Paddington's Finest Hour by Michael Bond

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Paddington's Finest Hour by Michael Bond

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Paddington is back! The seven new stories in this book are the usual delight. Our favourite bear delivers some of his trademark hard stares and even goes on a TV cooking show.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 144 Date: April 2017
Publisher: Harper Collins
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 0008226199

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Paddington is back! This is the first set of new stories about our favourite bear from Peru since 2012. There are seven of them and, as you'd expect, they are delightful. Our little bear doesn't change and he still careers around 32 Windsor Gardens creating merry havoc as his adopted family, the Browns, look on in helpless mirth. Everybody loves a bit of slapstick, right?

In this collection, Paddington goes to post a letter in the rain and ends up the subject of negative attention from the police. He unwittingly helps his neighbour cheat at a gardening competition. He enters a TV cooking show, hosts a birthday party, and goes to the theatre, where he has a very interesting encounter with a hypnotist.

The familiar cast of characters is still around - the indulgent and kindly Mr and Mrs Brown, the bouncing twins Jonathan and Judy, the maker of marmalade Mrs Bird, Paddington's great friend Mr Gruber, and Paddington's nemesis, the mean old neighbour Mr Curry. And there are a few new characters to enjoy, too. And of course, Paddington gives several of his infamous hard stares. You'll be expecting funny dialogue? Of course, you will. And you get that too. I'll share one example. When Paddington goes on the TV cooking show, the judge, Sir Percival Rushmoor, introduces himself:

Hurrying forward, he held out a welcoming hand. "I'm Sir Percival Rushmoor. I’m invigilating." "I’m sorry to hear that, Sir Percival," said Paddington. "I hope you feel better very soon."


Paddington Bear entered our cultural consciousness and stayed there, didn't he? We all know him and we all love him. And for good reason. This new collection updates the settings - TV reality shows, mobile phones, it's all twenty-first-century stuff - but the old-fashioned charm is just as it always was. As are the themes of openness and inclusivity. These stories remind us several times that Paddington is an immigrant and a welcome one too - reminders we could do with right about now, if you ask me.

So, of course, recommended.

If you haven't already, you shouldn't miss the very first Paddington book. And don't forget the wonderful Mog, the cat who wins medals and loves an egg for breakfast.

This book featured in our May 2017 Newsletter

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