Children and cats

By strange coincidence Barnes is, or has been, the home of three childrens' writers whose heroes (or heroines) are cats.

OrlandoKathleen Hale the author of Orlando the Marmalade Cat worked in Barnes as a landgirl (in the market gardens behind Castelnau) during the first world war. Orlando a cat with 'eyes like twin gooseberries' was one of the great children's book characters of the 1940s and 1950s and the books remain classics that are highly sought after by collectors today.


MogOrlando's  successor born in the 1970s was Mog, who was the creation of Judith Kerr, a long time Barnes resident.  Judith, who both illustrates and writes her books, has a fascinating life story having escaped Nazi Germany as a child. In addition to the Mog books Judith is best known for The Tiger Who Came to Tea and the semi autobiographical When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit.  Judith has been described by The Independent as 'a wonderful granny'  and featured as a guest on Desert Island Discs.


Meg and mogCompleting Barnes' trio of distinguished cat authors is Jan Pienkowski the Polish born illustrator responsible for the hugely successful series of Meg and Mog books. Jan who has also featured on Desert Island Discs like Judith escaped the Nazis during the second world war and led a life of travel and adventure before settling in peaceful Barnes.

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