Paddington Bear has Olympic Fever

August 6, 2012

A zest for adventure, deep loyalty and devotion, a charming naïveté, a genuine desire to help others, self-deprecating humour … all qualities Paddington Bear (affectionately known as “Paddy” in our household) displays with his own brand of loveable flair. It surprised me to learn that our earnest and sticky-pawed friend has been around since writer Michael Bond first introduced him to us in 1958 Paddington is a treasure with whom we’ve grown up and been able to enjoy again with our children and perhaps even grandchildren. Twelve chapter books were published between 1958 and 2008 with many incarnations of each issued in picture book formats as well.  In 2012, old Paddy Bear couldn’t resist the excitement of Olympic Fever and has come out of hibernation to hit the track running.

It may impress you to know that Michael Bond, now 86 years old, has written prolifically beyond the realm of Paddington. He is responsible as well for the equally charming Gastronome Sleuth, Monsieur Pamplemousse and mischievous guinea pig Olga da Polga. In all, Bond has written more than 150 books and shows no sign of slowing down. In a recent BBC interview he indicated Paddington may have a few more “jams” ahead of him to be recounted in a new book or books.

I simply cannot do justice to the extent of Paddington’s endeavours – he is one busy, busy bear! He has served as a diplomat (was the first offering to the French by the British when the Chunnel connected for the first time), has flown with Richard Branson on speed record seeking missions, been honoured by the Queen with Mr. Bond, Michael Bond, and has seen his image manifested on everything from PJs ( Marks and Spencer’s best-selling ever!) and bed sheets, to tea bags and wall paper. He will always be my favourite “teddy” bear – I cherish mine while my boys have their own. For an entertaining peek into the world of all things Paddington take a few minutes to visit his website here.

And now for even more breaking news: Paddington is going to the movies! We will have to wait until 2014 but meanwhile according to The Guardian:

Harry Potter producer David Heyman is behind the film, described as “a modern take” on Michael Bond’s best-selling books which have sold more than 35 million copies.

He said: “Paddington Bear is a universally loved character, treasured for his optimism, his sense of fair play and his perfect manners, and of course for his unintentional talent for comic chaos.

“Michael Bond’s books offer such wit and wonder, and I am so delighted at this chance to bring Paddington to the big screen.”

We didn’t see Paddington among other literary characters at the Opening Ceremonies but if Twitter tweeters have their way, Paddington might be invited to the closing ceremonies. They believe Aunt Lucy would be pleased!

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