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Monday 23rd September 2019

The Tiger Who Came To Tea author Judith Kerr passes away aged 95

She died following a short illness

Judith Kerr, best known for her book The Tiger Who Came To Tea, has passed away aged 95.

The children's author and illustrator died at home on Wednesday (May 22) following a short illness, her publisher HarperCollins confirmed.

The Tiger Who Came To Tea has sold over five million copies and hasn't been out of print since it was published in 1968.

Kerr was 95 (Credit: PA)

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Channel 4 revealed plans earlier this year for an animated adaptation of the popular book, which tells the story of an anthropomorphic tiger who drops in on a young girl called Sophie and proceeds to eat and drink everything in the house.

Kerr's other books include When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, which is based on the author's early life, and her Mog the Cat series.

Ann-Janine Murtagh, executive publisher at HarperCollins Children's Books, said in a statement: "It has been the greatest honour and privilege to know and publish Judith Kerr for over a decade, though of course her history with HarperCollins goes back over 50 years.

Her incisive wit and dry humour made her both excellent company and a joy to publish.

"She came to visit our offices frequently – always bringing her books in person; often arriving on the number nine bus and leaving us all full of laughter and in awe of her astonishing zest for life and absolute commitment to delivering the very best books for children."

She continued: "Her incisive wit and dry humour made her both excellent company and a joy to publish. She embraced life as one great big adventure and lived every day to the full."

Speaking further, Murtagh said Kerr had been "absolutely thrilled" when she received the news she had been named Illustrator of the Year at the beginning of May, adding: "My thoughts at this time are with her children, Matthew and Tacy, and her grandchildren."

Kerr's character Mog was used in Sainsbury's 2015 Christmas TV ad (Credit: Sainsbury's)

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HarperCollins chief exec Charlie Redmayne said Kerr was a "wonderful and inspiring person" and called her a "brilliantly talented artist and storyteller".

He called her body of work "understated and very, very funny", explaining that the author "loved life and loved people" - and also loved a party.

Redmayne continued: "Beautifully dressed and with a smile on her face she would light up the room and would always be one of the last to leave.

"Time spent in her company was one of life's great privileges and I am so grateful to have known her."

Did you enjoy reading The Tiger Who Came To Tea when you were younger? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know.