The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr

The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Written by Judith Kerr
Illustrated by Judith Kerr

3+ readers   Baby and Toddler   eBooks   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

A wonderful story, about believing in the unexpected and magical. When a tiger turns up on the doorstep one day, the little girl and her mother just welcome him right in and offer him tea. He sits neatly at the table and eats his way quietly through every scrap of food in the house and every drop of drink, too. Then, just as politely, he takes his leave. When Dad comes home, there’s nothing left for him so he takes the whole family out for supper.

August 2013 Guest Editor, Lauren St John "I fell in love with the smiley, chubby tiger in Judith Kerr’s classic picturebook during one hot Zimbabwe summer when I had to read it four or five times a day to my niece. If it had been up to her I’d have read it even more frequently. Each time I got to the end, she pleaded for us to begin again. This is another wish fulfillment story, only for toddlers. A tiger turns up at the door and is invited in for tea by Sophie’s mum. It proceeds to eat its way through everything in the kitchen and pantry before departing with the same enigmatic smile. Sophie’s father turns up, graciously accepts that a fully-grown tiger has eaten his dinner and takes Sophie and her mum out for a meal. Pure genius."


The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr

This classic story of Sophie and her extraordinary tea-time guest has been loved by millions of children since it was first published over 30 years ago. Now a new generation will enjoy this beautiful reformatted edition.

The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? What they certainly don't expect to see at the door is a big furry, stripy tiger! This modern classic picture book is perfect for reading aloud, or for small children to read to themselves time and again.


Praise for ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’:

‘Near perfection of form is embellished by clear, expressive illustrations. The pace is
exactly right, the resolution totally satisfying.’ Dorothy Butler, Babies Need Books.

‘A modern classic.’ The Independent.

‘This book has enduring charm and young children will delight in the preposterous notion
of a tiger creating mayhem in the house.’ Junior Magazine

Praise for ‘Mog the Forgetful Cat’:

‘Grandparents are likely to get as much fun out of seeing it again as the new generation of fans just learning to read!’ Choice Magazine

Praise for Goodbye Mog:

‘Kerr’s warmth, humour and honesty make this an engaging introduction to a difficult topic.’ Financial Times

‘Believable, amusing and moving.’ Nursery World

‘A supremely sensitive story.’ The Times

Praise for ‘One Night in the Zoo’:

‘Lovely… uses soothing, pastel illustrations and exotic animals to make basic counting
seem unintimidating.’ Daily Telegraph

About the Author

Judith Kerr

July 2016 Judith Kerr wins a Book Trust Lifetime Achievement Award. She received the award at London Zoo, at a ceremony hosted by former Children’s Laureate and BookTrust President, Michael Morpurgo. Judith Kerr said: "I am honoured and delighted that I have been chosen to receive the BookTrust’s Lifetime Achievement Award. I thank them very much, and as the presentation is to be at London Zoo, I’ll also be able to thank the tigers in the tiger enclosure who started it all."

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. Her father was a drama critic and distinguished writer whose books were burned by the Nazis, because he dared to speak out against the regime. The day after the family left Berlin, the authorities came to arrest them, and throughout the war there was a price on her father’s head. Judith and her family passed through Switzerland and France before finally arriving in England in 1936. Judith wrote about her experiences in her classic autobiographical story, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit.

Judith 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. Judith was married to the scriptwriter Nigel Kneale, who died in 2006, most famous for the hit sci‐fi series Quatermass. Her son is the writer Matthew Kneale who won the Whitbread Book Award for The English Passengers. Judith lives in south west London.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea was Judith’s first picture book and was published in 1968. She wrote it after telling the story at bedtime to her daughter Tracey and son Matthew. Lady Antonia Fraser was one of the first people to review the book and called it, “a dazzling first book,” that would make children “scream with delicious pleasure at the dangerous naughtiness of the notion.” The book has become a classic and appeared in the Telegraph’s list of top children’s books of all time. It has sold over 5 million copies, and celebrated its 40th Anniversary in October 2008. The Tiger Who Came to Tea was recently made into a stage play written by David Wood and produced by Nick Brooke, which has toured the UK.

Emily Gravett on Judith Kerr:

'I read The Tiger Who Came to Tea when I was a child and loved it. I remember being obsessed with the bit where the tiger came and drank all the water in the tap. I think it was the domesticity of it, that this person was at home and that this could actually happen. It was so matter-of-fact. Nothing really happens but it's still somehow magical.

'Kerr keeps the text very simple, and the illustrations give you clues as to how you should read it. In her Mog books, you can look at Mog's face to see how shocked or dramatic the action is. He is just a funny cat, with a woebegone expression.'

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Book Info


32 pages
Interest Age: From 3


Judith Kerr
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HarperCollins Children's Books an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Publication date

30th July 2015




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