Paddington Races Ahead by Michael Bond
I had a hand made Paddington Bear toy as a child - he had removable boots, hat and duffle coat and in my memory was the same size as me - I'm still pretty sure he was larger than a normal teddy bear though as he did wear my out-grown red boots. I had a lovely compilation book of Paddington stories too.
My first real memory of the visitor from Darkest Peru was when Selfridges made their Christmas Grotto all about the bear - from searching the Internet I see that this was in 1983 and in honour of his 25th birthday!
There was a special book published to coincide with this and I remember loving the bit where Paddington inflates a giant boat whilst in the shop.
It was only this year that I saw the statue at Paddington Station for the first time and got a bit overexcited!
I got excited when I saw there was a new book due. Unlike many of the recent updates to old favourites the original author is still in charge so I wasn't worried I'd be disappointed.
Sadly, as ever, reading a childhood favourite as an adult wasn't quite the same.
It wasn't that I minded Paddington getting into a muddle over Oysters or even having his fish nibble his feet, Paddington has always lived in a timeless place. It was Jonathan and Judy that hit the discordant note, and the talk of them wearing jeans that jarred for me, along with them being drawn much younger than the text implied they were. I think it would have worked better for me if they had grown up while Paddington stayed the same and the children were now their children...
In my opinion the best chapter was when Paddington accidently drops into Hamlet being performed at the Open Air Theatre in London, but anyone who regularly reads this blog will be unsurprised by this!
Once I put thoughts of old favourites out of my head and lost myself in the new book it was fine but all in all I prefer the originals and the original pictures. I can't wait until my nephew is old enough to sit and share Paddington's adventures with, complete with a plate of marmalade sandwiches of course... I think I'll start hunting for a copy of the original TV series on DVD now!