In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the iconic book, written by Judith Kerr OBE, The Tiger Who Came to Tea exhibition will open in Co Down on Friday 10 May and run daily until the end of June.

Located in the Stable Yard at Rowallane Garden, the exhibition will bring Judith Kerr’s classic story to life through engaging and immersive environments and storytelling time. Visitors will have the opportunity to view ten framed artworks - facsimiles of original artwork from the book, notes and sketches and enjoy interactive props, including a fully interactive play kitchen and a giant five-foot, life-size model tiger knocking at the door for tea. There will also be dress up capes and copies of the Tiger Who Came to Tea (and some of Judith’s other picture books) for visitors to enjoy.

In addition to these magical indoor displays, a themed outdoor family activity trail will keep kids, parents and grandparents alike entertained. The café and gift shop has something for everyone, from edible Tiger Tails to a take-home cuddly Tiger.

Judith Kerr's first book began as a bedtime story for her own children and was published in 1968. With more than five million sales of the book to date it has become a literary classic, enjoyed by generations of children, parents and grandparents.

Judith said: "I first told this story to my small daughter long ago. She was rather critical of my other stories but used to say 'talk the tiger!'

"So, when she and her brother were both at school and I had more time, I thought I would make it into a picture book – and much to my amazement, here it still is 50 years later."

The exhibition has been originated by Seven Stories, the national centre for children's books. Kate Edwards, chief executive at Seven Stories, said: "Seven Stories is honoured to be the custodian of Judith Kerr's archive and privileged to be curator of an exhibition that celebrates her remarkable life and her outstanding contribution to children's literature.

"Visitors to Rowallane Garden will be treated to a unique opportunity to see reproductions of Judith's precious artwork, which shows how, through a lifetime of looking and drawing, her stories have become part of our nation's childhood."

Angela Watson, Visitor Experience Manager at Rowallane Garden said: “We’re very excited to be hosting such a well-known and well-loved literary character who we know our younger visitors will just love. Rowallane Garden is the only place in Northern Ireland that the Tiger will visit and we’re delighted to offer such a unique experience to our visitors as part of our ambition to offer experiences that move, teach and inspire.”

She continued: “We’re stocking our giant fridge with enough Tiger food for a month and a half and tracking tiger prints around the garden in preparation for the Tiger’s visit. So bring your mums and dads, grannies and grandpas and come and see the Tiger soon.”

The exhibition at Rowallane Garden will run daily, from Friday 10 May – Sunday 30 June 2019. Normal admission applies, members free.

Visit the Rowallane Garden website for more information:

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