Thursday 23 May 2019

Very sad news indeed. Judith Kerr, author of "The Tiger who Came to Tea" and the fabulous "Mog" books has died at the age of 95.

Immensely sad news on the blog today. Judith Kerr, author of "The Tiger Who Came to Tea" and the fantastic "Mog" books has passed away at the grand old age of 95.

We wanted to pay tribute to Judith, one of those amazing, energetic and creative people who you just thought would live forever.

In fact she will, through the amazing legacy of her books and her work.

I remember reading her books as a child, and I also remember these were some of the first books we read and reviewed on the blog, as we began to read through Judith's amazing stories through our local library, and eventually through our own copies of her books.

Though "The Tiger Who Came to Tea" will undoubtedly be what she's best recognised for, it was her awesome feline creation Mog that first caught our attention. We're a cat-loving family, and couldn't resist her brilliantly observed stories of Mog, the boiled-egg eating burglar-foiling cat.

Many authors and illustrators will undoubtedly cite Judith as a huge influence on their own work as she effortlessly and expertly excelled in both storytelling and illustration in her books. Both C and I read all the Mog books, and later the Katinka stories always enjoying the sheer depth of character and the gentle but always interesting nature of her stories.

"Mog and the V.E.T" was probably C's overall favourite, a hilarious (and utterly relatable for any pet owner) tale of Mog getting a thorn stuck in her paw and needing a visit to the vet. Judith's sense of humour comes to the fore in this story, and her illustrations perfectly depict the absolute chaos that can ensue when your cat just doesn't want anything to do with the "Vee Ee Tee". I remember reading this every night for about 6 months, and even now whenever we say the word "Vet" we always spell it out phonetically just like in the story. People often talk about "Funny" children's books, and quite often in our experience those books really just aren't funny on any level. Yet Judith always made 'funny' look so effortless, her human and non-human characters had such a range of expressions that perfectly underpinned the bits in the story you were meant to laugh at, and quite a few you weren't (I will never, ever forget how pant-wettingly funny C found the Vet's weird trippy dream in the aforementioned book - at an age when she probably wouldn't have had a clue what JK was really talking about).

We will miss Judith very much, a huge influential part of C's early reading journey, and an author whose books we would still treat ourselves to as C got older.

Rest in peace Judith and thank you for all the amazing stories.