Book #3. A Bear Called Paddington, by Michael Bond. Hardcover.
Along with Winnie-the-Pooh, Paddington Bear is the earliest fictional character that I can remember being a fan of. We got many of his books from the library growing up, and I always considered myself a fan. And as I grew older, I found a similar joy in Michael Bond’s delightful Monsieur Pamplemousse series.
But with a big-budget movie coming out, that doesn’t look all that promising, I decided to pick up the first book for a nostalgic read. And what a fun read it was.
Michael Bond has such a light touch with the storytelling, letting the events just unfold before our eyes. The fact that Paddington is a bear(much less a talking one) is remarked upon, but never really made a big deal. It is just the perfect level of surrealism that these stories need. There is nothing spoon-fed, nothing dumbed-down, just very funny stories. For kids of any age, including mine.
The eight chapters in the book are basically stand-alone stories, with just a bit of connection. My favorite stories were “A Bear in Hot Water,” “A Visit to the Theater,” and “Adventure at the Seaside.” Each of these shows Paddington interacting with something unusual (a bath, the theatre, and the beach, respectively), doing his sincere best to handle it, and somehow overcoming obstacles, with the help of the Browns or another human friend.
Sometimes nostalgia doesn’t work out in the current day. But in this case, it did. It certainly did.
Source: public library