Friday 11 November 2011

Picture Books That Changed The World - Number 4: THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA by Judith Kerr

Welcome back  to my dusty archive of vintage treasures Book Sniffers...
I've had many a delightful author / illustrator pop by for tea at Chez Book Sniffer  some have impeccable manners (James Mayhew) ..some don't David Melling / Chris "chimps tea party" Mould...Egyptian cotton napkins ARE NOT to be used as second rate magic trick props!)

Now you know me, I don’t scare too easily (Apart from that episode of Dr Who set in a dolls house) but I have to admit, a large tiger knocking at the door might just shake me right out of my moleskin slippers and cravat

‘The Tiger Who Came To Tea’ was written AND illustrated (there goes that winning formula ) by the ever so charming Judith Kerr and published in 1968 (looong before I was a twinkle in Mother Pugs eye!).
Following a trip to the zoo with her young daughter, Judith told this fanciful tale to her own children over and over again before finally putting it down on paper for other children to enjoy.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea soon became one of the best-selling children’s books of all time.

Sophie and her mother are sitting down to tea when the doorbell rings. Now I certainly don’t take too kindly to being interrupted whilst I’m seated in front of the silver bowl.

No matter who Sophie and her mum might have expected they certainly didn’t imagine they would be confronted by a large, furry, stripe wearing tiger who promptly parks his stripey bottom at the dining table.

Anyway, to cut a short story even shorter, the tiger eats the sandwiches AND the buns AND the cake. He drinks all there is to drink including the tea in the teapot and eventually, every drop of water from the tap, causing, among other issues, serious bath time problems.

Personally I’m very fussy about dinner invites. Poor table manners just don’t suit my impeccable upbringing and plate licking guests are more than I can take.

But that aside, this particular tale has been enjoyed by millions of children and adults alike for every one of its forty three years (That's VERY OLD!) in publication and is still worth shouting about after all this time.

Now can you imagine what other additional delights accompany this book as it travels headlong into the modern age, a  Facebook page, A stage adaptation (with show tunes if you please) A perhaps the cherry on the cake which didn't get scoffed by the tiger, at the magnificent Seven Stories Children’s BooksCentre in the wonderful city of Newcastle you can see the actual artwork from the book.

Judith Kerr donated her archive to the organisation in 2008.
Follow the link to find out all about the Judith Kerr archive at Seven Stories

What more could you want from this most prestigious of Tiger Tales? It is indeed a story to lap up, if you haven’t already!
The Tiger Who Came to Tea - Published by Puffin - Illustrations (c) Judith Kerr

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