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Judith Kerr webchat Weds 26 June 1-2pm

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CariGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 12-Jun-13 13:32:53

Judith Kerr is one of our heroes in the world of children's literature. Her books include The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Mog the Forgetful Cat, and her three autobiographical novels Out of the Hitler Time, have all become classics and are loved by generations of readers.

We will be celebrating Judith's 90th birthday - and her beautiful new book, Judith Kerr’s Creatures - with a webchat (and quite possibly no small amount of cake)

In the book Judith tells her own story (and that of the 'creatures' - the much-loved characters that spring to life from the pages of her books) with illustrations, early paintings and drawings, as well as photographs and memorabilia.

She looks back on her life from her early childhood in Berlin, dramatically cut short by her family having to flee Germany when the Nazis came to power, to her time at art school and her chance meeting with her time at the BBC in the 1950s and her long and happy marriage to the celebrated screenwriter Nigel Kneale and her own illustration and writing that have framed her life.

Do add your questions for her here.

gillybob Wed 12-Jun-13 14:36:41

Hello Judith

Before I ask my question I must tell you that you are "Story Book Royalty" in our family! My son and daughter were both brought up with The Tiger Who Came to Tea and Mog and now my three grandchildren adore them too.

"The Tiger Who Came to Tea" is an absolute favourite and there is no longer any "reading" necessary as the children can recite the story from memory using different voices for the various characters in the story and they always manage to pause in the right place ready for the turning of the page. We have seen the stage show a couple of times too which I have to say is an excellent adaptation and does the book proud!

My question is this; When you wrote "The Tiger Who Came to Tea" did you in any was imagine it would be as popular as it has become and that it would be still loved by children over 40 years later? Also what is your opinion of the Stage Show and did you have any input?

Thank you so much. smile

Deedaa Thu 13-Jun-13 22:47:37

I just want to say thank you for the Mog books which have been loved by both my children and now my grandson. "Mog and the Baby" was particularly useful while my grandson was expecting a little brother!

How fitting that one of the great names of children's books should have been married to one of the great television dramatists. "Quatermass and the Pit" has always been one of my all time favourites and I made sure both my children watched it too.

I hope you have a very happy birthday and look forward to enjoying your new book.
My question is, Do you still have a cat - or at least access to one?

Nonny Fri 14-Jun-13 10:56:42

I used to be a nursery teacher and "The Tiger Who Came To Tea" was always very popular as was "Mog The Forgetful Cat" . I love "Mog and the VET." The Tiger story is my 21 month old grandsons favourite story It was just like the cat we had! Thank you for your lovely stories. I hope that you have a very happy birthday.
My question is: Was Mog based on a real cat ?

purplehairstreak Fri 14-Jun-13 11:39:36

Judith - thank you for Mog and Tiger. My delight levels were pretty high when granddaughter was old enough to enjoy both books. I bought them and have loved reading them to her. Never once has she questioned the Tiger - how he got there, where he came from, how he got away with eating everything up - but she likes the details, like the 1970's kitchen equipment, so different from what she knows. My daughter, who loved these books, is also delighting in seeing them again.

My question is about the enduring interest in everyday events - Tiger appears out of the blue and comes into the house, Mog is able to scare away a burglar who wears a mask just by being herself - did you set out to reassure in these wonderful stories, perhaps based on your need for reassurance and everyday things as a child when you had to flee Berlin?

Many happy returns - and thank you!

BoomerBabe Fri 14-Jun-13 13:45:09

I enjoyed your books with my children and now my little granddaughters love them too. We witnessed Mog-like behaviour from many much loved cats over the years, particularly checking the weather was the same at the back of the house as it was in the front! But that Tiger..!! It's a great tale that Sophie and her mother spin when Dad comes home from work, but don't you agree that it's all a cunning plan to get him to take them out for a slap up meal, because in the end, Mum couldn't be bothered to cook??!!

Best wishes for a very wonderful 90th Birthday.

Fid Fri 14-Jun-13 15:24:56

Best Birthday wishes for your 90th. As a past Teacher and as a Mother and Grandmother, TTWCTT has always been such a pleasure to read! Thank you.

