Judith Kerr, who wrote the well-loved children’s book The Tiger Who Came To Tea, has died at the age of 95, her publisher has announced.
She died at home on Wednesday following a short illness, HarperCollins said.
The actor, comedian and children’s author David Walliams said he was “so sad to hear that Judith Kerr has died”.
He added that her “stories and illustrations gave pleasure to millions around the world, not least me and my son”.
Author Tony Parsons tweeted: “Some books light up the world. Thank you for The Tiger Who Came to Tea and rest well, Judith Kerr.”
The Tiger Who Came To Tea has never been out of print since being published in 1968, selling more than five million copies.
Ms Kerr wrote it after visiting a zoo with her three-year-old daughter.
In it, a little girl called Sophie is having tea with her mum when they are joined by a tiger.
The big cat drinks all the tea, eats all the food in the house and drinks everything – even the water from the taps.
Ms Kerr’s other books include When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and the Mog the Cat series.
The author was born in Berlin in 1923. Her family left Germany 10 years later because her father, German-Jewish theatre critic Alfred Kerr, had openly criticised the Nazis, who burned his books shortly after he left.
The family settled in Britain after travelling to Switzerland and then France.
Ann-Janine Murtagh, executive publisher of HarperCollins Children’s Books, said Ms Kerr visited the publisher’s offices frequently, “often arriving on the number nine bus and leaving us all full of laughter and in awe of her astonishing zest for life”.
HarperCollins chief executive, Charlie Redmayne, said Ms Kerr was “always understated and very, very funny”, adding that she “loved a party” and was “always one of the last to leave”.