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The Tiger Who Came To Tea: apply for your FREE copy and post a question for author Judith Kerr: Q&A AND GIVEAWAY CLOSED

(125 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 06-Jun-13 10:02:31

This week we have 50 copies of Judith Kerr's classic The Tigers Who Came To Tea to giveaway. Apply for a free copy

We're delighted that author Judith Kerr is joining us for a Q&A to celebrate her 90th birthday and the publication of her beautiful retrospective called Judith Kerr's Creatures: A Celebration of the Life and Work of Judith Kerr. Everyone who posts a question to Judith and joins the discussion on this page about her books will be entered into a draw to win a signed copy of Judith Kerr's Creatures.

Judith is one of Britain's most well known children's author and illustrator and her most well known books, the Mog series and The Tiger Who Came To Tea are classics across generations of book lovers. Her celebrated book for older children, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit was based on her own life as Judith spent her early childhood in Berlin but moved to the UK after the rise of Hitler in 1933. In Creatures Judith tells of her family's struggles with language and money, and what it was like to be a German refugee in London during the war.

Post your question to Judith and let us know your favourite Judith Kerr book by 10am on 17th June and we'll post up her answers and announce the winner of the signed book on Monday 24th June.

VeryHungryKatypillar Thu 06-Jun-13 20:53:50

I would like to ask how Judith Kerr felt about the stage production of TTWCTT? Was she involved in the writing at all?

For the record, we absolutely love the book and the stage production was fantastic. The adaptation and songs were just fab. But it would have been good if the tiger had talked as he does in the book.

Oh, and please tell me if the cat on the "all the street lamps were lit and all the cars had their lights on " page was intended to look like a tiger. We have always presumed so but it would be nice to know for sure!

VeryHungryKatypillar Thu 06-Jun-13 20:56:22

By the way Sophie is a great character to dress up as on world book day! DD1 has done so once or twice now, lovely easy outfit, except for the tights. They are impossible to replicate!

Forgetfulmog Thu 06-Jun-13 20:58:22

Aha! I feel this may be the thread for me smile.

Love both books & would really like dd to be into them too

Catiinthehat Thu 06-Jun-13 21:50:07


We are big MOG fans in this household!

We love your works, the writing and the illustrations. I was wondering what comes first? Do you write/have an idea of story first before the illustrations or do you have a rough idea of illustrations/ how characters look which the story follows from? Or does the story and illustrations fall together in one?

Catmint Thu 06-Jun-13 22:01:31

Huge fans here, too.

Mog and the baby makes me roar with laughter every time. Likewise Mog and the VET. Oh, and Mog's Bad Thing, as well.

I also love Twinkles, Arthur and Puss.

I know that some of the cats you write about are real. Are any of the people real? (The baby in Mog and the baby?)

Thank you, Judith so much pleasure with my DD via your books xxxxxxx

Catmint Thu 06-Jun-13 22:04:07

I forgot to say, one of our family catchphrases is, " ...and all Daddy's beer! "

And DD' s treasured toy cat is Mog.

glassofwineandagoodbook Thu 06-Jun-13 22:05:33

I'm sure I've read that the Tiger is just about a tiger Judith Kerr used to see in the zoo with her daughter.

My two year old loves TTWCTT with a passion. We've adapted it slightly - it can't be the Ocado man, not the boy from the grocers! And I've read and re-read the Pink Rabbit trilogy. Reading "A Small Person Far Away" as an adult gave me a whole new perspective.

Anyway, I have two questions for Judith Kerr...

1. Which of her books is her favourite and should be the next one I buy for my daughter?

2. I think she only wrote the three autobiographical novels, with her other books being picture books. Did she consider writing any other novels or did she feel that she had said what she wanted to and wanted to focus on the picture books instead?

PickledMoomin Thu 06-Jun-13 22:07:20

We met her last week at Hay Festival. DD asked her why there wasn't a tiger sequel and why the burglar has a cup of tea in 'Mog the Forgetful Cat'. She was the sweetest lady. Made DS and DDs day.

Lioninthesun Thu 06-Jun-13 22:11:41

DD (21mo) loves this and I bought it for her because I remembered it so vividly from my own childhood. She has developed some amazing sucking and lip smacking noises because of it grin . She also likes the fact Sophie gets "chip n' ice ceeem" for tea. Must be every toddler's dream!

I always wondered if the tiger was a lover of the mother <a ginger?>, and she had spent all day with him and therefore neglected her household chores (and paying the water bill!).

The bit I also really remember is the end, when Sophie is hugging the tin of Tiger Food. I remember wondering what on earth tiger food could be made of to fill a tiger who could eat a houseful of food in such a comparatively small tin and also what a reminder of the day that dusty tin must have been in the cupboard for years to come, with Sophie yearning for another special tea wink

stella1w Thu 06-Jun-13 22:14:29

I love how daddy saves the day...

tunnocksteacake Thu 06-Jun-13 22:18:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

strawberrypenguin Thu 06-Jun-13 22:27:03

I love her books! Loved them as a child and love reading them to DS now. My favourite is Mog and Bunny smile my question is where did Mog's name come from?
Oh and happy birthday to Judith thanks

pickofthepops Thu 06-Jun-13 22:42:31

My question for Judith is about the illustrations of the tiger in TTWCTT:

I read that you said something like 'it's not a real tiger.. Quentin Blake would have made it funnier'.

