Posted in general and welcome

Farewell and thank you, Mr Bond

After a cold, drizzly morning spent helping out at my primary school’s sports day, I was cradling a hot cup of coffee when I heard the news that Michael Bond, creator of one of the most-loved bears in fiction, died today, aged 91.

https://i2.wp.com/www.telegraph.co.uk/content/dam/men/2016/08/31/106502090_Commission_May0072045_Assigned_Portrait_of_Paddington_Bear_author_Michael_Bond_at_his_home-xlarge_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqZgEkZX3M936N5BQK4Va8RWtT0gK_6EfZT336f62EI5U.jpg

image courtesy of the Telegraph

Everyone around the table in the staffroom expressed sadness, and social media sites have been filled with sad faces and posts mourning a person who had given so much joy to so many children’s childhoods. While the stories were always gently humorous, they also were comforting. Reading them was the literary equivalent of a warm hug and I never lost that feeling moving into adulthood when sharing them with my daughter or the children at school.

What I’d never known until today was Michael Bond’s inspiration for Paddington. According to an interview he gave to the Telegraph last year, he had gone into Selfridge’s on Christmas Eve and seen a solitary bear on a shelf. “I felt sorry for it, and I bought it and gave it to Brenda, and it lived on our mantelpiece.” (I was delighted to read about another person who worried about teddies being on their own…)

Soon afterwards, Bond admits that he “…mentally dressed it in the same duffel coat and hat he [Bond] wore while riding his scooter bought from the government surplus shop. A legend was born.”

As is often the case, Bond didn’t find overnight success. He admitted to his interviewer, Victoria Lambert, that he could have pasted his room with rejection slips but never gave up. And thank goodness for all of us that he didn’t. Just think how much duller the world would be without the antics of Paddington.

I may just read one of the books tonight. With this sad news, I feel like one of those literary hugs.

Thank you, Michael Bond.

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Author:

Childtastic Books started out as a collaborative blog, written by me and my young daughter Holly. Now she's nearly a teen, she's off doing exciting and new things but I am still here, reading, writing and reviewing books for children and young adults of all ages. I miss her input but I hope she will pop in from time to time to do some guest posts! A little about me - I have just finished an MA in Children's Literature from the University of Roehampton (result pending, eeek) and am a part-time primary school librarian. The other part of my time is spent writing and editing, my own work and others, and I am waiting for my first non-fiction book to be published - a teacher resources pack for Handa's Surprise. I welcome comments and love to hear from visitors to this blog. Please note though that, because of time constraints, it is rare that I can read and review books from self-published authors. I receive so many requests and feel badly about not being able to keep up with them all. Thanks for visiting! Sam

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