In celebration of our Tiger, Mog and Pink Rabbit: a Judith Kerr Retrospective exhibition opening at The Jewish Museum in London this month, we have a post looking at all the other terrifying tigers hiding in the Seven Stories Collection. If you want to find out more about Judith Kerr, and her archive held by Seven Stories, click here.

Cover artwork by Pat Marriott for Tiger Adventure, by Willard Price (Jonathan Cape, 1979) © Pat Marriott's Estate
This arresting cover illustration was created by Pat Marriott for the Adventure series by the North American novelist Willard Price. Hilary Hinckley, Marriott's niece, donated the full suite of illustrations in 2011, following the illustrator's death in 2002.

"At that time The London Zoo only opened on a Sunday morning to its 'members' and my brother and I used to accompany Pat. She studied and drew the animals, and developed a terrific facility to impart the essence of the creature through simple line drawings, the result of many hours of sketching." 

Hilary Hinkley, June 2011 in a letter written for the Seven Stories archive PM/03/02

Tiger Adventure is part of the 14 part book series by Willard Price. It follows two brothers, Hal and Roger Hunt, as they travel around the world capturing animals to return to the US and their father's wildlife collections. It was based on Price's love of adventure, he even went on expeditions for the National Geographic Society and the American Museum of Natural History! The series has been picked up again in recent years by Puffin, with Anthony McGowan commissioned to produce 3 new titles. In the new books, instead of capturing the animals, the protagonists are conservationists.

Marriott's archive also contains artwork for The Stolen Lake and Is by Joan Aiken, and preliminary artwork for two more books by Aiken. The two had a working friendship for over 40 years, and of Marriott's illustrations, Aiken writes:

"[She] has an absolutely magical gift for presenting landscapes and characters just as they were in my mind. She can get wonderful sympathy and terrific action and pace into her drawings of people... I can hardly envision them other than as Pat draws them.

Joan Aiken, quote taken from

Notes on the novel Tiger in the Well, Philip Pullman c. 1991 
© Philip Pullman
Our second 'tiger' this month is more of a metaphor, a page of notes from Philip Pullman, written during story development of one of the books in the Sally Lockhart quartet, Tiger in the Well. Key elements of the story shown here actually go on to be published under another title - The Tin Princess. The crucial passage shown above describes a central theme in the story:

What is the tiger? What is the well? A tiger in the well is when a terrible danger prevents your getting to something you need - you can't get to the water unless you take out the tiger but in doing so you may die. But if you don't you'll die anyway because there's only one well. 
So it's a riddle - a sort of Sufi koan.
What's the answer?
Leave the tiger where he is and drink wine.

Philip Pullman, notes on the novel Tiger in the Well, c. 1991

Pullman's archive was donated in 2002 and contains a collection of drafts, draft material and notes relating to fourteen of Philip Pullman's published titles for children.  There are notes and drafts for all other three books in the Sally Lockhart Quartet - The Ruby in the Smoke, The Shadow in the North, and The Tin Princess; and typescript drafts for the first two books in the His Dark Materials trilogy. Pullman also donated material relating to several school plays he wrote when working as an English teacher in Oxford, four of which went on to be developed into full-length novels.

Dinner Time, by Jan Pienkowski, Anne Carter and Marcin Stajewski  James Roger Diaz (Walker Books, 2007)
Finally, this month’s feature book is Dinner time, illustrated by Jan Pienkowski and published by Walker Books in 2007.  The humorously dark text was written by Anne Carter, and the pop-ups were engineered by Marcin Stajewski and James Roger Diaz.  This book was originally published in 1981 and the fact that it has been reprinted and published in different  editions and formats several times since then is testament to its enduring popularity.

Dinner Time tells the story of six animals, a Tiger, a Gorilla, a Frog, a Crocodile, a Shark and a Vulture, who pop out at the reader and teach us about the food chain. Can you work out which order they might eat each other!

Jan Pienkowski has won the prestigious Kate Greenaway medal twice and illustrated and written hundreds of books. In 2009 Jan kindly donated this copy of Dinner Time to Seven Stories Collection along with 80 other books he has illustrated.  His collection includes many more pop-ups (some with sound effects), board books, sticker books, large format and mini editions, Touch & Feel, and Flap books, as well as many of the highly popular Meg and Mog books which he created along with author Helen Nicoll.

If you'd like to find out more about the Seven Stories Collection, then 
email: or phone: 0191 495 2707 or comment on this blog.