I love his work but your tiger is fantastic. I love how he looks happy, melancholy, cool, slightly eastern and more all at the same time.

Judith, what Blake pictures do you think are funnier?

Thanks and best wishes to an amazing lady.

RocksThatIGot Thu 06-Jun-13 23:03:48

I have a 2 year old who has a shelf full of books, and she chooses TTWCTT EVERY night. I try to get her to branch out but she is having none of it. She calls it the turkey story as she gets turkeys and tigers confused. At night after I have put her to bed I can hear her reciting the book to herself, doing all the voices, she is word perfect!

Sorry that wasn't really a question!

sickofsocalledexperts Fri 07-Jun-13 08:22:08

The Tiger Who Came to Tea is a book I still regularly read to my severely autistic boy. Before he could even talk, I realised that if I left a word out, he would say it - as he knows the text so well! This has actually helped him speak! My question is - what gave you the idea of a tiger being so nice and coming to tea?

Sizzlesthedog Fri 07-Jun-13 11:17:09

We love TTWCTT in this house. DD asks for "tiger tea" at bedtime. She loves the story. I remember it from my childhood.

My question is, why does Daddy look so sad when he comes home and hears the tale of the tiger, is it because he missed the fun, or is it "another day when Mummy forgot to buy any food".

Rajie Fri 07-Jun-13 12:11:13

My favourite book when I was little and a favourite of my Son. Its a true classic. What advise can Judith give to encourage young children to write short poems and maybe a 01 page stories?

Got3fabgirls Fri 07-Jun-13 14:00:26

Is it about a woman who has some kind of huge rebellion and refuses to cook dinner, can't be bothered to bath Sophie and just wants to sit and eat cakes all day? I've always hoped it was!
We love this book in our house and we still quote from it (all the water in the tap AND all Daddy's beer: the tiger didn't take just one cake...) and we also adore Mog's Bad Thing. She didn't mean to do it but she did it, and she did it on Mr Thomas's chair.
I like Twinkles, Arthur and Puss ("I am a greedy guts")! Thank you Judith Kerr.

Fuckwittery Fri 07-Jun-13 15:18:13

What happened to Nicky and Debbie when they grew up? Is Debbie on mumsnet with four children and a large fat cat?

StealthPolarBear Fri 07-Jun-13 15:33:05

The tiger that came to tea is my favourite jk book and possibly the favourity book of my early childhood. I didn't particularly remember my parents reading it to me as a child but when I read it to my children it all came flooding back, a very strange experience although it did explain my recurrent childhood nightmare of feeding tigers we kept in the garage. I posted leaves through the letter box for them but they used to escape and chase me up the stairs. Halfway up the stairs I would realise I was dreaming.

Anyway, as I mentioned I love all of the story and the illustrations, including sophie's tights, her struggling to get her nightie off and going out in her wellies. I am sure you will have been asked the question I am dying to know about the underlying meaning of the book (there have been numerous threads with theories ranging from nazism to maternal depression) so I'll ask another. For some reason the picture and story at the point at which they were walking in the dark street and "all the cars had their lights on" always makes me cry a little. What is the significance of the car lights? Is it just a young child's innocent wonder at being out and about when they would usually be in bed?

Anyway, apologies for an incredibly long post. happy birthday and please know I am a huge fan of the book and to me it brings back all the happy memories of being a tiny child myself.

StealthPolarBear Fri 07-Jun-13 15:39:53

Not even the memories of being a child. More the feelings.

WilsonFrickett Fri 07-Jun-13 20:19:25

The Tiger is feminism, isn't it? Please say it is!

We're huge fans in this house, thank you so much for writing it.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 08-Jun-13 18:45:26

'The Tiger Who Came to Tea' is one of very few picture books that I never tire of reading out loud over and over again without ever getting bored. It is just perfect. Both my boys thought going out in the dark to have tea in a cafe was just the most exciting thing in the world and we recreated it for them by walking them to a cafe on a dark winter's night so they could see that 'the cars had their lights on'.

You said, in an interview in the Guardian, that your parents “were very protective” and that you were “totally unaware of how hard it was for them” (when they had to flee from the Nazis). You also said that, while assuring you and your brother that everything was fine, your mother was actually suicidally depressed.

My question is: am I right in thinking that the parents in the book are, at least partly, based on your own parents? Like your parents, they are able to protect their child from a threat by making light of it and, even more than that, making the whole thing seem like an adventure.

billybear Sat 08-Jun-13 18:50:14

great news you are 90 years old, do yiu enjoy writing as much as when you were younger

allinatizz Sat 08-Jun-13 20:21:17

We love the Tiger. DD1 had to have a tiger for her 3rd Birthday cake as it was her absolute favourite at the time. It will always be a special book in this house.

Sometimes we have days in this house when the tiger seems to have come here for his tea!

I've seen Judith Kerr quoted as saying something along the lines of "Sometimes a Tiger is just a tiger"... but is it, in this instance, or are we all just reading far too much into an imaginitive little girl's story of her day? smile

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