Here is an all-time favourite classic penned by the British author Michael Bond (1926 – 2017) and the American illustrator R. W. Alley. Michael Bond’s Paddington Bear appears in more than 20 books written between 1958 and 2017. They have been translated into over 40 languages and sold more than 35 million copies around the world. English comedian, actor and writer Stephen Fry noted expressing his admiration for Paddington that he is now “a British institution”. 2018 is Paddington’s 60th year. Is has been and still is celebrated with exhibitions of all things Paddington at various venues in England and Japan, as well as a “Paddington Comes to America” celebration at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Massachusetts.
Many artists have illustrated Paddington Bear books over the years, but for the last twenty years it was done by the wonderful R.W. Alley, who has illustrated over 100 children’s books, has written his own and received numerous awards for his work, including a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honour Award.
“Paddington and the Christmas surprise” tells of the Brown family (the family that adopted Paddington) attending the annual Winter Wonderland and Santa’s workshop set up at the Barkridges store. Paddington is excited as he has been saving money all year to take the whole to Barkridges for Christmas. Unfortunately, the place doesn’t live up to anyone’s expectations, looking tired and in need of good maintenance. Paddington is disappointed noticing broken things, tripped over reindeer, the out-of-order lighthouse’s light flashing on and off in an annoying kind of way. The family pretends that it is alright but not Paddington who disappears from the sleigh ride the whole family is on. His intentions are good as always, this time he intends to get some fixing up done around the place. Confusion and uncertainty reign as the store staff are searching for Paddington throughout the Winter Wonderland. However, all ends well and the store ends up winning big time from Paddington’s venture! Paddington is invited back as an honourable guest where he finally gets to meet Santa and receives the coveted jar of marmalade as his Christmas present.
Charming, cute, lovable. If your child has not been exposed to Paddington Bear yet this Christmas story may be the perfect introduction!
For other great Christmas and winter themed books click here.