Kerr picture book cover revealed as author turns 95

Kerr picture book cover revealed as author turns 95

HarperCollins Children’s Books has revealed the cover of Judith Kerr’s new picture book to celebrate the author’s 95th birthday.

The next title from Kerr, who turns 95 today (14th June), is called Mummy Time and is about the adventures a small child has when his mother is distracted by her phone. The front cover shows the mummy hugging her child, with the animals and flowers of the park at her feet, but she is still clutching the phone behind the little boy’s back.

HarperCollins has world rights and told The Bookseller they had acquired Mummy Time at the Bologna Book Fair earlier this year, where the book attracted "considerable" interest from overseas publishers. Publication in the UK will take place at an unconfirmed date in the autumn, in time for Christmas.

HarperCollins Children’s Books executive publisher Ann-Janine Murtagh said: “We are hugely proud to have been Judith’s publishing home since 1968 and delighted to be publishing this joyful new book from her this Christmas.  Full of wit and wisdom – Judith brings a delicious sense of mischief and her distinctively dry humour to an observation of contemporary family life that will capture the hearts of readers young and old. What a wonderful way to celebrate her special birthday.”   

In a previous interview with The Bookseller Kerr said she has no plans to retire, despite being in her 90s. “I usually have to take a gap when I finish something, because I can’t think of what to do. The feeling of having finished is wonderful but it wears off within a couple of weeks. I hate not working.”

Kerr's last picture book Katinka’s Tail sold 11,131 copies, but in total she has sold 3.8 million books for £19.6m through Nielsen BookScan. She is the only author ever to go to number one with a picture book with Mog’s Christmas Calamity in 2015.