A Bear Called Paddington
Illustrated by Peggy Fortnum
Ages 8 to 12
Houghton Mifflin, 1998, 0-3959-2951-2
One day, when they are at the train station waiting to pick up their daughter Judy, Mr. and Mrs. Brown see the most extraordinary sight. In a corner of the platform they see a small bear. It is wearing a red hat and is sitting on a very shabby suitcase. The bear has a tag around its neck and on the tag are the words “Please look after this bear. Thank you.”
Now the Browns are good and kind people and Mrs. Brown cannot stand the thought of leaving the rather sorry looking bear all on his own in a big station. So they go up to meet the bear and discover that he has come all the way from Darkest Peru. The bear has no friends in London and no where to go. After a little discussion Mr. and Mrs. Brown decide to invite the bear to stay with them at least for a while. The bear is delighted with the idea and he also loves the English name Mrs. Brown gives him (his Peruvian one being very hard to pronounce). Mrs. Brown decides that they should call the bear Paddington after the train station where he was found.
Paddington very quickly becomes a member of the Brown household. From the very first day the Browns and their housekeeper Mrs. Bird, realize that Paddington is a prone to having accidents and getting into situations. And yet, at the same time, he is also prone to somehow landing on his paws again. They all agree that Paddington “means well” even if he does get himself into the most unusual scrapes.
Whether he is getting lost in a department store, is getting swept out to sea while riding in a bucket, or is accidentally winning a painting competition, Paddington is always having an interesting time and, moreover, he is usually charming everyone around him with his funny and winning ways.
In this classic first Paddington story readers will find out how Paddington acquires his name and how he quite simply transforms the lives of the people who come into contact with him. Delightful illustrations and laugh out loud stories make this the kind of book young readers will want to read again and again.
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