Saturday, July 09, 2016

BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award 2016 Winner - Judith Kerr

Tiger Who Came to Tea and Mog author wins
BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award 2016

Author and illustrator Judith Kerr, who escaped from Hitler’s Germany as a child and went on to write over 30 children’s books, including one of the best-selling of all time, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, has been named BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, 2016.

The award, which BookTrust set up to celebrate the body of work of an author or illustrator who has made an outstanding contribution to children’s literature, is being presented to Judith at a ceremony hosted by former Children’s Laureate and BookTrust President, Michael Morpurgo, at London Zoo on Wednesday 6 July 2016. {For more information on this please see contact details.}

The judges of the Book Trust Lifetime Achievement Award were:

·         Nicolette Jones, writer, critic and broadcaster, specialising in literary and arts journalism
·         Shami Chakrabarti, human rights campaigner and chair of the Baileys Prize for Womens’ Fiction in 2015
·         Cressida Cowell, author and illustrator of twelve books in the popular How to Train Your Dragon series which has sold over seven million copies worldwide
·         Chris Riddell, prolific writer and illustrator, Children’s Laureate
·         John Agard, one of the most exciting poets writing in the English language today and winner of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2013
·         Diana Gerald, BookTrust chief executive.

Judith Kerr said: “I am honoured and delighted that I have been chosen to receive the BookTrust’s Lifetime Achievement Award. I thank them very much, and as the presentation is to be at London Zoo, I’ll also be able to thank the tigers in the tiger enclosure who started it all.”

Judith is best known for her children's books, including the 17-strong Mog series and The Tiger Who Came to Tea, and her biographical trilogy Out of the Hitler Time, that tells the story of her family’s flight from Nazi Germany, and travel through Switzerland, France and eventually settling in England. She has sold more than nine million books world-wide and her works have been translated into 25 different languages.

Mog has featured on bestseller lists for the past 30 years and sold more than four million copies. In December 2015 Mog’s Christmas Calamity was published in association with Sainsburys and was the subject of their Christmas advertising, raising over one million pounds for Save the Children’s literacy campaign. On the week of publication, it was the fastest selling book in the industry reaching No. 1 in the overall book charts for four weeks, making it the bestselling picture book of 2015.

Judith’s first picture book, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, was published in 1968 and became a classic, selling over 5 million copies, making it one of the best- selling children’s books of all time.

In September this year Judith will travel to Berlin for the publication of Mister Cleghorn’s Seal in Germany by Fischer-Verlag, the publishers of her father Alfred Kerr’s books in Germany.

In 2012, Judith was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her services to children's literature and Holocaust Education.

As Britain’s largest reading charity, BookTrust is keen to see children’s authors acknowledged for their part in getting children to adopt a lifelong love of reading, so they can reap the many benefits that reading for pleasure can bring.

Book Trust CEO, Diana Gerald, says:

“Great authors and illustrators bring children to books and books to children. We know that books can be the life-changing milestone in children’s lives and we want to celebrate the work of authors whose books have that kind of impact.
“Judith is one of those people. Her fantastic stories and illustrations have enthralled children and their parents over several generations, and continue to do so to this day. Her remarkable life is only eclipsed by the remarkably enduring tales of her characters and creatures:  Mog, the adventurous and engaging cat, and the tiger who came into so many of our lives when gatecrashing tea-time in Sophie’s household. We are truly thrilled to be here today to honour Judith’s life’s work with this award.”

Lifetime Achievement Award judge chairperson, Nicolette Jones said:
“Judith Kerr created one of our most enduringly loved picture books in The Tiger Who Came to Tea, continuously in print since 1968. In her stories of Mog the cat, who thinks like a child in a grown-up world, in all her picture books, and in her astonishing new departure into illustrated young fiction in her 90s, Mr Cleghorn’s Seal, Judith has shown charm, skill, humour and empathy, while her trilogy beginning with When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit has had a significant impact on a generation’s understanding of the Holocaust, wartime Europe, and the experience of refugees. She is an important witness to history and has made a huge contribution to illustration and to our reading culture.”

·         Comments from some other judges below.

·         Judith Kerr biography here:


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