With the wonderful wealth of children's picture books that's available, it might be considered unfair for us to have particular favourites, but we can't help but have a soft spot for Mog, the scraggy and rather grumpy cat created by author/illustrator Judith Kerr in 1970.
This is a big year for Mog, who is celebrating his 40th anniversary (of course, he is no longer with us, since his timely departure in Goodbye Mog, published in 2002, when a rather tired moggy gave up the ghost and earned his wings – a feat which even earned him an obituary in the Guardian). Last evening publishers HarperCollins hosted a delightful champagne-and-cakes soiree with Judith Kerr as guest-of-honour. As we chatted to the delightful Judith, her love of the cat she once described as “nice, but not very clever” was clear, managing to overlook his enduring forgetfulness, fussiness and innate grumpiness. Kerr also told us about her new cat (her ninth), a striking white cat with a tabby tail whose name is a rather exotic Katinka. “But she doesn't know her name,” confides Judith, “becuase I just call her Pusscat.” We also chatted about another Junior favourite The Tiger Who Came To Tea, which was Judith debut picture book. Her next The Crocodile Under The Bed was never pubished. “I had a good idea, but the book was very boring,” says Judith, so it never saw the light of day. Thankfully, her third picture book Mog was an entirely different matter.
There will be a host of anniversary events for Mog around the country and a brand-new pop-up book coming this October. Watch this space for more news as it happens!
For your chance to win a signed copy of Mog The Forgetful Cat or Goodbye Mog, click here