More than Marmalade: Michael Bond and the Story of Paddington Bear

More than Marmalade: Michael Bond and the Story of Paddington Bear
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Release Date
March 03, 2020
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Michael Bond never intended to be a children’s writer. Though an avid reader, he was by no means a model student and quit school at 14. He repaired rooftop radio transmitters during the bombing of Britain in World War II and later joined the army. He wrote about the war and more, selling stories here and there.

One day, while searching for inspiration at his typewriter, hoping for a big story that would allow him to write full time, a stuffed bear on top of the shelf—a Christmas present for his wife—suddenly caught his eye. Bond poured his personal feelings about the events of his era—the refugee children his family had hosted in the countryside, a war-torn country in recovery, the bustling immigrant neighborhood where he lived—into the story of a little bear from Peru who tries very, very hard to do things right. The result was A Bear Called Paddington.

An incredible true tale, More than Marmalade: Michael Bond and the Story of Paddington Bear is the first biography about the writer behind the beloved series. Author Rosanne Tolin reveals how world history, Bond’s life, and 1950s immigrant culture were embedded into Paddington’s creation, bringing middle-grade readers a delightful, informative, and engaging book with a timely message of acceptance.

Editor review

1 review
Beautiful biography about the story behind Paddington Bear
(Updated: May 13, 2020)
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More than Marmalade is such a PRECIOUS book. It’s rare that I read a book in one sitting nowadays (due to lack of time!) but I managed to get some free time earlier today and decided to start this biography — and what a perfect read it was!

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 *
Good Points
Perfect for Middle Grade readers & Adults alike since it reads like fiction!
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