The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Judith Kerr’s book, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, was first published over 40 years ago. However, now it is back and just as much fun as ever.

A little girl by the name of Sophie lives with her parents in a nice little house. Then, one afternoon the doorbell rings. Their father is away at work, and it is just Sophie and her mother—so who could this newcomer be? When they open the door the get a big surprise! A tiger! Though they have no idea why a tiger might be visiting them, they quickly realize that he’s very interested in having a little snack. Or two. Or three. In fact, this is one hungry tiger! While they entertain him at tea, they begin to wonder—just what will they do when father returns, only to discover that the tiger’s eaten up the entire kitchen?

In some picture books, the illustrations use plenty of detail and wide swaths of color. Not here. Instead, Judith Kerr uses simple colors and lines to depict Sophie, her mother, the tiger, and the house. The tiger almost has a Cheshire cat-like smile and he dwarfs Sophie when he plops down at the table. The Tiger Who Came to Tea has a down-to-earth style that kids will love like their own drawings.

Judith Kerr also has a fun, British vocabulary that will delight readers in their enjoyable constructions. Because it was written in 1968, it still contains that 60s sentiment of dainty tea times and delightful little snacks. Every child will soon want a tiger to join them for tea—even if they don’t have a tea time! The book also has an amusing ending that one might not consider after a tiger shows up and eats the family out of house and home.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea is a book that will likely be read multiple times before parents finally have to put kids to bed. A great book to read during snack times or after lunch, and it gives parents the ability to ask a fun question; “What would you do if a tiger came to have tea?”

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