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 18-Jun-13 16:15:16

Yes I have to agree with BoomerBabe - it didn't occur to me until I saw the stage show then I suddenly wondered - was the mother really just a terrible housewife who couldn't be bothered to shop hence the cupboards were empty? And if so - genius. I must try that!

Macthewife Tue 18-Jun-13 16:17:10

Happy birthday Judith and thank you for all the pleasure your books have brought to my family.

I wondered which you find more satisfying - writing stories or bringing them to life through your illustrations?

cinnamonstix Wed 19-Jun-13 15:04:07

Who's your favourite children's author? And what's your favourite children's book (besides your own!)?

chops Wed 19-Jun-13 15:07:23

Your new book looks wonderful. Which of your creatures are you most attached to?

pinkyponk Wed 19-Jun-13 15:09:48

How much did having your own children influence what you wrote? What did they think of your success? And your stories?

ladle Wed 19-Jun-13 15:10:54

Happy 90th birthday. I wondered do you still write? Your career has been very long and very successful - are there any secrets behind this?

grannyhubbard Wed 19-Jun-13 15:22:29

Happy birthday Judith! My question is about 'When Hitler stole pink rabbit' which has gone through so many cover reinventions. Which is your favourite and why?

annodomini Wed 19-Jun-13 15:57:02

Mog was a great favourite with me as well as the children and grandchildren. What feedback - if any - did you get when you sent Mog to the great cattery in the sky and brought in a new kitten? Were Mog's devotees upset?

Lilygran Wed 19-Jun-13 16:10:14

Thank you so much for 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea' , 'When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit' and for Mog, who is such a convincing cat. It is so satisfying to find children's books that you can look forward to reading over and over again as the generations come along. Happy Birthday!

bluebell Fri 21-Jun-13 14:34:32

I can only echo the thanks of all the others above - I saw you on C4 news a few weeks ago and just SO wanted to take YOU home to tea!!

Mamie Sat 22-Jun-13 14:07:15

Hello Judith
It feels like a great privilege to be able to ask a question of one of our family's favourite authors. Mog and the Tiger are huge favourites with my granddaughters, but for my daughter and I, our absolute favourite children's book is "When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit" and we also love the two autobiographical books that follow. I still get a shiver of fear when I read the bit about the train journey to Switzerland from Germany and I am full of admiration for the way you and your brother mastered French and then English and went on to achieve so much in your lives.

I would like to ask you what you found the most difficult thing about changing countries and languages so many times in your childhood and if that has had an impact on your life afterwards. Were there any particular qualities that you needed to come successfully through all that traumatic change at such a young age?

Congratulations on your wonderful achievements and a huge thank you for all the pleasure you have given us.

LaraGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 25-Jun-13 13:06:49

Sadly Judith won't be able to make it in for the webchat tomorrow due to ill health. sad She's very keen to answer your questions though so please do keep them coming. We'll get another date in the diary as soon as she's feeling better.

j08 Fri 28-Jun-13 14:05:27

Get well soon Judith. flowers

Love The Tiger who Came to Tea. smile

Nelliemoser Fri 28-Jun-13 14:53:45

This is also not a question. Thank you so much for the Mog stories and in particular for "The Tiger who came to tea." That is still much loved by my grown up children. "It can't be daddy because he's got his key" and "Thank you for my nice tea. I think I'd better go now".
They sometimes pick it up to read when they visit.

We all loved the way Sophie accepted the tiger just walking into the house. It is so surreal. I still have that book on the shelf behind me.

When my grandson is a little bit older he will have a copy.

I am off to eat "Sausages and Chips and Ice cream.

maamaa Sun 30-Jun-13 16:45:02

Wishing you better health, and a great big thank you for the books my children and grandchildren have introduced me to!

baubles Sun 30-Jun-13 19:39:43

Thank you Judith, for the pleasure you have given me, my children and now my grandchildren. 'Mog the Forgetful Cat' was one of the first books I bought for my granddaughter (although I'm sure her mother's copy is still in the loft). She loves the Mog books so much that she renamed the family cat 'Mog' and it has stuck.

I hope you are feeling a little better, kindest regards from my family.

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