Paddington At The Palace by Michael Bond and R W Alley

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Paddington At The Palace by Michael Bond and R W Alley

Category: Emerging Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: On a very British outing, Paddington is off to Buckingham Palace! But what mishaps will befall him this time?
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 24 Date: January 2015
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 978-0007104406

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I’m not someone who bangs on about being proud to be British. I find it odd that people can seem so fulfilled based on the fact they were born in a certain nation. And anyway I’d much rather be a citizen of the world. But every so often I come across a book, typically aimed at little ones, that does bring me out in a touch of national pride. London is the obvious choice, and in cases like The Queen's Hat by Steve Antony it can result in frightfully good books.

Paddington, of course, is a bear we know and love. And more than that, we know his story and how he lives in London with the Browns. So this little bear from deepest, darkest Peru, has already established himself as a welcome part of British society. But in this story, it all seems to go a step further. Paddington, you see, is off to the Palace. And, on the way, we encounter red London buses, St James’s Park, guardsmen and, maybe, even the Queen herself. It’s Britishness on steroids, and it’s marvelous.

This is a Paddington book aimed at a younger audience than the chapter books, so the story is shorter and the ratio of words to pictures weights heavily in favour of the latter. This book was first published in the 1980s, and I think that shows how timeless a story it is. The pictures might have been updated slightly (there’s an ethnic diversity in the tourists that may not have been present in the first round of illustrations) but it’s still beautiful and classic and not hideously modern – the onlookers all have proper cameras, for example, they’re not snapping away on their phones.

Paddington is a bear who often gets a bit more than he bargained for, and his misadventures are what make the stories, in my opinion, so I was pleased to see some twists and turns here, from someone mistaking him for a busby (which, when you think about it, isn’t that unreasonable: aren’t you more likely to see a dropped hat on the ground than a small, brown bear?) to his venture inside the Palace gates, this is no ordinary trip. But of course Paddington is no ordinary bear.

This would be a brill book for reading in preparation for a trip to that part of London, because it sets the scene so well, but of course like the other Paddington books, it’s great for other times too. Whether you’re an expat nostalgic for your homeland, or you simply like a reminder of what makes Britain great, this book delivers with an adorable story set in real world London, and it’s beautifully presented from start to finish. Highly recommended, I'd like to thank the publishers for sending this book in.

Whether a fan of the bear or the city or both, we must also recommend Paddington's Guide to London by Michael Bond

Buy Paddington At The Palace by Michael Bond and R W Alley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Paddington At The Palace by Michael Bond and R W Alley at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Paddington At The Palace by Michael Bond and R W Alley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Paddington At The Palace by Michael Bond and R W Alley at Amazon.com.


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