Judith Kerr, author and illustrator

The children’s author and illustrator Judith Kerr, who has died at 95, created a library of enduring classics, not least the perennial The Tiger Who Came To Tea.

Judith Kerr

A much-loved and timeless classic, it has sold more than 5m copies since it was first published in 1968, and has never been out of print.

Earlier this year, Channel 4 announced it would air an animated adaptation of the book, which tells the story of a tea-drinking tiger who turns up unannounced and eats and drinks a little girl and her mother out of house and home.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Ms Kerr’s other works include the Mog the Cat series of books and When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, which gave a child’s-eye view of the Second World War.

For the latter, she drew on her own childhood experiences in Berlin during the days of the Weimar Republic. Born there in 1923, she was the daughter of a German-Jewish theatre critic who spoke out against the Nazis and had changed his name from Kempner to Kerr in 1887, and a politician’s daughter, Julia Weismann. The family left Germany in 1933, shortly before Hitler’s rise to power. Alfred Kerr’s books were reportedly burned by the Nazis shortly thereafter.

The family went first to Switzerland and then on to France, before finally settling in Britain.

During the Second World War, Ms Kerr worked for the Red Cross, before gaining a scholarship to the Central School of Arts and Crafts and becoming an artist.

She married the screenwriter Nigel Kneale, author of the seminal science fiction Quatermass trilogy, and at his suggestion, became a BBC TV scriptwriter, a job which launched her career.

They had two children, the writer Matthew Kneale and Tacy Kneale, a special effects artist who worked on the Harry Potter films. Her husband died in 2006.