Who is Judith Kerr, what else did The Tiger Who Came To Tea author write and what was her cause of death?

AUTHOR Judith Kerr has sadly passed away at her home aged 95 following a short illness.

We take a look at the life and legacy of The Tiger Who Came To Tea writer who will be remembered for her "incisive wit and dry humour".

Who is Judith Kerr?

Judith Kerr’s archive, spanning over seventy years of illustrations, is housed at Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books, and she was named Illustrator of the Year at the British Book Awards 2019 on Monday, May 13.

Judith Kerr was born in Berlin, but her family left Germany in 1933 to escape the rise of the Nazi party and came to England.

She studied at the Central School of Art and later worked as a scriptwriter for the BBC.

Judith married the celebrated screenwriter Nigel Kneale in 1954.

She left the BBC to look after their two children, Matthew and Tacy, who inspired her first picture book, The Tiger Who Came to Tea.

In 2006, Kerr's husband, Nigel, passed away after more than 50 years of marriage.

What did she write?

Published by HarperCollins since 1968, Judith Kerr’s first book was The Tiger Who Came to Tea, which has sold over five million copies and never been out of print.

Her next book introduced Mog the Cat, who went on to star in over fifteen titles until Goodbye Mog in 2002.

Her third book, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, was an autobiographical retelling of her family’s escape from Germany in the 1930s, the first part of her acclaimed Out of the Hitler Time trilogy.

She never stopped working – in 2015 Mog returned in Mog’s Christmas Calamity, published as part of Sainsburys’ Christmas ad campaign and raising over £1million for Save the Children’s literacy campaign.

It topped the overall book charts for four weeks, making Judith the oldest author to have a number one title.

Her most recent title, Mummy Time, was published in 2018, while her new book, The Curse of the School Rabbit, is scheduled for publication by HarperCollins Children’s Books in June 2019.

What was her cause of death?

The beloved children's author was remembered for her "incisive wit and dry humour" after she died at home on May 22, 2019, following a short illness.

The exact illness has not yet been specified.

What tributes have been made?

Ann-Janine Murtagh, Executive Publisher HarperCollins Children’s Books said: "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 fifty years.

"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.

"Her incisive wit and dry humour made her both excellent company and a joy to publish.

"She embraced life as one great big adventure and lived every day to the full.

"She was absolutely thrilled when I gave her the news that she had been named Illustrator of the Year earlier this month.

"Her characters and books have delighted generations of children and provided some of the first and fondest reading memories of childhood.

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

Charlie Redmayne, HarperCollins CEO added: "Judith Kerr was a wonderful and inspiring person who was much loved by everyone at HarperCollins.

"She was a brilliantly talented artist and storyteller who has left us an extraordinary body of work.

"Always understated and very, very funny, Judith loved life and loved people – and particularly she loved a party."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. Time spent in her company was one of life’s great privileges and I am so grateful to have known her."

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