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The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr

Updated on December 11, 2013

The Tiger Who Came to Tea is one of the great classics of children's literature. Don't be put off by the illustrations if you think they look a bit dated, children don't notice such things and by now this book is vintage - not old-fashioned in the least!

The story is simple enough on the surface; Sophie and her mother are living a quiet, suburban life when, without warning, a rather large tiger comes to tea. This large tiger takes a lot of filling up and the book details all the things the tiger eats and drinks (kids love this list format) and by the time Daddy comes home, there's nothing in the house to eat or drink. The solution? Daddy decides that they must all go out for dinner.

This part of the story brought back powerful memories of my own childhood. Sophie puts her coat on over her nightdress and they go out into the darkened streets illuminated by street lights. I can remember the frisson of excitement when we went out at night as children. It's wet and cold and the lights bounce of the water on the road. Magical. They then eat the sort of illicit supper children adore.

Back home all the groceries are replaced together with tins of tiger food - but will the tiger come for tea again?

This is a treasure of a book. My son is sixteen now but I hear from time to time about Judith Kerr and The Tiger and I sneak into my son's room and take a peak and always find something new and remarkable about it. You'll love it, but more to the point, they'll love it too.

If you live in the UK you can buy The Tiger Who Came to Tea at here

I Think You'll Enjoy These Books As Well

Judith Kerr has written many books for children but, after A Tiger Who Came for Tea, it's her Mog books that have captured everyone's attention - adults and children alike - so I've included just a couple here.

I'm a pretty forgetful person and small children certainly forget things, so I thought they might especially enjoy Mog the Forgetful Cat.

And of course, what better gift to buy a child at Christmas than a special Christmas story book. Find out what Mog gets up to in this Christmas book that they'll treasure forever.

My third choice is the now classic tale of The Gruffalo. Some books are just perfect and you'll all love the deceptively simple story of a mouse who has to outwit the dreaded Gruffalo if he is not to end up on a piece of toast.

Mog the Forgetful Cat
Mog the Forgetful Cat

Judith Kerr is famous for The Tiger Who Came to Tea, but she's also the author of the well-known Mog books. In this story Mog, who always seems to be in some sort of trouble has problems with her memory. She forgets where her cat flap is, she forgets her supper, but forgetfulness isn't always such a bad thing ....

Mog's Christmas (Book & CD)
Mog's Christmas (Book & CD)

A book is a great gift for Christmas and this book comes with a CD too. Children love to read but they also listen, often over and over again, to a story. A great value gift that kids will remember forever - a gift is not just for Christmas!

The Gruffalo
The Gruffalo

My son and I both adored The Gruffalo. The humor appealed to both of us. This book has a deceptively simple structure, a great use of words and the story has a brilliant twist at the end. You'll love it, they'll love it and you'll love reading it to them.


Listen to a Reading of Tiger Who Came to Tea

I'll wager that you'll be spell-bound. The book is perfect and you can take a look at some of the brilliant illustrations and get a flavor of the text by taking a look at this video.

The story of the Tiger Who Came to Tea is beautifully narrated with the help of illustrations from the book. Pity the video doesn't credit the reader by name.

Photo Gallery

This is our much used and much loved copy of The Tiger Who Came to Tea
This is our much used and much loved copy of The Tiger Who Came to Tea

I Look Forward To Your Comments on The Tiger Who Came for Tea

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    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 4 years ago from France

      @KateFeredayEshete: We have deer in our garden but Leapards - yikes! Hope he doesn't come to tea :)

    • KateFeredayEshete profile image

      Kate Fereday Eshete 4 years ago from Ethiopia

      A friend (a retired schoolteacher) gave a copy of 'The Tiger who came to Tea' to my children and they enjoyed it greatly, so I highly recommend it. There are no tigers in Ethiopia, where we live, so after reading the book we talked about what would happen if a leopard came to tea one day at our house. Only the other evening my husband opened the garden gate and saw a leopard nearby. The children wondered if perhaps the leopard was on its way to eat us out of house and home!