‘The Tiger Who Came To Tea‘ is a charming and quirky children’s book written by Judith Kerr, who also wrote the successful series of Mog books. It tells the story of Sophie, a little girl, who along with her Mummy, have their daytime routine interrupted by a large Tiger knocking on their door asking if he can come in for something to eat. He joins them for tea and proceeds to eat and drink everyting that is available, until there is nothing left in the house, including Daddy’s supper and all of Daddy’s beer. When Daddy returns and the situation explained to him, he suggests they all go to a cafe, where they enjoy a lovely meal (including ice cream).
I love it, but the reason I write is that I have noticed a similarity between ‘Daddy’, from ‘The Tiger Who Came To Tea’, and Don Draper, the Creative Director at the Sterling Cooper advertising agency, from the AMC series, ‘Mad Men’. Maybe it is the dashing style of both men that draws comparison, or a similar sadness in their faces – if you look closely enough maybe you can see that quiet air of melancholy too. Maybe Daddy is a bit low because he gets told a giant Tiger has come in and eaten all of his tea. Why didn’t Mummy just admit she couldn’t be bothered, instead of roping Sophie in on an elaborate tale involving large Cats? Daddy doesn’t realise a Tiger did visit. Maybe he should read the book as well. Don Draper has a lot of reasons to be melancholy – his unloved and hinted-at abusive childhood, his experiences in the Korean war, his conflicted personality (Dick Whitman vs Don Draper).
There is no real point I am trying to make here. It’s just that nowadays, every time I read The Tiger Who Came To Tea to my Son, Don Draper gets transplanted into the story. I just need to share that with anyone / someone.
If you are interested, then the marvelous original illustrations for the book can be seen at Seven Stories in the near future – see here.
http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2009/05/20/christopher-tayler/then-daddy-came-home/ – An interesting interpretation of what the story is all about – if you want your childhood tarnished a little, anyway.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/nov/29/judith-kerr-tiger-came-tea Guardian interview with Judith Kerr