'The Tiger Who Came To Tea' author Judith Kerr dead at 95

London (AFP) –


British author and illustrator Judith Kerr, who wrote the cherished children's book "The Tiger Who Came To Tea", has died aged 95, her publisher HarperCollins announced on Thursday.

The writer behind a host of other classic children's books, including "When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit" and "Mog the Forgetful Cat" passed away at home on Wednesday "following a short illness", it said.

"It is with much sadness that we confirm the death of our beloved author and illustrator, Judith Kerr," HarperCollins said on Twitter.

Ann-Janine Murtagh, the executive publisher of its children's books, said in a statement: "It has been the greatest honour and privilege to know and publish Judith Kerr.

"She embraced life as one great big adventure and lived every day to the full."

Kerr, one of Britain's most-loved children's authors, kept working well into her 90s, telling AFP in an interview last year that she had even picked up the pace in old age, drawing inspiration from events in her own long and event-filled life.

She is best known for "The Tiger Who Came to Tea", released in 1968 and which became a global classic of children's literature, with at least five million copies sold and published in more than 30 languages.

It tells of a girl and her mother interrupted at teatime by a huge, fluffy tiger who eats everything in sight before leaving again.

Born in Berlin in 1923, Kerr's family fled Germany in the early 1930s after a policeman tipped off her father Alfred Kerr, a prominent Jewish writer, that the family was in danger from the rising Nazi power.

The family first moved on to Paris before settling in London in 1936.

In 2012 she was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for services to children?s literature and Holocaust education.

"Judith Kerr was a wonderful and inspiring person who was much loved by everyone at HarperCollins," the company's CEO Charlie Redmayne said on Thursday.

"She was a brilliantly talented artist and storyteller who has left us an extraordinary body of work."