Wednesday, April 3, 2013

My Favorite Books: A Bear Called Paddington

Back when I was a wee lad of about 10 or 11 (okay, you might find it hard to believe, but I was once a wee lad) I remember looking for a new book series to read. My sister, who was about nine at the time, had a bunch of books in her room. Being desperate, I wandered in and started looking through them. My expectations were low because, well, she was a girl and I knew that girls never had anything interesting to read (don't say it, I've learned otherwise since). But like I said, I was desperate.

One set of books did look kind of interesting. The back cover said it was about a bear from Darkest Peru who was found by a London family on the platform of Paddington Station. Okay, not bad, it was English. That alone was worth a closer look. I took it into my room, began reading, and was instantly hooked. The book was A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond.

Paddington & Mr. Gruber enjoying elevenses
I really did fall in love with the series right away. Paddington was always getting into ridiculous situations either with his adopted family the Browns, or their crusty neighbor Mr. Curry. Then he'd go tell his friend the antique dealer, Mr. Gruber as they sat down to "elevenses".

I loved these books because they sparked my imagination. It felt like I was getting a dose of English life spiced up with the antics of a mischievous Peruvian bear. The illustrations were fun, too.

Now, my eight year old daughter is starting to read them. My wife reads one chapter and Abby reads the next. She loves to read with her mom. My eleven year old son has even been seen nonchalantly hanging around with an ear cocked, listening as they read. He won't admit it, but I know. He really enjoys Paddington's adventures, just like me.

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