Friday, April 23, 2010

Mog, the favourite storybook cat, celebrates 40 years!

Mog, the creation of bestselling author and illustrator Judith Kerr, celebrates her 40th anniversary this year. The Bookman recalls from his bookselling days in Napier the great and immediate popularity of the book when it was first published all those years ago. Congratulations Judith.

To mark the occasion HarperCollins Children’s Books will be publishing a special anniversary edition of the original story, Mog the Forgetful Cat, first published in 1970, and a Mog the Forgetful Cat pop-up edition for Spring 2010.

Mog the Forgetful Cat
began the series of 16 Mog stories that included Mog and the Baby and Mog and Vee Eee Tee. Published by HarperCollins, the stories introduced Mog, a cat of limited intelligence, great humour and a big heart. The character of Mog that has charmed generations of children was based on the many cats that Judith and her family owned, and most of the stories were inspired by the funny things that her own cats got up to.

Judith first wrote the Mog books when her own children were learning to read. She wanted to create a picture book where the pictures and the smallest possible number of different words worked together to tell the story. The final Mog book was Goodbye Mog published in 2002, where Mog sadly dies but returns as a friendly ghost to watch over the family’s new pet kitten.

Judith Kerr is one of the UK’s bestselling author/illustrators. Sales of her Mog picture books and The Tiger Who Came to Tea are well over 9 million copies and her books are never off the bestseller lists. A retrospective exhibition of her work is on display at Seven Stories, the Centre for Children’s Books, in Newcastle until May 2010, and has currently received more than 30,000 visitors. It will then tour the Scarborough Museum and Art Gallery from July to September 2010, the V&A Museum of Childhood at Bethnal Green in summer 2011, and the Wolverhampton Art Gallery in summer 2012.

Judith Kerr was born in Berlin in 1923 but escaped from Hitler’s Germany with her parents and brother when she was nine years old. Her father was a drama critic and distinguished
writer whose books were burned by the Nazis because he dared to speak out against the regime. The day after the family left Berlin, the authorities came to arrest them, and
throughout the war there was a price on her father’s head. Judith and her family passed through Switzerland and France before finally arriving in England in 1936. Judith wrote about her experiences in her classic autobiographical story, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and in two other novels. Bombs on Aunt Dainty and A Small Person Far Away.

2010 Judith Kerr titles:
Mog the Forgetful Cat, 40th Anniversary Edition, NZ release date May 2010
Mog the Forgetful Cat Mini edition
One Night in the Zoo
Mog the Forgetful Cat pop-up edition

Mog backlist titles by Judith Kerr:
Mog the Forgetful Cat
Mog’s Bad Thing
Mog on Fox Night
Mog and Barnaby
Mog and Bunny
Mog’s Amazing Birthday Caper
Mog and the Baby
Mog and the Granny
Mog in the Dark
Mog and the Vee-Ee-Tee
Mog’s Christmas
Mog and Me
Mog’s Family of Cats
Mog’s Kittens
Mog in the Garden
Goodbye Mog

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