Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Kids’ Review: Love From Paddington

--> I’ve indulged in a fun bit of nostalgia the past two days, listening to a new release about a beloved character from my childhood (and my sons’ childhood, too), Love From Paddington by Michael Bond.  This is a new novel from the original author, with a new perspective on the familiar stories.

You do know who Paddington is, don’t you? Just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past 60 years or so, Paddington is an adorable little bear who stowed away on a ship from Peru to immigrate to England. The Brown family discovered him in Paddington Station with a tag around his neck saying “Please look after this bear,” and they brought him home with them. They named him after the station and soon adopted him as part of their family. Paddington is a very kind bear with a good heart, but he’s always getting into trouble. 

This new book is a brief review of some of Paddington’s earliest adventures in London, told in a new way, as a series of letters he writes home to his Aunt Lucy at the Home for Retired Bears in Peru. The stories are warmly familiar to anyone who’s read the original Paddington books, but it’s fun to hear them from Paddington’s own perspective.

I have always loved the Paddington books, from the time I was a child myself through to reading them to my own children and, apparently, even now, as an adult, listening to them on my own. Paddington is such a lovable character, someone children can relate to, as he is often misunderstanding the adults in his life and taking things a bit too literally. He has good intentions, but things often don’t turn out the way he expected. As an adult listening to this new book, I realized how clever the Paddington books are – Paddington’s misinterpretations are often rather Amelia Bedelia-ish.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this new take on Paddington’s familiar adventures, and I see that the written book includes plenty of fun illustrations by Peggy Fortnum (Paddington’s original illustrator) and R.W. Alley. This would be a great book to share with your children or grandchildren, whether they are old fans of Paddington, like me, or as an introduction to the lovable bear in the duffle coat and floppy hat. I smiled all the way through.

HarperChildren’s Audio

144 pages, HarperCollins

(Great for elementary and middle-grade readers or as a read-aloud for younger children)

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