Print sales of Judith Kerr's The Tiger Who Came to Tea have surpassed one million sold mark ahead of its 50th anniversary next year.
The bestselling children’s author was awarded with the Specsavers Platinum Bestseller Award at the office of her publisher, HarperCollins Children’s Books in central London after achieving the milestone.
The title, which was Kerr’s first picture book, inspired by her daughter Tacy, was awarded the prize based on actual sales measured by Nielsen. According to Nielsen, although originally published in 1968, it has remained in the top 5,000 books every year since Nielsen Book records began in 1998.
Andre Breedt, managing director of Nielsen Book, said: “We’re delighted to be able to recognise the astonishing sales – one million copies – of this well-loved children’s classic, which generations of children – and their parents – have enjoyed for the last half century. We look forward to recording many more sales over the years to come.”
Ann-Janine Murtagh, executive publisher at HarperCollins Children’s Books, said the "iconic" family favourite picture book had never been more popular and the publisher looked forward to ushering in the next one million sales. Kerr, 94, who has written over 25 books for children, publishes her next book, Katinka’s Tale, with HarperCollins Children’s Books in October 2017.
"We are thrilled that Judith Kerr has now achieved a platinum award for sales of The Tiger Who Came to Tea," said Murtagh. "It's an iconic picture book that has become part of the magic of childhood for generations of children. It's never been more popular and we look forward to selling the next million copies. Huge Congratulations to the inimitable Judith Kerr."
Dame Mary Perkins, co-founder of Specsavers, added: “It is fantastic to see such a classic book reach this milestone achievement. At Specsavers, we are passionate about supporting the literary industry and it is brilliant to celebrate such accomplished and well known authors like Judith.”
HarperCollins Children’s Books have been holding a summer of The Tiger Who Came to Tea celebrations this year, inviting UK bookshops to host "Great Tiger Tea Parties" with tiger themed activities and a chance for bookshops to win a visit from The Tiger character costumer.