The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - FAMILY LIFE -

tex­tile, but you won­der if any­thing good is ever go­ing to hap­pen in your life. You think “God, that’s an­other year gone and noth­ing has hap­pened.”

Meet­ing Tom when I was 28 changed ev­ery­thing. It was amaz­ing meet­ing some­one who liked you ex­actly as you were. He was bril­liant, and en­cour­aged me to ap­ply for a job as a script ed­i­tor at the BBC.

I was 45 when The Tiger Who Came to Tea was pub­lished. I would never have done it if I’d not had chil­dren [Tacy Kneale, who works in the spe­cial ef­fects in­dus­try and Matthew Kneale, a writer]. You find out all sorts of things.

My work changed slightly after Tom died. There was a gap of about a year when I couldn’t re­ally do any­thing.

Be­cause he was a writer, my books un­til then had been plot-driven. With­out him, I went back to think­ing more in pic­tures.

You never stop miss­ing some­one but if you’re work­ing it makes a huge dif­fer­ence. Most days I draw, and I’m work­ing on my next book.

My brother and I al­ways agreed that our child­hood was great and much bet­ter than it would have been if Hitler had never hap­pened. That’s ob­vi­ously thanks to our par­ents who pro­tected us. If Hitler had never hap­pened, I would prob­a­bly still have be­come an il­lus­tra­tor, but not half as good a one. Ger­mans just aren’t very good at chil­dren’s books.

I’m def­i­nitely Bri­tish, but I’m con­scious of the fact that I wasn’t born here. My son lives in Rome, and since Brexit has at­tained dual Ger­manBri­tish na­tion­al­ity. Although I’m against Brexit, I would never do that. Bri­tain helped me, and that’s it.

When my brother and I were be­ing a bit wild in Paris, Fa­ther would re­mind us we were guests in the coun­try. But I’m a bit more than a guest in Bri­tain now. I came here and I was given shel­ter. It saved my life.

In­ter­view by Boudicca Fox-Leonard

Mummy Time by Ju­dith Kerr is pub­lished by HarperCollins at £12.99. Or­der for £9.99 at books. tele­graph.co.uk or call 0844 871 1514

THE CAT’S WHISKERS Ju­dith Kerr, who reads her belovedbot­tom, was al­ways fas­ci­nated by cats as a child, left, and al­ways wanted to draw

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