Michael Bond was born on the 13th January 1926 and is best known for his wonderful creation, the adorable Paddington Bear. Very much a part of my childhood diet of stories, Paddington has gained a new generation of fans through the recent film releases.
"He was a hopeful bear at heart."
With his wonderfully polite manners and his fondness for marmalade, Paddington is at the heart of a series of wonderful, simple stories which explore the world from a bear's point of view. He is a refugee, missing his Aunt Lucy who is in Darkest Peru and every day is an adventure!
“Things are always happening to me. I’m that sort of bear.”
The humour in the stories is gentle and comforting and although Paddington himself is not British, he shines with those 'British values' we hear so much about- tolerance, kindness, fairness. The language and context is, in places, dated, but this just offers the chance to make comparisons about how life- and children's books- have changed over since 1958 when 'A Bear Called Paddington' was first published, although I am sure more recent editions have up-dated the currency at least.
To celebrate 50 years of Paddington, Michael Bond wrote a new collection of stories, 'Paddington Here and Now'. Sadly, there will be no more stories written by his creator to celebrate 60 years since their first publication as Michael Bond died last June. However, his lovable bear will continue to entertain generations of children to come!