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Paddington Bear Turns Fifty

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 2:08pm

When a small bear from Darkest Peru first arrived at Paddington Station in 1958, no one would have predicted that he would become one of the most well-loved of celebrity bears. Now, with his 50th Anniversary fast approaching, his publishers are planning a special celebration.

Paddington's newest adventure, Paddington: Here and Now, is scheduled for release in Canada in July. In this adventure an unexpected visitor to Thirty-Two Windsor Gardens causes Paddington to recall the story of his immigration and decide once and for all which place he will call home.

Since the release of the first book, A Bear Called Paddington, Paddington has starred in over twelve books as well as three animated television series. A Paddington Bear movie, featuring a computer animated Paddington, is currently slotted for release in 2010.

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A Bear Called Paddington

- Michael Bond, Peggy Fortnum

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The Browns first met Paddington on a railway station Paddington station, in fact. He had travelled all the way from Darkest Peru with only a jar of marmalade, a suitcase and his hat. The Browns soon find that Paddington is a very unusual bear. Ordinary things like having a bath, travelling underground or going to the seaside become quite extraordinary, if a bear called Paddington is involved.

Author of over one hundred books, many of them for children, Michael Bond was born in Newbury, Berkshire, in 1926, but he grew up in Reading. On leaving school at the age of fourteen, he spent a year in a lawyers’ office before joining the BBC as an engineer. During the war he served with both the RAF and the army, and it was in 1947, while stationed in Cairo, that he wrote his first short story. Its acceptance by London Opinion sowed the seeds of a future career, but before becoming a full-time writer he was to spend many happy and fruitful years as a BBC television cameraman

One snowy Christmas Eve he was taking refuge in Selfridges when he came across a small toy bear, literally left on the shelf. Bought as a ‘stocking filler’ for his first wife, Brenda, it was to act as the inspiration for ‘A Bear Called Paddington’, first published in 1958.

In 1997 Michael Bond was awarded the OBE for his services to children’s literature.

More About Paddington

- Michael Bond, Peggy Fortnum

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"Bears like Paddington are very rare," says Mrs Bird, "and a good thing too, or it would cost us a small fortune in marmalade."

The Brown Family first met Paddington on a railway station -- Paddington station, in fact -- and now he is just another member of their family, if a slightly unusual one.

As he says himself, "Things happen to me -- I'm that sort of bear." With his attempts at home decorating, detective work and photography, the Brown family soon find that Paddington causes his own particular brand of chaos.

Paddington Goes To Town

- Michael Bond, Peggy Fortnum

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The irresistible Paddington Bear, who was found on Paddington station, returns in this reissued novel, with an updated cover design.

Paddington doesn't intentionally turn his friend's wedding into an uproar by getting the wedding ring stuck on his paw. Nor does he mean Mr Curry to slip on his marmalade sandwich in the middle of an important gold shot. But these sort of things just happen to a bear like Paddington!

Stories of Paddington Bear have delighted children all over the world for fifty years.

Paddington Takes the Air

- Michael Bond, Peggy Fortnum

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Original adventures of the classic bear from Darkest Peru, soon to be a major movie star!

"I do wish I could see into Paddington's mind," said Mrs Brown, "I know something's going on. I can recognize the signs."

And there is plenty of cause for concern when Paddington takes an interest in detective work. Not to mention sewing and ballroom dancing!

Paddington Bear has touched the hearts of adults and children worldwide with his earnest good intentions and humorous misadventures for more than fifty years.

Paddington on Top

- Michael Bond, Peggy Fortnum

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The irresistible Paddington Bear, who was found on Paddington station, returns in this reissued novel, with a brand new cover design.

Up until now, Paddington has managed to avoid school. But the Inspector himself catches up with him and packs him off. After one day, even the teacher wonders whether there is anything he can teach a certain bear from Darkest Peru.

And when it comes to dancing the rumba as always, Paddington takes the cake!

Stories of Paddington Bear have delighted children all over the world for more than fifty years.

Paddington Marches On

- Michael Bond, Peggy Fortnum

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"I've never known such a bear for smelling things out," said Mrs Bird.

Paddington's sharp nose and his talent for getting into difficulties lead him to an orange marmalade tasting party. His enthusiasm lands him in a barrel of marmalade, causing an avalanche in the warehouse. And, one morning, he sniffs out a surprise for himself and discovers that he is about to embark on the greatest adventure of his life.

Paddington Helps Out

- Michael Bond, Peggy Fortnum

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"Oh dear," said Paddington, as everyone turned to look at him accusingly. "I'm in trouble again." Somehow trouble comes naturally to Paddington.

What other bear could upset the whole cinema by standing on his seat to boo the "bad guy" in the cowboy film? Or drip ice-cream on the people down below? Or flood the launderette and saw Mr Curry's kitchen into little pieces? Only Paddington! But when Paddington's head is so full of ideas, some things are bound to go wrong!

Paddington at Work

- Michael Bond, Peggy Fortnum

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The irresistible Paddington Bear, who was found on Paddington station, returns in this reissued novel, with a brand new cover design.

Paddington has a knack for "smelling out things", and his sharp nose, supported by marmalade sandwiches, leads him into many adventures. Whether it's lending a paw to a famous Russian ballet dancer, or serving baked elastic instead of "Baked Alaska" this unforgettable bear is as trouble-prone and funny as ever!

Stories of Paddington Bear have delighted children all over the world for fifty years.

Paddington At Large

- Michael Bond, Peggy Fortnum

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The irresistible Paddington Bear, who was found on Paddington station, returns in this reissued novel, with a brand new cover design.

"Even Paddington can't come to much harm in half an hour," said Mrs Brown optimistically.

But who else other than Paddington could hang Mr Curry's lawnmower from a treetop or set Father Christmas' beard on fire?

Paddington Abroad

- Michael Bond, Peggy Fortnum

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The Browns are going abroad, and Paddington considers a holiday in France is not to be taken lightly, So he packs a disguise outfit, his magic set and a map of France printed on a tea towel.

Paddington is in charge of the "EYETINNERY" and, as Mrs Bird mutters darkly, "There's no knowing where we might end up." But he's planning some very good holiday "doings" indeed for the Browns. And Paddington himself becomes the only bear ever to ride in the famous Tour de France bicycle race -- and win a prize!