Sarah Sammis's Reviews > The Tiger Who Came to Tea

The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr
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May 25, 12

bookshelves: borrowed, read-in-2011
Read on October 12, 2011

The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr was published in 1968 and was recently turned into a stage play in London. Children's books as theater seems to be having a renaissance of sorts. My inner child is feeling miffed at missing the show.

A mother and daughter sit down to tea (a most wonderful excuse for a mid afternoon snack) when the doorbell unexpectedly rings. The daughter asks who it could be but all the mother can say is that it won't be daddy because he has a key. Upon opening the door they are greeted by a tiger.

When faced with a hungry tiger at the door, there are only two things you can do: slam the door and hide, or invite him in and hope for the best. They invite him in. Although polite (in that he doesn't eat them), the tiger is ravenous. He eats and drinks them out of house and home, including drinking all the water out the tap!

The parents' matter-of-fact reaction to the absurdities of a talking tiger coming to tea and devouring everything is priceless. Their deadpan solutions: go out to a cafe for dinner and buy a giant tin of tiger food is just the perfect solution to a silly book.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr is for me, a forgotten childhood favorite. The glee of sitting down with my grandfather as he read it to me had slipped my memory until I had to catalog a copy.

When I was a child I had a toy tiger I took everywhere. I used to imagine that he would under very special circumstances come to life as a man-sized (sort of like Tony the Tiger but cooler) talking tiger. He'd take me to school and make the cool kid. You can imagine then how The Tiger Who Came to Tea played into that fantasy a bit.
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