The beloved children’s literature character Paddington Bear made his first appearance in Michael Bond’s A Bear Called Paddington on October 13, 1958.
Bond (who died earlier this year at the age of 91) has said that he saw a single stuffed toy bear left on a store shelf on Christmas Eve, 1956. He bought the bear as a gift for his wife. They named him Paddington because they lived near Paddington train station in London at the time.A few weeks later Bond began writing a children’s story, making the bear the main character and giving him a mysterious backstory.
Paddington, who is from “darkest Peru,” is found at Paddington station by the Brown family. He is sitting on a suitcase and has a note pinned to him saying, “Please look after this bear.”
Paddingtonhas gone on to star in dozens of books, television shows and lately in animated movies.
I don’t remember Paddington from my own childhood (I’m slightly older than he is) but I have fond memories of reading the stories to my nieces and my nephew.