THE V&A Museum of Childhood hosts an array of childhood memorabilia from the sixteenth century to the present day. Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to the museum every year to explore the childhood themes of the past and present. It is home to a huge collection of objects and artefacts that includes toys such as, teddy bears, dolls, puppets, childcare and art. The museum is suitable for any person, of all ages, and takes us back through a journey of childhood reminiscence.
This past May, The Museum of Childhood created a new exhibition space that was inspired by the childhood classics of Judith Kerr. This is a retrospective of Kerr’s vast works, which include the popular Mog series, the Pink Rabbit and more specifically, Kerr’s most famous classic The Tiger who came to Tea. It features original sketches of her very first picture book, and tells the story of how she became the well-loved author and artist that we know today.
The Tiger who came to Tea was first published in 1968 and still remains a childhood favourite. In 2008, it celebrated its 40th Anniversary, and by which time it had been translated into eleven different languages selling more than five million copies. The popular picture book was in fact very personal to Kerr, and even the story itself was written as a bedtime story for her own children. Now years later, the bedtime story became a classic, and its artwork is now shown at the museum to embrace this timeless picture book.
Put on view, are the highly sought after artwork, sketches and notes about the author. These notes begin to detail how Kerr became a highly recognised children’s writer, including the importance of the portrayal of the tiger figure, as to be not be frightening but a perfect friend for any child. As we all know, she was triumphant in this, creating one of the most much-loved tiger’s in childhood history. So, exploring this snapshot of childhood history, we become part of the celebration that evokes our own childhood reminiscence – in the memory of the much-adored picture book.
There is something for everyone, which is especially true for families and the little visitors they bring to the exhibition. The little one’s can enjoy tea in Sophie’s kitchen, along with the company of the life-size tiger. As well, they can even attend pre-planned events such as The Tiger Tea Party. The museum itself often plans events surrounding their current exhibitions, which encourage children to get involved in activities over half term and school holidays.
The Tiger Who Came To Tea finishes on September 4th.
For more information visit the V&A Childhood Museum website.
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