As a child, I was a Paddington junkie.
One of my prized possessions was a Paddington toy that sat on my shelf on my desk.
I would wake each morning to see Paddington smiling at me (as only a bear can smile), with his jaunty battered hat, blue coat with marmalade stains (I don’t think there were really marmalade stains, but I imagined there were), his suitcase saying Wanted On Voyage, and his little tag saying, Please look after this bear. thank you.
When my son was young I started reading him the Paddington books, although he never seemed to find Paddington as enchanting as I did. He still doesn’t.
Since bears have 2 birthdays, one in the summer and one at Christmas…today is Paddington‘s birthday! Happy Birthday Paddington!
I reread some of the books, so familiar and beloved and I remembered what had captured my fancy.
Paddington Bear is everything the world should be. He’s sweet, smart, funny, polite, kind, helpful, always finding adventure, and always having a good time.
Notes on Padingtun Brown, 32 Windsor Gardens, Lundun, England, Yurope, The World:
Paddington Bear was first introduced to readers in 1958.
Written by Michael Bond and originally illustrated by Peggy Fortnum, this high-spirited, marmalade-obsessed bear instantly stole our hearts. Weird how we love these fictional bears…maybe because they’re not mauling or killing us.
Paddington Bear was based on a lone teddy bear Michael Bond bought for his wife on Christmas Eve 1956 near Paddington Station and child evacuees leaving London during WWII.
In Paddington’s adventures and misadventures everyone ends up having fun, except Mr. Curry who always gets his just deserts (without the sticky buns) in the end because of his rude and sometimes selfish behaviour. I often wondered who he was based on.
Paddington whose Peruvian name was actually Pastuso (not to be confused with Uncle Pastuzo, Paddington’s rich world-wandering uncle) was orphaned from an earthquake. Raised by his Aunt Lucy in darkest Peru, Paddington was sent to England after she had to go live in the Home for Retired Bears.
The Browns take Paddington home to 32 Windsor Gardens; yet there actually was no 32 Windsor Gardens. Hmmm.
Google celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first Paddington publication on October 13, 2008 by incorporating an image of Paddington with a sign showing Peru and London into their logo. Almost 6 years later, Paddington is now a senior citizen.
When I think of Seth MacFarlane’s movie, Ted (which doesn’t happen often) it sort of makes me think of Jonathan and Paddington grown up…or Stewie and Rupert grown up; either way, the British accents are gone.
Bond‘s books have since become several series, plays, parodies, etc., not to mention a huge amount of merchandise. Paddington will hit the big screen in time for his other birthday this year, Christmas, although Colin Firth has just changed his mind about voicing Paddington, what’s that love, not Darcy enough or are you just too sexy for that bear?
They’ve actually cast a few of my choices, Hugh Bonneville as Mr. Brown, Jim Broadbent as Mr. Gruber, Sally Hawkins as Mrs. Brown, and Julie Walters as Mrs. Bird, and somehow I knew Peter Capaldi would make a perfect Mr. Curry (though I’m still reserving judgment on how he’ll do as The Doctor in Doctor Who).
The first in the series, A Bear Called Paddington, is still my favourite. I always loved that Michael Bond wrote the Paddington books as chapter books, but each chapter could be a stand alone.
What are your favourite Paddington memories?