I wasn’t alive when Michael Bond created Paddington Bear in 1958. It’s possible by the time I reached my first decade, our paths had crossed, but as I read A Bear Called Paddington, I’ve zero recollection.
When or where our paths crossed, one of the countless book sales most likely, I acquired five of the books. A Bear Called Paddington, Paddington Helps Out, More About Paddington, Paddington at Work, and Paddington at Large.
Paddington, orphaned by an earthquake, is raised by his Aunt Lucy. He’s a good English Bear with manners, and even though he’s from the Darkest Peru, Aunt Lucy made sure he spoke proper English, knowing that some day she would have to send him out into the world, which she did soon after entering a retirement home for bears.
After stowing away in a lifeboat, Paddington makes his way from Darkest Peru to London, and it’s at the Paddington Station where the Browns make a discovery that’s going to change their lives forever, and perhaps the lives of those around them.
Aunt Lucy had added a simple request to the tag of the bear’s battered suitcase: “Please look after this bear. Thank you.”
When Mary Brown asked Henry, her husband, if the bear could stay with them, I suspected that it wouldn’t take much to win him over. The author has an uncanny way of filling out a character with a brevity of words. And it was Henry, after all, who was the one who came across Paddington first and was so excited that he had to tell his wife. If he hadn’t thought anything of the bear, he would have continued looking for his daughter who was just coming home from boarding school.
Everything is new and exciting for Paddington Bear. Mundane activities become adventures which turn into mischievous mishaps until resolutions happen until the cycle repeats in the next chapter.
There’s so much to learn from a curious bear from the Darkest Peru.