Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Importance of Reading at School

Author and illustrator of the much-loved English children's picture books "The Tiger Who Came to Tea"  Judith Kerr discusses her drawing life, the genesis of "The Tiger Who Came to Tea" and the Mog stories, the anniversary of her childhood memoir, "When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit" - and her new book, a "jolly" take on widowhood.

he Tiger Who Came to Tea | Judith Kerr 

credits: Kerr-Kneale Productions

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of "When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit", Judith will be appearing for an interview at The New End Theatre in Hampstead, on 26 January 2011. The interview will begin at 6pm and will be followed by a book signing at 7pm. 

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit
Judith Kerr, auhor & illustrator


Anna is not sure who Hitler is, but she sees his face on posters all over Berlin. Then one morning, Anna and her brother awake to find her father gone! Her mother explains that their father has had to leave and soon they will secretly join him. Anna just doesn't understand. Why do their parents keep insisting that Germany is no longer safe for Jews like them? Because of Hitler, Anna must leave everything behind. 

All profits from tickets sales will go to the Holocaust Educational Trust to help mark "Holocaust Memorial Day" on 27th January 2011


If you teach near Hampstead, don't miss the opportunity to go there with your students. Let the students speak with the author that they certainly know well from the books they are reading in school.

Students are very curious about autobiographical books and they love to hear by the author himself the real story about his life and his books.

To motivate your students, display the video where Judith Kerr is reading some pages of "When Hitler stole the Pink Rabbitt" and talking about her childhood, the favourite toy she left in Germany and her work as author and illustrator.

Ilse Losa (1903-2006)

  • Go further: 
If you want to go further with your students, after the conversation live with Judith Kerr,  or the preview of the video, (if you don't teach near Hampstead), ask your students, after the watching the video in the classroom, to compare Judith Kerr to the Portuguese children's book novelist Ilse Losa, an interesting German-Portuguese writer who has written a book about her personal life and the Holocaust.

Ilse Losa : some bigraphy

Ilse Lieblich Losa was born in Bauer, near Hanover, Germany March 20th 1913. She left her country with her parents in 1934. They were refugees and they came to Portugal. Later, she became a Portuguese citizen.

O Mundo em que Vivi
Ilse Losa
Editors: Afrontamento

She is well known by Portuguese students for her children's books, She wrote O Mundo em que Vivi, an autobiographical  book similar to Judith Kerr's book "When Hitler stole Pink Rabitt". 

You can access here to an excerpts from the his book (Portuguese language).

My thoughts: 

Two books based on the gripping real-life stories of two writers, those poignant backlists staple gets a brandnew look for a new generation of readers just in time for Holocaust Remembrance Month.

  • Reading Level:  sudents aged 9-15 
  • Primary education:

Younger students (primary school) can watch the video below, telling the story "The Tiger who came to tea", and educators will introduce in sensitive way Judith Kerr's life and books remembering the International Holocaust Rembrance Day on 27th January 2011.

Teachers: some links

The students with teacher's help can learn History on the website of The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

There are important resources for educators as well. Teachers must choose previously a guide visite to the website.

Educators and older students can complete the research visiting the "Rembrance and Beyond" UN website.

"Denying historical facts, especially on such an important subject as the Holocaust, is just not acceptable."

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Press Conference SG/2120, 14 December 2006

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Pauli, Michelle; Fernando, Shehani, Judith Kerr 'I was enchanted by the strangeness of cats', The Guardian, 20 January 2011

Holocaust Rembrance Day UN

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