Michael Bond RIP: The secret to the appeal of his Paddington Bear

Kelly Massey
June 29, 2017

Bond, who created the character in 1958, said Paddington's arrival at the London station was inspired by his memories of children arriving at Reading Station having been evacuated from London during the Second World War.

The news of the author's death was confirmed by his publisher HarperCollins who said he died peacefully in his home on Tuesday. The books have been translated into more than 40 languages.

HaperCollins released the latest Paddington story, "Paddington's Finest Hour", in April.

Ann-Janine Murtagh, executive publisher of children's books at HarperCollins, which sold more than 35 million Paddington books, said Bond was a true gentleman and the most enchanting of writers. They would name him Paddington.

Although Bond started writing in 1945 while he was stationed in the British army in Cairo, Egypt, his first book wasn't published until 13 years later when Bond was working for the BBC.

"Paddington is very real to me". In fact, since Paddington Bear was introduced, Michael Bond's books have always been on bookstore shelves until today.

Fans of the popular Paddington and his creator paid their respects on social media.

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The Jewish children that Michael Bond witnessed decades ago changed the way he looked at the world. He called it Paddington because they were living near London's Paddington Station at the time, and wondered what would happen if a lost bear showed up at a train station.

In the books, Paddington learns to drink tea and to play cricket.

HUGH BONNEVILLE: (As Henry Brown) Hi, big fella.

LIMBONG: Michael Bond wrote other books, too - the Olga da Polga series about a storytelling guinea pig, the Monsieur Pamplemousse books, his series about a food critic/detective for adults. Sushi. "I'm just going to tell him quickly how much I love Paddington".

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I used to live with my Aunt Lucy in Peru, but she had to go into a home for retired bears.

Born in Newbury, southern England, on January 13 1926, Bond served in both the Royal Air Force and the British Army during World War II. The author is survived by Susan, his daughter Karen Jankel, son Anthony and three grandchildren.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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