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How Paddington came to life

How Paddington came to life

The first 'Paddington' book was passed over by publishers until it came across the desk of editor, Barbara Ker Wilson. Now, in celebration of 60 years of publishing 'Paddington' books by Michael Bond, HarperCollins have a released a letter from Ker Wilson dated 29th January 1958 which gives us insight into how Paddington began his life.

In it she says, 'I opened the ms. [manuscript] with initial suspicion - only to find myself completely won over by the author’s simplicity of style, from the first page onwards.His direct and simple approach is a refreshing change from the hosts of other mss. which introduce humanised animals, and which are invariably either whimsy-whamsy, written down, or filled with adult innuendos.'

Seeing the potential she adds, 'If Paddington proved a great success, he could be made into a leading character, and have more books written about his adventures.'

In the 60 years since the first time Paddington met his readers he has become a much-loved bear. Many a child has dressed up as Paddington during book week, with hat and a suitcase with a rasher of bacon poking out.

Sadly Michael Bond passed away last year. His daughter, Karen Jankel said her father worked as a BBC cameraman before penning Paddington after being inspired to write the children’s book by a small toy bear. .

Jankel said Paddington, is a 'very important member of our family', adding her father was quietly proud of his eventual success.