The tiger will come to tea at a museum in Hitchin from next week.

A new exhibition exploring the life and work of one of Britain's best-known author-illustrators for children, Judith Kerr, is set to open at North Herts Museum on July 7.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the much-loved classic The Tiger Who Came to Tea, the exhibition features high quality copies of Judith Kerr’s original illustrations from the Seven Stories collection, and promises to bring this delightful book to life for a new generation of family audiences.

A play version of Sophie's kitchen featuring a friendly 5ft tiger offers children the opportunity to experience the story first hand.

Tiger themed craft activities, a reading corner and story sessions will run over the summer holidays, and if you love tea and cakes, you will enjoy the special Tiger Who Came to Tea themed afternoon teas at the museum in Brand Street, with stripy cakes and sandwiches.

Cllr Sam Collins, North Hertfordshire District Council’s executive member for arts, said: "We are thrilled to welcome this fascinating and fun exhibition to North Herts Museum.

"Judith Kerr lived a remarkable life and it is fitting that the exhibition offers the opportunity to learn about the author as well as her most famous book.

"The Tiger That Came to Tea exhibition has something for all ages to enjoy and will no doubt bring lots smiles to the faces of children who visit over the school holidays. Do make sure you stop by to experience the exhibition for yourself.”

Judith Kerr’s first picture book began as a bedtime story for her own children and was originally published in 1968.

The exhibition details Judith’s childhood and her experiences of having to escape Germany as Hitler came to power, how it felt to be a refugee in Switzerland, then France before finally settling in London in 1936.

Sarah Lawrance, collections director 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 North Hertfordshire Museum 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."

The exhibition will run from July 7 to September 4 and is on loan from Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books.