Paddington Races Ahead by Michael Bond

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Paddington Races Ahead by Michael Bond

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: More adventures from the bear who is genuinely loved by adults and children. The hardback would make a great gift.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 176 Date: April 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0007458844

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Far be it from me to suggest that a bear we all know and love is cashing in on the London Olympics AND the Jubilee, but here he is on the front of a rather splendid book, racing along - and waving a Union Jack. He's a bear of good intentions, but somehow they seem to get him into difficult situations which are always of his own making. There was the matter of the shaving cream which it should have been possible to get back into the tube - and for something which cleans it shouldn't make such a mess. We won't even discuss why the London bus had to be evacuated or what happened when Paddington was mistaken for a Peruvian hurdler.

It's all lovely, innocent fun, with Mrs Bird, the housekeeper, Mr Curry, the nosy next-door neighbour and the Brown family all playing their parts along with Paddington's friend Mr Gruber. It's a novel which can easily be read as seven short stories - or even read aloud one chapter a night for a week. Paddington appeals - genuinely - to both adults and children, so sharing him is a real pleasure.

The vocabulary is appropriate and challenging in places. This book makes an ideal stepping stone from illustrated books to one with no pictures as there's the occasional line drawing from Peggy Fortnum but they only occur on a few pages and don't really provide much of a clue to what a word might be if you're searching for inspiration. The book doesn't look daunting but is still going to be a step up for the emerging reader.

I read the book in hardback and it would make a great present particularly as it's going to be enjoyed by both boys and girls and is the type of book which a child will return to time and time again - even after the Olympics and the Jubilee! I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If Paddington is going to be out and about in the capital this summer then he would be well advised to make certain that he has his guide to London with him.

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