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Judith Kerr in Conversation

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Hear from Judith Kerr, renowned author and creator of Mog the cat, in this candid conversation about her life and work.

Judith Kerr was born in Berlin in 1923 but escaped from Hitler’s Germany with her parents and brother in 1933, when she was nine years old. She wrote about her experiences in the classic autobiographical story When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (1971).

Kerr won a scholarship to the Central School of Arts in 1945, and since then has worked as an artist, television scriptwriter and, for the past thirty years, as an author and illustrator of children’s books.

The beloved The Tiger Who Came to Tea (1968) was Kerr’s first picture book and appeared in The Telegraph’s list of top children’s books of all time. It has sold over 10 million copies, and celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year.

In addition to her books, Kerr is renowned for her favourite feline creation, Mog. This enduringly popular character has charmed generations of children for the past 30 years and the books have sold more than 4 million copies.

Mog was the star of the 2015 Sainsbury’s Christmas advert, with a tie-in picture book called Mog’s Christmas Calamity. Profits from the book and Mog toy raised over £1 million for Save the Children’s literacy campaign.

The author received an OBE for services to literature and Holocaust education in 2013. In the same year, she celebrated her 90th birthday with the publication of a retrospective work, Judith Kerr’s Creatures. Her birthday and the publication of this book was marked by a BBC Imagine documentary about her life and work.

Her latest book is Katinka’s Tail ( 2017), a picture book inspired by her cat, Katinka.

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Purcell Room


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