UK writer Judith Kerr

Private/Judith Kerr

Thursday 15 September 2016 -
11:00 to 12:00
ilb, Berlin

Reading and discussion with UK writer Judith Kerr

Judith Kerr presents her, and highly illustrated children's book 'Mister Cleghorn's Seal'  as an international premiere. It’s her first appearance at Berlin's International Literature Festival (ilb) and she will present the book in German. Tilman Spreckelsen, who works for the German newspaper FAZ, will host the event.

Judith Kerr, the daughter of the theater critic Alfred Kerr, was born in 1923 in Berlin. In 1933 her family fled Germany for Switzerland and then France, where Judith went to school for two years and learned French. In 1936 the family fled France for London, where she attended the Central School of Arts and Crafts and worked for the Red Cross during the war years. After 1945 she became an editor at the BBC. Although as a child she had dreamed of a career as a writer, she only began to illustrate and write children’s books when her children were learning to read. A visit to the zoo with her three-year-old daughter inspired her to write 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea' (1968), which became a bestseller. 

Mister Cleghorn’s Seal

Her latest children’s book, 'Mister Cleghorn’s Seal' (2015), is dedicated to Alfred Kerr and makes reference to a stuffed seal that resided in her parents apartment and, according to family legend, was saved as a baby by her father in Normandy: Albert Cleghorn sold his store and is bored to death. He visits his cousin William, who lives near the harbor, and meets an abandoned baby seal. What to do? Albert decides to take the animal with him to his flat – and into his bathtub.

Date and time:

Thursday, September 15th, 11am


  • Haus der Berliner Festspiele — Große Bühne, Schaperstraße 24, 10719 Berlin


You can order tickets via phone (030) 278786-66/-70 or email