Author of the Month

Once, as a teenager talking to my father, I said that perhaps I might like to do illustration one day, and he said, "You’ll have to work very hard, because they are very good at it in this country." He was right. They are. I think I am very lucky to have joined them.

- Judith Kerr, Judith Kerr’s Creatures

Judith Kerr

Judith Kerr was born in Berlin in 1923 but escaped from Hitler’s Germany with her parents and brother in 1933 when she was nine years old. Her father was a drama critic and distinguished writer whose books were burned by the Nazis, because he dared to speak out against the regime. The day after the family left Berlin, the authorities came to arrest them, and throughout the war there was a price on her father’s head. Judith and her family passed through Switzerland and France before finally arriving in England in 1936.

Judith won a scholarship to the Central School of Arts in 1945, and since then has worked as an artist, television scriptwriter and, for the past thirty years, as an author and illustrator of children’s books.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea was Judith’s first picture book and was published in 1968. She wrote it after telling the story at bedtime to her daughter Tacy and son Matthew. The book has become a classic and has been made into a stage play, currently appearing in London’s Lyric Theatre.

Judith is also 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. 2015 has seen Mog take to the screen in a major Christmas advertising campaign, highlighting the importance of sharing at Christmas.

More about Judith Kerr

Judith wrote about her experiences in her classic autobiographical story, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, which along with Bombs on Aunt Dainty and A Small Person Far Away, forms part of the Out of the Hitler Time trilogy.

2015 saw the publication of Mister Cleghorn’s Seal, Judith’s first fiction title since 1978. Inspired by a true story about her father, Alfred Kerr, Mister Cleghorn’s Seal tells the life-affirming tale of Mr Cleghorn who, on a visit to the seaside, rescues a seal pup named Charlie.

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