew. Lady Antonia Fraser was one of the first people to review the book and called it, “a dazzling first book,” that would make children “scream with delicious pleasure at the dangerous naughtiness of the notion.” The book has become a classic and has sold over 5 million copies. The Tiger Who Came to Tea was recently made into a stage play written by David Wood and produced by Nick Brooke, which has toured the UK.

Judith Kerr’s new book, a picture book essentially for adults called My Henry, was published in May 2011. A retrospective exhibition of her work is on at the V&A Museum of Childhood at Bethnal Green from May to September 2011.

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