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As a child my parents used to encourage us to read from a very young age. Some of my earliest memories are cuddling up in bed with my mum and a good book for us to share. Other magical memories include our weekly trips to the library where I would spend ages lounging on the bean-bags browsing through picture books whilst my mum picked out some books for herself to read from the ‘grown-ups’ section. This has fostered a life-long love of reading.
One of the books that my mum and I enjoyed sharing was ‘The Tiger who Came to Tea’ written and illustrated by Judith Kerr. The book was first published in 1968 but has been republished several times since. I loved this book so much as a child. I used to borrow this repeatedly from the library, but for some reason never owned a copy. It really is quite surprising considering our cupboards were overflowing with books growing up. This book was re-published in 2000. My mum spotted this whilst shopping and I found this wrapped up as one of my 21st birthday presents several years ago. I enjoyed reading this as an adult just as much as I did when I was a child and it conjured up many happy memories.
The Tiger who Came to Tea tells the tale of Sophie and her mother who are at home getting ready for their tea, when there is a knock at the door. To their surprise there is a big furry tiger at the door who asks if he can join them for tea! Tigers have big appetites and he soon eats them out of house and home! I remember finding this book very funny and reading it couldn’t wait to see what the tiger would eat next! My favourite bit was when he drank all the water out of the taps!
At the same time it really did play havoc with my 3-year old imagination! I’d had the book read to me so much that every time the doorbell would ring I expected there to be a tiger at our door! The tiger is quite endearing and not in the least bit scary. As I learnt to read this book remained one of my favourites and I would repeatedly check this out of the library right until I was about 8 years old!
Reading it now I do think that the book is a little stereotypical, with mummy staying at home and daddy going to work, but then it was written in the late 60’s. Despite this I do think the book has stood the test of time and it is still enjoyed by millions of children today. The illustrations are done really well. There is a certain charm to them, as they appear to be hand drawn rather than printed. The pictures are bright, colourful and quite amusing in places. They work really well to bring the story to life and also give plenty of scope for parents and children to discuss them.
Overall, The Tiger who came to tea is a delightful book for young children. It was one of my favourites and I shall be saving this for any children that I may have. The book retails at £5.99 though can be found from as little as £1.00 on Amazon. It’s well worth adding to your child’s book collection!