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Exhibition celebrates beloved children's book

The Tiger Who Came to Tea has entranced millions of children

Judith Ker,, Tiger Who Came to Tea
The late Judith Kerr with the Tiger Who Came to Tea artwork

A new exhibition based on the beloved children’s book, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, opens at Charnwood Museum in January.

Generations of children have been delighted by the late Judith Kerr’s illustrated story, which was first published in 1968.

Now people of all ages have the chance to fall in love with The Tiger Who Came to Tea all over again at the new exhibition, which opens on 8 January and runs until 5 March.

The exhibition, originated by Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books, features illustrations from their collection and promises to bring this delightful book to life for a new generation of family audiences.

There will also be a reproduction of Sophie’s kitchen, where young visitors can sit down to tea with a 4ft cuddly tiger, a reading area, dressing up, puzzles, games and lots more Tiger-related activities to appeal to the latest generation of young readers.

The exhibition also explores the childhood of Judith, who died in 2019 aged 95, and her experiences of having to escape Germany as Hitler came to power, how it felt to be a refugee in Switzerland and then France, before finally settling in London in 1936.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea has been a great favourite with children and adults alike in the more than 50 years since it was published. It's great that Charnwood Museum is able to play host to this wonderful exhibition, celebrating the story and hopefully introducing it to even more readers.

Councillor Jenny Bokor, lead member for Loughborough at Charnwood Borough Council, said: “Charnwood Museum has held some fantastic exhibitions in the past year, including the celebration of the 800th anniversary of Loughborough’s market and fair, and the trend continues with a showcase of Judith Kerr’s wonderful story.

“We are looking forward to welcoming visitors of all ages to the museum to soak up the beautiful artwork and creative history of this milestone in children’s literature.”

Two Tiger Who Came to Tea storytelling events, aimed at tots and young children, will take place at Loughborough Library  in the new year to celebrate the exhibition 

The first is the Tiger Who Came to Tea Rhyme Time on Monday 10 January from 10.30am-11am. In this special Wriggly Readers session, under-fives are invited to bring along their favourite stuffed toy to the jungle and teatime-themed events, which will feature storytelling and singing.

 There will also be a Tiger Who Came to Tea Storytime at Loughborough Library on Thursday 17 February from 10.30am-11.30am. This session is aimed at over-fives who are invited to come and enjoy the full story of The Tiger Who Came to Tea, followed by a crafting session.

Gillian Rennie, Head of Exhibitions at Seven Stories, said: “We’re honoured to be the custodian of Judith Kerr’s archive and privileged to be curator of an exhibition that celebrates her remarkable life and her outstanding contribution to children’s literature. 

"Visitors to Charnwood Museum will be treated to a unique opportunity to see reproductions of Judith’s precious artwork, which shows how, through a lifetime of looking and drawing, her stories have become part of our nation’s childhood.”

Entry to the exhibition is free. More information is available on the Charnwood Museum website at www.charnwoodmuseum.co.uk

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