RIP Michael Bond, author of A Bear called Paddington
When Bond was writing A Bear Called Paddington in the late 1950s, he was inspired by the refugee children he had seen during and after World War II. So the little bear from "deepest darkest Peru" arrives at Paddington Station in London equipped with a mostly empty suitcase and a sign around his neck.
"Please look after this bear."
Adopted by the Brown family, he soon settles in, maintaining his love for marmalade, his curiosity, his courtesy and his "hard stares" whenever he encounters rudeness.
Michael Bond had not set out to write a worldwide classic. Indeed, it was many years and many more Paddington books until he felt comfortable enough to quit his day job and devote himself to writing. But a classic it was. Paddington became an animated TV show, a movie in 2015, and the books have sold 35 million copies worldwide and been translated into 30 languages.
Bond continued to write Paddington books throughout his life but branched out, writing The Tales of Olga da Polga about a young guinea pig, as well as an adult detective comedy series about Monsieur Pamplemousse.
It has been many years since the first Paddington tale but due to Bond's insistence that Paddington live in the current world, the stories have never gotten old.
Michael Bond, you will be missed.