Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

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The Tiger Who Came To London

Last night I saw Judith Kerr speak about her life and works, as part of the Dulwich Festival. I'd seen her give a talk before, but I went along because it was just down the road and she is a wonderful speaker - also, more morbidly, because she's nearly 91.

Much of what she said I knew already - from the previous talk, from the recent BBC documentary, and from her books When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and Judith Kerr's Creatures - but hearing it again was nice, like listening to a familiar bedtime story. It is especially lovely to hear her deny all attempts to read a deeper meaning into her picture books. The Tiger Who Came To Tea represents an unexpected and exciting visitor, because Kerr and her small daughter used to get bored waiting for Daddy to come home from work. The tiger is not the Gestapo, nor was the author inspired to write a series of books about a domestic cat because the Nazis didn't allow Jews to keep pets.

She is such an institution, it's strange to think that without the Nazis she might have been a German writer and illustrator, not an English one. But then, if the Nazis had got their way, she wouldn't have survived to be either.
Tags: books

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