Famous Bears: Paddington
Who has a red hat, a blue duffle coat and a battered old suitcase that is full of his favourite breakfast food, marmalade? Why, it’s Paddington bear of course and he, like so many other famous bears got his start in children’s books. He hails from ‘deepest, darkest Peru’ and is found by the Brown family at Paddington Station in London England when they are there to pick up their children from a train.
Paddington was the brainchild of Michael Bond who saw a lone teddy bear in a shop near Paddington station on Christmas Eve. He bought the bear for his wife for Christmas and it prompted him to come up with all sorts of adventures which he later turned into the classic children’s books we have come to love. His first adventure was published in 1958 so Paddington is nearing sixty years old, but he is still a charming addition to many a children’s library.
Paddington Brown is very polite. He addresses people by Mr. and Mrs. and doesn’t like to use their first names. He is an orphan bear from Peru who seems to always get into trouble and scrapes, although unwittingly so. He gets along well with his family and their housekeeper, Mrs. Bird but his nemesis is the man next door. Things of course always work out in the end and the Paddington series of books have been translated into thirty languages and sold over thirty million copies.
Paddington has also appeared on television and feature films, always portrayed as the kind-hearted, marmalade loving spectacle bear that we have grown up with.
We don’t often see Paddington without his trademark coat and hat and he always seems to be with that suitcase, complete with a secret compartment, of course and always with a stash of marmalade. He was originally illustrated by Peggy Fortnum and has changed throughout the years especially in the 2007 motion picture. His likeness can be found on many items but especially stuffed bears wearing that coat and hat—and don’t forget the wellington boots!
Paddington was once just a figment of an imagination but he grew into something that is beloved the world over, that little orphan bear that can’t help but get into trouble but always makes it right in the end