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Past Events

Past EventsSunday, March 2

Judith Kerr A life in words and pictures CANCELLED

Judith Kerr
Chair: Julia Eccleshare

Update Friday 28 February: We are very sorry to announce that Judith Kerr is unwell and very sadly unable to attend the festival on Sunday. Jews and music under Nazi rule scheduled for the same time will now take place in Hall 1. 

Judith Kerr’s The Tiger Who Came To Tea and the Mog series have delighted generations of children and parents alike. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, about her family's escape from Nazi Germany, is now a set text in German schools. In her 90th Birthday year, and with another new book, Creatures, to add to her remarkable oeuvre, Kerr comes to Jewish Book Week to share the real life behind her words and pictures.

Judith Kerr was born on 14 June 1923 in Berlin but escaped from Hitler's Germany with her parents and brother in 1933 when she was nine years old. Her father Alfred Kerr was a drama critic and a distinguished writer whose books were burned by the Nazis. The family passed through Switzerland and France before arriving finally in England in 1936. Judith went to 11 different schools, worked in the Red Cross during the war, and won a scholarship to the Central School of Arts and Crafts in 1945. Since then she has worked as an artist, a BBC television scriptwriter and, for the past 30 years, as author and illustrator of children's books.

Julia Eccleshare is a writer, broadcaster and lecturer as well as Children’s Books Editor of the Guardian and Co-director of the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education. She was a publisher from 1978-84 and has been an editorial advisor to many publishers including Cambridge University Press Reading Series and Puffin Modern Classics. She is chair of the Guardian Children’s Book Prize and the Branford Boase first novel prize. She has judged numerous other prizes including the Booktrust Teenage Prize and the Whitbread Children’s Book Prize. She won the Eleanor Farjeon Award 2000 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to children’s books. In addition to numerous anthologies her books include Treasure Islands: The Woman’s Hour Guide to Children’s Reading (BBC Books, 1987), A Guide to the Harry Potter Novels (Continuum, 2002), Beatrix Potter to Harry Potter: Portraits of children’s writers (National Portrait Gallery, 2002) and, with Nicholas Tucker,  The Rough Guide to Teenage Books, (Rough Guides, October, 2002). Most recently she has edited 1001 Children’s books to read before you grow up, Cassells, 2009. She is a founder member of the steering committee for the Children’s Laureate, and a trustee of Reading is Fundamental and Listening Books. 

To buy books featured in this event please click hereTen per cent of all sale proceeds will go to Jewish Book Week, supporting the festival for future years.


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