In honor of Mother’s Day, I want to pay tribute to one of the most patient and kind mothers in the history of children’s books. How many mothers do you know who would invite a tiger into her home and not only offer it a sandwich, but treat the whole incident calmly and cheerfully. I’m thinking of Sophie’s mother in The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr. Published in 1968 and one of the best selling picture books of all time, The Tiger Who Came to Tea features a mother worth honoring today. When Sophie answers the door during mid-day tea (this is an English book!), she finds a tiger on the other side. Her mother invites the tiger to join them and proceeds to ask their large orange guest: “Would you like a sandwich?” I don’t know about you, but this is probably not the way I would respond.
Just this morning, reading the Wikipedia entry about The Tiger Who Came to Tea, I learned that the book has a Facebook site with thousands of “friends.” If I had a Facebook, I would join it, but as it is, today’s blog post will serve as my tribute to one of the great mother’s of children’s books.