There is something utterly charming about the writing - Bond uses uncomplicated language but is so very adept at building up the muddles and trouble that Paddington, who always acts from the best motives, finds himself getting into. The way he characterises the bear is simply wonderful, with his sad little explanations as to how he can't do things with his paws, or the "very hard stares" that he gives to people he thinks are being rude, the whole book is a delight.
Here the Browns are going to France and Paddington is placed in charge of the itinery. Madness ensues, with scenes that include Paddington facing arrest at the bank, Paddington being taken away by immigration officers (a scene that's particularly funny given today's media panic over illegal immigrants, even though it was written over 40 years ago), the Browns getting stuck on a desert island and Paddington entering the Tour de France.
Because the book was written back in 1961, some of the slang may seem very strange to children today - e.g. "crikey", "smashing" and I think there's a "whizzo!" in there as well, but for adult readers I think that's all part and parcel of the nostalgia. There's also some broad stereotypes of the French (mainly with the way the accents are reproduced), which might raise some eyebrows but I think you'd really have to stretch things to suggest it's offensive, especially when the French characters are shown as being so friendly and welcoming to Paddington and the Browns.
All the familiar characters are here - the Browns and Mrs Bird, and Mr Gruber. In fact, only Mr Curry (Paddington's grumpy and unpleasant neighbour) is missing, which is a shame but does give me an excuse to go out and buy the others!
Special mention also has to be given to Peggy Fortnum's illustrations of the little bear, which are simply lovely - very simple, made with pen and ink but they really get across Paddington's character.