It was a delight to attend, on behalf of the Festival, the ceremony to present Judith Kerr with the BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award, which most fittingly took place at London Zoo. ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’ is one of the best-selling children’s books of all time and was a huge favourite in my house. Judith also created the beloved Mog books, which chronicled the life of a family tabby cat, Mog as she experiences new babies, getting lost and more.
Judith was presented with her award by BookTrust President Michael Morpurgo, and she gave a very witty acceptance speech about the fact that at 93, she had an advantage when being considered for achievement awards and felt sorry for the youngsters in their 80s who were missing out. Cheering her on were many children’s authors, including the Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, Festival favourites Philip Ardagh and Sarah McIntyre, and the poet John Agard, who was on the selection panel.
Judith Kerr joins Shirley Hughes as a recipient of the Book Trust Lifetime Achievement Award which was set up by the UK charity last year to celebrate an author or illustrator’s outstanding contribution to children’s books.