Judith Kerr

23 May 2019

We are saddened to hear of the death of Council member Judith Kerr, children’s author and illustrator, who died at the age of 95 on Wednesday 22 May.

Photo © Eliz Hüseyin

Judith Kerr has been a member of the SoA since 1968 – over 50 years. She was a great supporter of the Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group (CWIG) and joined our Council in 2017.

Judith Kerr and Council member Shirley Hughes gave the inaugural talk of our Writers in Conversation series in 2014 – watch here.

SoA Chief Executive Nicola Solomon said of Judith Kerr:

“It’s been a privilege to have Judith Kerr as a much loved member of the SoA, and she will be greatly missed not just by her peers and those inspired by her, but her many, many readers. Her books are a timeless inspiration. We are hugely grateful for her support over the years and offer our condolences to her family. I will personally miss her charm, her optimism and her determination to let her books speak for themselves, refusing to let them be simplistically explained or categorised.”

Robin Stevens, CWIG committee member, added:

“Judith Kerr filled her readers' worlds with danger and delight. She was unafraid to explore darkness in her books, gently allowing children to face up to fear and loss. Just as gently, she taught them to be wise and kind, to be brave, to take chances and to wonder at the world. In the words of one of her most beloved characters, Mog: Of course we'll miss her – we'll never manage without her.”

COMMENTS

Frances Mechan-Schmidt (24/05/2019 02:12)
" As a British SoA member who has been resident in Germany for many decades, I was fascinated and moved by Judith Kerr's extraordinary life story and her phenomenal success as a writer and illustrator of children's literature in her adopted homeland. I read many articles and interviews about Judith Kerr in the German press. Strikingly, she never forgot her native language and was always courteous and willing to be interviewed, despite being forced at a young age to leave Germany together with her family in order to escape persecution and worse. Judith Kerr is a huge example to us all and will therefore be very sadly missed: not only for her literary achievements but also for the generous humanitarianism which was the mark of this great lady."
Frances Mechan-Schmidt (24/05/2019 02:10)
" As a British SoA member who has been resident in Germany for many decades, I was fascinated and moved by Judith Kerr's extraordinary life story and her phenomenal success as a writer and illustrator of children's literature in her adopted homeland. I read many articles and interviews about Judith Kerr in the German press. Strikingly, she never forgot her native language and was always courteous and willing to be interviewed, despite being forced at a young age to leave Germany together with her family in order to escape persecution and worse. Judith Kerr is a huge example to us all and will therefore be very sadly missed: not only for her literary achievements but also for the generous humanitarianism which was the mark of this great lady."
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