HarperCollins Children’s Books is proud to announce a year-long celebration of publishing and promotional activity commemorating the centenary of Judith Kerr’s birth. Born in Berlin on 14 June 1923, Judith Kerr was one of the best-loved authors and illustrators to ever put pencil to paper. The books she created, including The Tiger Who Came To Tea, Mog the Forgetful Cat, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and many, many more, have become classics of children’s literature, loved by generations of readers.
Judith was inspired to write for her children and her family will be at the heart of the special centenary publishing. A new edition of Judith’s fascinating and illuminating autobiography – Judith Kerr’s Creatures, A Celebration of Her Life and Work, will include a brand-new chapter written by her son, the award-winning author Matthew Kneale, with a stunning cover featuring a portrait by Judith’s daughter – actor and artist Tacy Kneale. Creatures will publish in hardback (£30), on 25 May 2023.
Following on from her acclaimed audio version of When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, Tacy Kneale will narrate books two and three in the semi-autobiographical trilogy of novels – Bombs on Aunt Dainty, released on 10 November 2022 in time for Armistice Day, with A Small Person Far Away being released on World Refugee Day, 20 June 2023. Exciting new publishing for the next generation of Judith’s fans will also launch in the anniversary year, including The Tiger Who Came To Tea Activity Book, full of puzzles, colouring, games and much more, coming in February 2023 and a beautiful The Tiger Who Came To Tea Jigsaw Book, publishing September 2023, in time for the gifting season.
Fans of The Tiger Who Came to Tea will once again have the chance to see the stage production of the book which will tour extensively in 2023, and a stunning new stage adaptation of Mog the Forgetful Cat adapted for the stage by The Wardrobe Ensemble and produced by The Old Vic, Royal & Derngate Northampton and The Wardrobe Ensemble, will play to theatres in Bristol, Coventry, Salford and at The Old Vic in London with more venues to be announced.
Throughout the year, Judith will be celebrated across the country with parties, festivals, storytelling events and appearances by everyone’s favourite characters – Mog and the Tiger. Seven Stories in Newcastle, home of the Judith Kerr archive, will host a series of events alongside their permanent Judith Kerr Exhibition which now includes Judith’s original kitchen, one of the iconic images in The Tiger Who Came To Tea.
HarperCollins Children’s Books will also be launching a nationwide schools’ campaign to introduce children to the delights of reading Judith’s stories. A full publicity and marketing campaign will run throughout 2023 and will include key brand partnerships. There will also be a major rebrand across the Judith Kerr social channels: this website, www.tigermogandfriends.com, which will bring together of all Judith’s characters and host news regarding upcoming events, activity sheets and resources.
Matthew Kneale said: ‘It felt a little wrong to try and add words to my mother’s account of her life and
writings, which she had recounted so beautifully, yet it seemed important for her last years and books to
be covered, and it was also a delight for me to look back and remember her. I was so lucky to have her as
Tacy Kneale said: ‘It has been a joy to record my mother’s wonderful novels, making her feel very close to
me again, both as the character Anna and the author Judith Kerr. And of course, as Mum.’
Cally Poplak, Executive Publisher HarperCollins Children said: ‘Judith Kerr and her wonderful stories hold a unique and special place at the heart of children’s literature. We are honoured to work with Judith’s family to celebrate her centenary and continue to uphold her amazing legacy for generations to come.’