Have tea with a tiger at Gunby

The Tiger Who Came to Tea exhibition banner

From 9 March to 28 April, we're celebrating the 50th anniversary of the much-loved classic, The Tiger Who Came to Tea. You'll also be able to see over 30 original illustrations from other well-loved works by Judith Kerr, such as the Mog stories.

Our exhibition  - originated by Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books, in partnership with HarperCollins Children's Books - brings this delightful and enduring picture book to a new generation of families. 

Meet the tiger in the Gunby basement
The Tiger who came to Tea
Meet the tiger in the Gunby basement

The magic of The Tiger Who Came to Tea story is brought vividly to life with a giant cuddly tiger and an interactive kitchen, so that children can make their own tea for the tiger, as well as enjoying Judith Kerr's iconic drawings.

Judith Kerr looks at 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea' artwork
Judith Kerr looks at the 'Tiger Who Came to Tea' artwork
Judith Kerr looks at 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea' artwork

Alongside facsimiles of original artwork from The Tiger Who Came to Tea, notes and sketches, we're displaying an exclusive selection of original artworks from some of Judith Kerr’s other books. You'll be able to get close to original illustrations from the Mog stories, When Hitler Stole Pink RabbitThe Crocodile Under the Bed, and several others.  

" I first told this story to my small daughter long ago. She was rather critical of my other stories but used to say, ‘Talk the tiger!’ So, when she and her brother were both at school and I had more time, I thought I would make it into a picture book – and much to my amazement, here it still is 50 years later."
- Judith Kerr

As well as celebrating favourite stories, you'll have the opportunity to explore Judith’s childhood and her experiences of having to escape Germany as Hitler came to power, how it felt to be a refugee in Switzerland, then France before finally settling in London in 1936. Judith writes about these experiences through three semi-autobiographical novels for older children in her Out of the Hitler Time trilogy, through the story of her alter ego Anna.   

Judith Kerr with artwork from the Tiger Who Came To Tea
Judith Kerr with 'Tiger Who Came to Tea' artwork
Judith Kerr with artwork from the Tiger Who Came To Tea

You can buy some 'Tiger Who Came to Tea' souvenirs in the Gunby tea-room and there's a tiger themed children's trail in the house too.

'The Tiger Who Came to Tea' will be in the Gunby basement from 9 March to 28 April. You can visit the tiger Saturdays to Wednesdays from 11am to 5pm (last admission 4pm). Admission to the exhibition is included in your admission for the house (free for National Trust members). 

Will you have tea with a tiger at Gunby?
The Tiger Who Came to Tea
Will you have tea with a tiger at Gunby?

After 28 April the exhibition will continue its tour around the British Isles:

Saturday 4 May – Sunday 30 June: Belfast, County Antrim and County Down
Saturday July 6 July – Sunday 1 September: Newark Park, Gloucestershire
Saturday 7 September – Sunday 3 November: Bateman's, East Sussex
Saturday 9 November – Sunday 5 January: Knole, Kent

2020
Saturday 11 January – Sunday 1 March: Osterley Park, Middlesex
Saturday 7 March – Sunday 29 April: Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan