Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

More About Paddington

More About Paddington

Michael Bond
Illustrator:  Peggy Fortnum 
Fiction  Series
For ages 7 to 10
Houghton Mifflin, 1979   ISBN: 978-0395066409

Now that Paddington is definitely a permanent fixture at the Brown’s residence, Mr. Brown feels that the family should have their photograph taken. It just so happens that Mr. Brown is not the only one thinking about photographs. Paddington has bought an antique camera and he wants to use it to take a family portrait.

To the family’s astonishment Paddington takes a bath without being asked and then he sets about trying to take the picture. Unfortunately the old camera is rather complicated and not very easy for a novice photographer to use. Paddington has only one plate and he therefore has to get it right the first time. As the Browns stand on the lawn getting more and more uncomfortable, Paddington tinkers with the camera. Then he gets his head stuck in the venerable old machine and it is only with the assistance of lots of pulling and a fair bit of butter that Paddington is extricated from the mechanism. Finally, by some miracle, the picture is taken.

To make Paddington feel more at home, Mr. Brown decides to turn the old box room into a bedroom for the little bear. The room is going to need a lot of work and after Mr. Brown has bought all the supplies and has done the preparatory work, nothing further is done in the room for weeks. Finally, one day when the Browns are out, Paddington takes matters into his own paws; he decides to finish the decorating job himself. The results of his labors are disastrous. If only Mr. Brown had completed the project himself!

One day, after playing in his first snow and pretending to be a snow bear, Paddington gets very sick indeed. In fact the doctor is not willing to guess at his prognosis. The Browns are thoroughly frightened and realize how much they love their delightful, frustrating, and always well-meaning bear. Many anxious days follow and everyone spends sleepless nights and worry-filled days hoping that Paddington will get better soon.

Thankfully Paddington makes a full recovery and soon enough he is enjoying his first real English Christmas. As always he is a delight (and a worry) to all of the people who love him best. What will their dear bear do next?

In this charming collection of Paddington stories the reader gets to share many new experiences with the bear from Darkest Peru. Paddington learns all about Guy Fawkes Day, and he gets to play in his first snow. As always, he manages to get himself into the most peculiar, and extremely funny, situations. Indeed readers will find that it is very hard to keep a straight face as they accompany Paddington on his adventures.

Peggy Fortnum’s wonderful line drawings perfectly capture Paddington’s undeniably unique personality. These, in junction with the unforgettable stories, make this book a sweet, funny, and delightful read.

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