Paddington on Top
What other bear but Paddington could find himself sent home on his first day of school? Or questioned as a prime witness in court? Or taking a crash course in water-skiing? Trust Paddington to follow his nose for adventure, with a suitcase full of marmalade sandwiches in tow!
First published in 1974, Paddington on Top is the tenth classic novel about Michael Bond’s beloved classic character, Paddington Bear.
Reprint of a Classic
When school inspectors come to the Browns' door and claim that it is necessary for Paddington to report to school, everyone is a bit surprised. At first, it sounds like a good idea, since they take rolls (role), but after his teacher, Mr. Eustace, confiscates all of his marmalade sandwiches, Paddington has his doubts. Sensing that the bear will be trouble, Mr. Eustace sends him out to get the fish for science class, and the bear of course comes back with fish fingers instead of something that can be dissected. In the end, the school feels that Paddington can wait out a bit longer, perhaps until he finds a uniform. Other stories within this volume include a venture selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door, visiting the Royal Courts of Justice, a birthday treat, and an attempt at physical fitness.
These are all episodic, and Paddington remains his cheerful, somewhat dense self throughout each story. He is, of course, extremely well meaning, and most of the people with whom he comes in contact are glad to help him out, even if they are a little confused by him. This book is a bit unusual because the Brown children must be off at school, and Paddington interacts mainly with adults in his neighborhood, especially his friend Mr. Gruber.
Michael Bond passed away in 2017, but readers who enjoy classics like Sharp's The Rescuers, Streatfields Shoe books, and the stories of Roald Dahl will enjoy the Amelia Bedelia-like adventures of our favorite bear from Darkest Peru. The popularity of the more recent movies will make this accesible to those who have been introduced to Paddington's world on screen as well.