JUDITH KERR was born in Germany in l923. Her father was a drama critic and writer and in the l930s was wanted by the Nazis. Warned of the police intention to confiscate his passport, he left home (evading the police by one day) and took his wife and two children first to France and then to Switzerland before finally settling in England where the family endeavoured to support themselves.
Strange as it might seem, Judith, then nine years old, admits to having enjoyed this nomadic existence. In England she went to eleven different schools before working for the Red Cross during World War II. After the duration of the war, she trained at an art college in London.
Before she was married she worked as an artist and scriptwriter. It was when writing stories for her own two children that she started creating picture books and, realising their potential, soon became a full-time writer and illustrator.
Her first picture book, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, (published in l968) has sold over a million copies and has never been out of print. Writing about her childhood experiences, she produced a trilogy of which the best known title is When Hitler stole Pink Rabbit (1971);this became a set text for German schools and sold widely in this country.
Other much loved books feature Mog, the Cat, who is a very real member of Judith Kerr’s family. There are twelve different stories about Mog, all bestsellers.
Judith Kerr lives in London and is married to the scriptwriter, Tom Kneale. Her son, also a writer, has won the Somerset Maugham Prize for a first novel as well as the Whitbread Award for The English Passengers.