'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 6 February 2015

Review: Love from Paddington

“Dear Aunt Lucy,
I expect this will come as a great surprise to you, but not only have I arrived in England, but I have an address! I'm staying at number 32 Windsor Gardens and it isn't at all like the Home for Retired Bears. You may not believe this, but ...”

Fifty years after Paddington first arrived in London, here is a collection of letters written to his Aunt Lucy in Peru.

Told completely from Paddington’s perspective, in Love From Paddington we get to hear how he shared stories of his life with his favourite relative. All but one of the fifteen letters is from Paddington, who prefers snail mail, of course, which allows him to leave his distinctive paw print along with his name. He does eventually encounter a laptop, which he refers to as a kneetop because “bears don’t have laps, they have knees.”

You’ll learn about how Paddington got his name and fashionable duffle coat, and hear his excitement at going to see the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, and riding on the London Eye. He even gets to try his hand in a cricket match. Paddington has a lot to learn, though, what with his accidental participation in an auction, getting a job, and confusion over money-related matters.

Love From Paddington finishes with a single letter from Aunt Lucy who explains why she sent Paddington off on “a voyage of discovery.” It’s a voyage that readers can go on as well, one that shares a bit of the British way of life in a gentle and unassuming way.

Peppered throughout the book are pictures from two of the artists who illustrated the Paddington stories over the years, including my favourite, the original illustrator Peggy Fortnum.

A fun story to share at bedtime, or for newly independent readers.

Title: Love From Paddington
Author: Michael Bond
Illustrator: Peggy Fortnum and R. W. Alley
Publisher: HarperCollins, $24.99 RRP
Publication Date: October 2014
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780007594184
For ages: 7+
Type: Junior Fiction, Middle Fiction

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