The Tiger Who Came To Tea author Judith Kerr has passed away, her publisher HarperCollins confirmed on Thursday. The beloved children's author died aged 95 at home the day before following a short illness. Charlie Redmayne, head of her publisher HarperCollins, described the writer as "a wonderful and inspiring person who was much loved by everyone". He said: "She was a brilliantly talented artist and storyteller who has left us an extraordinary body of work. Always understated and very, very funny, she loved life and loved people - and particularly she loved a party."
Judith, who published more than 30 books over a 50-year career, released her first book, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, in 1968, and has since sold more than five million copies and has never been out of print. Ann-Janine Murtagh, Executive Publisher HarperCollins Children’s Books said: "It has been the greatest honour and privilege to know and publish Judith Kerr for over a decade, though of course her history with HarperCollins goes back over fifty years.
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"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." She continued: "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. She was absolutely thrilled when I gave her the news that she had been named Illustrator of the Year earlier this month.
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"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." Spandau Ballet's Gary Kemp was among the people who paid to the author. He tweeted: "Goodbye Judith Kerr. All my four boys have adored you and I've loved reading your work to them. Forever on our bookshelves and in our imaginations. #JudithKerr." David Walliams wrote: "I am so sad to hear that Judith Kerr has died. She was a legendary author and illustrator, whose stories and illustrations gave pleasure to millions around the world, not least me and my son. Judith is gone but her books will live on forever."
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