Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Paddington at Large

Paddington at Large

Michael Bond
Illustrator:  Peggy Fortnum 
Fiction  Series
For ages 7 to 10
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002   ISBN: 978-0618196784

It is the gardening season and the Browns are discovering that their dear friend and permanent house guest, Paddington, has a very green paw. With just a few packets of seeds he creates a lovely flower garden and he is soon selling his vegetables at "strict market rates" to Mrs. Bird. Unfortunately the Browns' disagreeable neighbor, Mr. Curry, notices how good Paddington is with all things green and he manages to bamboozle the bear into agreeing to mow and clean up his messy garden. Paddington is not pleased but he does not feel able to refuse. My. Curry would have been better off finding someone else to do the work, for Paddington encounters a number of problems which escalate into a full blown disaster.

Of course Paddington does tend to get himself into sticky situations and one day he manages to do so in a truly astonishing way. It all begins when Paddington sees a recipe for making toffee in a magazine. He is very taken with the idea of making homemade toffee. The recipe looks simple enough and when Mrs. Bird and Mrs. Brown go out to do their shopping, Paddington gets to work.

By the time the ladies come home, the kitchen has been turned into a hideously sticky, steamy, smoky mess. Just as they are about to start cleaning up Paddington announces that he is not feeling well and to their horror the little bear starts to groan. By the time the ambulance arrives to take Paddington to the hospital, the bear's legs are sticking straight up in the air. Mrs. Bird and Mrs. Brown know this is very serious because Paddington does not show an interest in eating marmalade. Will the surgeon be able to save their beloved friend before it is too late?

Young readers will find it almost impossible to keep a straight face as they read the seven delightful stories in this book. Without a doubt Paddington is one of the funniest and most lovable book characters ever created, and this collection of tales will entertain and charm readers of all ages. This book is highly recommended for people who are Paddington fans and it should be noted that one does not have to be a child to appreciate the antics of this very special furry person.