Copyright 1958, printed 1976
Dell Publishing Co, Inc.
New York, NY
A Bear Called Paddington is the first of a series of 15 books by English author, playwright, and screenwriter, Michael Bond.
Mr. and Mrs. Brown first met Paddington -- a most endearing bear from Darkest Peru -- on a railway platform in London. A sign hanging around his neck said, "Please look after this bear. Thank you." So that is just what they did.
From the very first night when he attempted his first bath and ended up nearly flooding the house, Paddington was seldom far from imminent disaster. Jonathan and Judy were delighted with this havoc and even Mr. and Mrs. Brown had to admit that life seemed to be more filled with adventure when there was a bear in the house. (summary courtesy of A Yearling Book, Dell Publishing Company)
As I mentioned last month, my earliest memories of Paddington Bear date back to my childhood. My family had a short children's book that included a few stories about Paddington Brown, all of which are also included in Bond's first book, A Bear Called Paddington. I distinctly remember Paddington had a blue coat with toggles and a funny hat, that he often got into scrapes, but was always very polite, and that he loved marmalade sandwiches. All those memories pretty much sum up the Paddington stories in a nutshell.
A Bear Called Paddington is a relatively simple and fast read for adults, which is not surprising as the book was originally intended for readers aged 9-12. As a child I remember liking the stories and now as an adult I found the stories contained in the first book to be funny and entertaining. There isn't a chapter where something doesn't go wrong, but a lesson is usually learned, adventures are had, and things are always made right in the end. Paddinton is a sweet, but very curious little bear, whose adventures and antics will continue to win the hearts of readers of all ages through the ages. I look forward to sharing the books with my daughter when she is a little older.
On a scale of 1-5, 1 being horrible and 5 being excellent I would rate, A Bear Called Paddington a 4.5. I really enjoyed the book.
Most readers should be able to locate these books at their local library, but in the event they cannot, copies are still available in print at book stores and online. I purchased the first five books in the series at a local library sale for $0.62! And for those interested in the BBC animated television series, The Adventures of Paddington Bear, you can learn more about it by reading my review here.