Celebrating 50 years of Britain’s best loved picture book

The National Trust is delighted to present a tour of our The Tiger Who Came to Tea exhibition that explores the life and celebrates the work of one of Britain's best known author–illustrators for children, Judith Kerr. 

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the much-loved classic The Tiger Who Came to Tea the exhibition, originated by Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books, features high quality facsimiles of Judith Kerr’s original illustrations from the Seven Stories collection and promises to bring this delightful book to life for a new generation of family audiences.

Judith Kerr’s first picture book, The Tiger Who Came to Tea began as a bedtime story for her own children and was published in 1968.   It soon became a classic and by the time it celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2008, it had been translated into 11 languages and sold over five million copies. Alongside facsimiles of original artwork, notes and sketches children will enjoy stepping into Sophie’s kitchen to have tea with a life-size tiger.

Explore Judith’s childhood and her experiences of having to escape Germany as Hitler came to power, how it felt to be a refugee in Switzerland, then France before finally settling in London in 1936. Judith writes about these experiences through three semi-autobiographical novels for older children in her Out of the Hitler Time trilogy, through the story of her alter ego Anna.  

The exhibition gives a unique insight into Judith’s life and work, including access to childhood drawings where we discover how Judith developed into the artist and story teller we know today.  Visitors can also watch a short film, featuring children from Christ Church C of E Primary School in Newcastle upon Tyne. They have investigated why the issues of conflict and displacement are as relevant today as in the 1930s, including interviews and footage of Judith at work in her studio at home.

Tour Venues & Dates:

Saturday 7 July – Sunday 2 September: Mottisfont, Hampshire
Saturday 8 September – Sunday 28 October 2018: Quarry Bank, Cheshire
Saturday 3 November – Sunday 6 January 2019: Acorn Bank, Cumbria

Saturday 12 January – Sunday 3 March: Blickling Estate, Norfolk
Saturday 9 March – Sunday 28 April: Gunby Hall, Lincolnshire
Saturday 4 May – Sunday 30 June: Belfast, County Antrim and County Down
Saturday July 6 July – Sunday 1 September 2019: Newark Park, Gloucestershire
Saturday 7 September – Sunday 3 November 2019: Bateman's, East Sussex
Saturday 9 November – Sunday 5 January 2020: Knole, Kent

Saturday 11 January – Sunday 1 March: Osterley Park, Middlesex
Saturday 7 March – Sunday 29 April: Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan