Judith Kerr was born on 14th June 1923 in Hamburg, Germany to a German-Jewish theatre critic. The family fled Germany in 1933 on the eve of war, fearful because Judith’s father had been openly critical of the Nazis, events that inspired her writing for years to come.
Originally a budding artist, this was put on the backburner when she became a refugee. Eventually the family would settle in Britain and when Judith had her own children she started writing and drawing again.
Her first and possibly most famous work The Tiger Who Came to Tea was published in 1968, inspired by the threat at the door of living under the Reich. The tiger came to being after visits Judith and her children made to the zoo and made up stories for her children based on the animals. A favourite of her daughter’s was the ‘tiger story’, and the Tiger
My own favourite is Mog the cat and this series of stories is also inspired by a real cat. Judith had always wanted a cat as a child but had been unable to because of the family’s instability, when she moved into her own house she acquired an eccentric cat inspiring an 18 series long set of books.
Kerr’s other best known series doesn’t feature cats, but there is a pink rabbit. The Out of the Hitler Time trilogy is a semi-autobiographical story of a young Jewish girl and her family escaping the Nazis.
Aside from that Kerr has at least a dozen books to her name, the most recent published in 2015 and this life of writing is testament to one of the most popular children’s authors of our time.
Open Book’s guests on the 20th of June 2017 were literary critic Peter Kemp and historical crime novelist Antonia Hodgson. They were asked about the literary devices that make their cringe glands flare up. Their answers included stories told through a foggy memory, or animal narrators.
From an early age Butler suffered from crippling shyness making her awkward, as a result she passed her time reading at the Pasadena Central Library, and writing realms and realms of pages in her ‘big pink notebook’. It will come as no surprise to her fans to learn that she quickly evolved from reading fairy tales to reading science fiction magazines. Read More
The entire block of 120 flats in the building were destroyed, despite the efforts of the heroic fire service.
Survivors have lost their homes, and the deaths of the victims is still rising as bodies are slowly being identified.
Authors for Grenfell Tower is an online auction focussed on raising money for the British Red Cross London Fire Relief Fund, in honour of residents affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.
He won the Booker Prize in 1981 with his second novel, Midnight’s Children, which was said to be “the best novel of all winners”. Generally his fiction is set on the Indian subcontinent and combines historical fiction and magical realism.
His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses was published in 1988 and was the subject of a major controversy in Muslim societies. Many Muslims protested the book and death threats were made against Rushdie.
His works remain as popular, and as controversial, today and we cannot deny his quotes have depth and wisdom to them. Read More
Among this year’s honours are several authors, recognised by the Queen for their service in this honour’s list. Read More
Originally a budding artist, this was put on the backburner when she became a refugee. Eventually the family would settle in Britain and when Judith had her own children she started writing and drawing again. Read More