Traditional Thursday: Paddington

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A favorite when I was a kid, “Paddington” by Michael Bond has become a classic that children fall in love with and want to read over and over again. Mysteriously showing up in Paddington station with only a suitcase and several jars of marmalade, Paddington Bear quickly took the heart of the Brown family and anyone that reads his tale. This story book tells of Paddington Bear’s adventures in Londonpaddington and how he came to live with his new family. Paddington’s adorable antics, from slipping on a strawberry tart to flooding the bathtub, and good manners warm the hearts of any reader, unless you are the taxi driver who dealt with this sticky bear, and are sure to produce abundant giggles from all children.

Michael Bond’s eloquent yet simple speech engages children and makes them feel like they are experiencing England along with their favorite bear. It is suggested for children ages 4-8, but the adults reading it or listening to their kids read will undoubtedly love it too.  Bond’s writing style is easy for young kids to understand, yet provides wonderful and humorous descriptions of Paddington’s activities. Furthermore, “Paddington” shows kids how being kind, polite, and helping others leads to wonderful friendships and other acts of generosity. And who doesn’t want a wonderful friendship with a cuddly bear (or person)?

The illustrations by R.W. Alley equal the writing of Bond and provide colorful, uniquely stylized pictures for kids to follow. The drawings of Paddington grinning in his red rain-hat and blue raincoat will create many smpaddington slipsiles, while the illustrations of a bear flailing in a bathtub and playing with shaving cream will induce plenty of laughter.

This original story was the first of many other Paddington classics, like “Paddington Goes for Gold” and “A Bear Called Paddington”, all of which are fun books.  Anyone who has read this story will agree with me when I say we are all very happy that the Browns picked Paddington Bear up at the station. Paddington was a special bear to me and is sure to be many children’s favorite bear for years to come.

Review by Reagan Anderson

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