Amongst those who love to read children’s books there are only two classes of readers, those who love Paddington Bear and those who haven’t yet read Paddington Bear.
Back in 2014, many Americans discovered Paddington Bear for the first time on the big screen with the lavish CG movie. For those of us who’ve been reading Paddington Bear for as far back as we can remember, it was an “about time” moment.
There are 14 volumes, not counting all the single story books, the Paddington Bear color, shapes, counting books, baby board books and numerous other Paddington Bear spin off books.
These 14 volumes each contain 7 chapters (each chapter is a different adventures). Do the math. If you read one story to your kids each night before bed, you’ve got yourself 96 nights of reading. I can’t, however, guarantee that your kids won’t sneak off and read the stories on their own. I can, however, guarantee that once you’ve finished reading all 96 adventures your kids are going to want you to start back at the beginning again.
What makes Paddington books so endearing is the fact that Paddington, while always working with the best of intentions, somehow always ends end making a gigantic mess of everything but a mess that ultimately turns out for the best in the end.
For those of you who don’t know Paddington, he’s a bear from deepest, darkest Peru, whose aunt smuggles him to England on an ocean liner (with a jar of marmalade which is, as everyone knows a bear’s favorite food). Paddington finds himself alone at Paddington Station (this is where he gets his name) where the Browns find him, name him and take him in. Mrs Byrd, the housekeeper will constantly complain about the Bear unless someone else complains about him in which case she will defend him in no uncertain terms.
I grew up on Paddington Bear. My mum, who is British would read his adventures to me as a child. When I got older I went back and reread all the books and, in 2008, was pleasantly surprised to find that Michael Bond, the author, had just released a new book (Paddington Here and Now) with 7 new adventures.
• A Bear Called Paddington (1958)
- More About Paddington (1959)
- Paddington Helps Out (1960)
- Paddington Abroad (1961)
- Paddington At Large (1962)
- Paddington Marches On (1964)
- Paddington at Work (1966)
- Paddington Goes to Town (1968)
- Paddington Takes the Air (1970)
- Paddington Takes to TV (1972)
- Paddington on Top (1974)
- Paddington Takes the Test (1979)
- Paddington on Screen (1980)
- Paddington Here and Now (2008)
If you decide to dig into the wonderful world of Paddinton Bear, you should begin with the first book as it situates Paddington, lets you know how he got to be a member of the Byrd family, how he got his name as well as serving as a basic introduction to the numerous characters you’ll be finding in the rest of the volumes. After that they can be read in any order. Oh, and once you’ve read and reread them to your children, make sure you keep them to read to the grandchildren later!
Paddington Bear books have been translated into 30 languages across 70 titles and sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.
Quote: “Things are always happening to me. I’m that sort of bear.” Michael Bond, A Bear Called Paddington