Paddington Bear is a childhood favourite of mine and I was delighted to hear that author Michael Bond has just received a CBE for his services to English Literature. I met Michael Bond as a child and one of my prized possessions is a signed copy of Paddington Goes to THE SALES.
Paddington Bear is over fifty years old and his merchandise has been available for many years, as a child I had a Paddington duvet cover and used to watch him on television. Another generation has now been introduced to Paddington’s adventures, he has recently become a movie star.
The Story: Mr and Mrs Brown are waiting for their daughter, Judy, to arrive at Paddington Station when they find a small bear with a label around his neck. They invite him to stay with them and name him Paddington after the station. After tea and cakes in the platform cafe they take Paddington home and Mrs Bird, the housekeeper, tells him he needs to have a bath. Paddington manages to make a complete mess of the bathroom and after being rescued from an overflowing bath he goes downstairs to tell everybody about his adventures.
The Paddington stories are full of humour, he manages to turn the most ordinary situations into complete disasters! In this first story we meet the Brown family with their daughter Judy, son Jonathan and Mrs Bird. The story sets the scene for his further adventures although Paddington falls asleep before he has time to explain much more than the fact that he has come from Darkest Peru because his Aunt Lucy has gone into a home for retired bears.
Paddington politely accepts the Brown’s offer of a place to stay but gets himself into such a mess at the cafe that when he arrives at the Brown’s house he is whisked upstairs to have a bath. My daughter loves the mess that he makes in the bathroom with the shaving foam and the bubbles. I love the picture of Paddington when he is leaving the station cafe. He is covered in cream, he has even stepped in it, and the waitress who has to clear the table is not looking happy! R. W. Alley’s illustrations are colourful and remain true to the illustrations that I remember as a child. He has captured so many wonderful expressions on the characters’ faces and I love the vintage feel of the page layouts.
After reading the story we watched the Paddington has a bath episode from the television series that I watched as a child. You can also read about the film and learn more about Paddington on his website.
Age Range: 3 +
Author: Michael Bond / Illustrator: R. W. Alley
We also have a CD with four different Paddington stories.
My parents still have my childhood copy of Michael Bond’s first book, A Bear Called Paddington. It looks quite battered, it was very well read!
The stories are set in familiar situations that are still relevant to children today. I really can’t choose a favourite and I’m enjoying re-rereading the stories with my daughter. Do you have a favourite Paddington story?