One of my fondest childhood memories is of watching Paddington on the television, and listening to the sublime tones of Michael Hordern recounting his adventures. When looking for a new book to entertain my two-year-old daughter, I was delighted to find this new edition, specially produced for very young children.
'Paddington' tells the story of how Mr and Mrs Brown find our favourite stowaway near the left luggage office at a London station, and take him home to become part of their family. For those familiar with the original series of books by Michael Bond, the tale is essentially an abridged version of the first two chapters of 'A Bear Called Paddington
' ('Please Look After This Bear' and 'A Bear in Hot Water').
The book is beautifully illustrated by RW Alley. It's not an especially quick read, so it won't suit toddlers with very short attention spans, but it's great if you are starting to progress towards picture books with a more developed narrative than just one or two sentences per page.
I have a lovely time sharing this story with my daughter. In many ways, Paddington is like furry toddler - he gets sticky eating buns, makes a big soapy mess in the bathroom, and then falls asleep in the chair - so there's plenty for her to identify with and laugh about. We've also bought another book in this series - 'Paddington in the Garden
' - and both are favourites at story time!
This review refers to the paperback edition of 'Paddington' published by Harper Collins Children's Books in 2007.