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.

Cover Image for A Bear Called Paddington

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.

If Paddington proved a great success, he could be made into a leading character, and have more books written about his adventures.

Ker Wilson

Publisher at HarperCollins, From a letter dated 29th January 1958

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 in 2017. 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.

This post was reproduced with permission from Good Reading. View the original post.

Want more book news?

All the latest book news is available on the Good Reading website.

Meg Gatland-Veness: ‘It all started when a kid died’

It all started when a kid died.

Meg Gatland-Veness is the author of the new Young Adult novel I Had Such Friends, a bold and heartfelt debut that is earning comparisons to The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Thirteen Reasons Why.

In this podcast, Meg chats to Good Reading about growing up on Jaclyn Moriarty and Melina Marchetta, being a high school drama teacher, and why she believes it’s important to be upfront and honest in YA fiction.

Cover Image for I Had Such Friends

Listen Up!

Heaps of excellent Podcasts can be found on the Good Reading Soundcloud Page.

Check out other great Good Reading eResources: