I learned so much about Michael Bond, the author of Paddington Bear. I appreciated the insight about his early life, how he grew up and the things that came to inspire him later on to create the beloved Paddington Bear. His childhood home was warm and he was lucky to have “aunties” that were happy to look after him. He was a reader and grew up surrounded by books.
But while his early childhood was a happy one, Michael Bond also got to witness the chaos of World War II. Refugees, mostly children, came from other countries and Michael’s family even welcomed two into their home. Seeing people lose loved ones or being forced to live with strangers left a strong impression, which is something that is later on reflected in his works, most importantly, in Paddington Bear, who is also an immigrant looking for someone to take him home.
Oh but Michael Bond’s publication journey is such a long one and it’s both inspiring and relatable to so many writers. To quote Michael Bond’s grandfather: “You can do anything with your life but you must stick with it. Never give up. Keep going, and one day you’ll find yourself doing exactly what you want.”
And that’s how Paddington Bear came to be. Drawn part from life & from a lonely bear sitting in a toy shop on Christmas day. Michael Bond created a wonderful character that is very much alive to this date.
I am feeling pretty nostalgic now and all I want to do is to watch Paddington Bear episodes & eat some toast with orange marmalade!
Rosanne Tolin wrote a beautiful biography about the story behind Paddington Bear and it’s a great read for Middle Grades & Adults alike.
*Reviewed first on www.thereaderandthechef.com *