The Tiger Who Came To Tea author Judith Kerr dies aged 95

Judith died at her home following a short illness

Judith died at her home following a short illness

The Tiger Who Came To Tea author Judith Kerr has died at the age of 95, her publisher HarperCollins says. At 95, Kerr was still working steadily every day with enthusiasm, although she regretted that she had slowed a little. She once told me that the place she felt happiest was in her workroom. "When I come in here I know..." She lived to see the Tiger in The Tiger Who Came to Tea reach its millionth sale as she turned 94.

Kerr, who published more than 30 books over a 50-year career, dreamed up the tiger to amuse her two children.

"She came to visit our offices frequently - always bringing her books in person; often arriving on the number nine 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".

She told the BBC: "More than that she was a good friend". "She has inspired generation after generation of children to read for pleasure".

It was published in 1968 to critical acclaim and has been a bestseller ever since, with Mog the Forgetful Cat following in 1970, the first of a long series.

Kerr was often asked whether the tiger has a hidden meaning, and some people have suggested it might represent Hitler or the Nazis, invading her home and stealing her possessions.

"When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit is one of the great books of our times".

The book has been translated into many languages and taught to school children as an introduction to a dark chapter of history.

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Her father, Alfred, was a Jewish theatre critic and satirical writer, who fled to Zurich in 1933, followed soon after by his wife Julia and two children, Michael and Judith. It won the prestigious Youth Book Prize in Germany, and in 1993 a school was named after Kerr in her native Berlin.

'My thoughts at this time are with her children, Matthew and Tacy, and her grandchildren'.

"Always understated and very, very amusing, she loved life and loved people - and particularly she loved a party".

Her next book introduced Mog the cat, who starred in some 15 books and developed a large following until "Goodbye Mog" was published in 2002.

The charismatic author also spoke of her joy at the fact that Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch narrated the story as part of a 50th anniversary celebration at Storystock Festival in south London, held a year ago, saying that he was a "wonderful man" and that it was "the only time I've ever been able to impress my children".

Publisher Ann-Janine Murtagh, of HarperCollins Children's Books, said that it had "been the greatest honour and privilege" to have known and worked with Kerr for more than a decade.

Kerr was appointed OBE in 2012 for her services to children's literature and Holocaust education.

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