Judith Kerr OBE, the author of The Tiger Who Came to Tea has passed away at the age of 95, it has been confirmed.
The news came from her publisher HarperCollins who said: "It is with great sadness that we announce that Judith Kerr OBE, author and illustrator of The Tiger Who Came to Tea, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, Mog the Forgetful Cat and many other classic children's books, died at home yesterday aged 95 following a short illness".
Judith Kerr at the Red Town Hall in Berlin, Germany, back in 2013. Credit: PA
According to The Guardian, Kerr only began publishing in her 40s with her first book being The Tiger Who Came to Tea, which sold over five million copies and has never been out of print.
Her next book introduced 'Mog' the cat, who went on to star in over fifteen titles until Goodbye Mog in 2002. Her third book, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, was an autobiographical retelling of her family's escape from Germany in the 1930s.
In their statement, HarperCollins continued: "She never stopped working; in 2015 Mog returned in Mog's Christmas Calamity, published as part of Sainsburys' Christmas campaign and raising over £1 million for Save the Children's literacy campaign.
Judith Kerr was named as the 'Illustrator of the Year' at the British Book Awards 2019 just last week. Credit: PA
"It topped the overall book charts for four weeks, making Judith the oldest author to have a number one title. Her most recent title, Mummy Time, was published in 2018, while her new book, The Curse of the School Rabbit, is scheduled for publication by HarperCollins Children's Books in June this year.
"Judith Kerr's archive, spanning over seventy years of illustrations, is housed at Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children's Books, and she was named Illustrator of the Year at the British Book Awards 2019 last week."
Judith Kerr proudly holds her Order of the British Empire (OBE) medal in 2013. Credit: PA
The Guardian reported that Kerr was born in 1923 in Berlin, Germany, but her family fled the country in 1933 to escape the rise of the Nazi party which is when she arrived in England.
In a statement, Ann-Janine Murtagh, Executive Publisher HarperCollins Children's Books said: "She came to visit our offices frequently - always bringing her books in person; often arriving on the number 9 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.
"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.
Judith Kerr signs books for fans in 2011. Credit: PA
"She was absolutely thrilled when I gave her the news that she had been named Illustrator of the Year earlier this month.
"Her characters and books have delighted generations of children and provided some of the first and fondest reading memories of childhood. My thoughts at this time are with her children, Matthew and Tacy, and her grandchildren."
What an inspiration. RIP, Judith Kerr.
Featured Image Credit: PA