Michael Bond

When my daughter was nearly four I asked her what she wanted for her birthday. She wrote me a list with two things on it:  Paddington Bear and a surprise.

For a couple of years after that Paddington was a key part of bedtime. The tissue paper sandwich underneath his hat became squished. The cardboard tag around his neck got a bit battered so we had to photocopy it to make a new one (so she could keep the proper one safe).

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Paddington novels appeared regularly in our library stack. Paddington picture books were read and re-read by both girls and their parents and grandparents. I know those stories inside out.

Stephen Fry sent the girls to sleep with his voice reading all about the accident prone bear, the girls laughing aloud to his bath overflowing and his foot ending up

in the whitewash. In fact thinking about it I owe Michael Bond a debt of thanks for his support during the difficult bedtime periods.

We even saw a slightly dubious amateur play featuring him once. P cried when she came out because she wanted to see it again.

I loved that bear myself of course when I was young, remembering the animation to be longer and much more exciting than it probably was.

So Michael Bond has sadly gone but Paddington, of course, lives on. What a story to have created.

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