Today I’ve got a sweet-and-sticky giveaway, courtesy of the good folks at Chicago Review Press and Rosanne Tolin, author of a brand new biography of Paddington Bear’s creator, Michael Bond.
More than Marmalade: Michael Bond and the Story of Paddington Bear,
by Rosanne Tolin
published in 2020 by Chicago Review Press
In an account permeated with affection, Tolin ambles through Michael Bond’s life at a leisurely pace, padding its contours with swaths of mid-century-England color and cheery, pocket-sized anecdotes. Along the way, we learn of the life experiences which eventually gave rise to Bond’s most famous character.
Bond was born in 1926 and came of age during WWII. His childhood experience of seeing refugee children from both London and abroad arrive at his local railroad station, wait forlornly with their small duffels, an identification tag hung round their neck by a string, touched him deeply.
Thus when Paddington Bear became the central figure in a new story he was writing, the bear turns out to be, likewise, a refugee whose parents had died in darkest Peru and whose aunt had taken him in before he stowed away on ship, comforted by his smuggled jars of marmalade. I had not been aware of Paddington’s origins and for me, it makes the story richer and dearer.
Tolin spends a large portion of her account painting these influential scenes from Bond’s youth before we arrive at the moment when Bond gifts the world with that charming, accident-prone, supremely polite bear.
It’s a sweet, almost nostalgic telling for the most part, though, sadly, the overwhelming popularity of Paddington and Bond’s proclivity towards being a workaholic brought about both depression and the break-up of his family. These are treated with honesty and gentleness.
The biography finishes with the recent release of the two Paddington films, one of which Bond lived to see. He died, age 91, in 2017.
I’d say this book is accessible to ages 8 and up. Some WWII references will be unfamiliar or challenging to many children. It will be especially enjoyed by readers with a penchant for Paddington or kids who harbor their own dreams of becoming an author.
So, here’s the giveaway!
I’ve got a lovely copy of the biography, which is hitting shelves on March 3rd, courtesy of The Chicago Review and Rosanne Tolin. I’ve added a copy of the original book, A Bear Called Paddington, PLUS a jar of Trader Joe’s Seville Orange Marmalade so you can toast up some English Muffins and have yourself a sticky tea-time worthy of Paddington himself!
Enter by commenting on the blog between now and Wednesday, March 4 at 9 p.m. Central Time. Tell us: If Paddington came to your neck of the woods for a visit, what outing would you plan for him? Here in Minneapolis, if it were summertime, I’d take him for a nice bike ride around the lakes. He’d have to hang onto his hat in the breeze for sure!
Winner will be notified on Thursday, March 5 so watch for that blog post.
So sorry, but U.S. mailing addresses only.
I’d drive him up to Mt. Lemmon which is above Tucson, because I don’t think he would be comfortable otherwise in his coat and hat! We could have a picnic up there with scones and marmalade!
How very thoughtful of you! Maybe bring something to protect the car from those sticky paws on the way home 🙂
If it were this time of year, I would take him to our local Mirror Lake State Park for a hike to see the ice caves. He would be protected from any dripping or snowfall with his red hat. Then we would go home to have cocoa with marshmallows and toast.
Or if it was a warm, sunny June day, we could hike to the top of the same caves and to see pink lady slipper orchids. Then I think we would head home for marmalade French toast.
Oh! I think I need to see those caves! Your snack options sound scrumptious 🙂
It is still winter here in Wisconsin, so I would, with great trepidation, take him to the Milwaukee Art Museum to see the famous wings open at noon over Lake Michigan. If it was warm enough we would go to Petrifying Springs for a wonderful walk along the creek followed by ice cream at our local ice cream parlor.
Paddington remains a favorite in our household along with a few other famous bears in literature.
Haha. I am chuckling over your trepidation 🙂 Completely warranted! This sounds like a fab outing. I am curious about the wings!
If Paddington were to visit our house, we’d take him down the dirt road at the end of the lane which is the very BEST sledding hill ever. We’d have to tie a scarf ’round his head to keep his hat held on. And there would be cocoa. Buckets of it.
Sledding and buckets of cocoa?! I’m in 🙂
If Paddington were to visit our house, we would take him on a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, and then have lunch in Brooklyn Bridge park!
Ahhhh! So cool! Lucky Paddington and lucky you to be in Brooklyn 🙂
When next you’re in our neck of the woods, we’ll take a ferry around the Puget Sound. Seagulls will coast along beside the ship, and we may spot some sea lions near the beach and if we’re lucky, an Orca Whale or two.
Your friend in Tacoma, Washington,
Oh, my paw and whiskers. What a lovely day! I can already smell that salty sea breeze!
Such fond memories of Paddington stories shared with our kids! If he were to visit, we’d take him on a tour of our favorite independent bookstores in the area … and perhaps include a scavenger hunt for Paddington books and other treasures. 🙂
Brilliant. I’m sure Paddington would be on his best behavior in any bookstore…and attract quite a lot of attention 🙂
Oh, Paddington! I would bring you to my library and introduce you to my storytime friends! They would be so happy to meet you. I would read wonderful stories and we would all sing fun songs!
Oh, the library is one of my favorite places! Maybe right after the pantry 🙂
What a jolly good time! Orange Marmalade on a nice warm crumpet in front of fire with friends sounds delightful to me. Congrats to Rosanne on a lovely book birthday!
Oh, a night in for dear Paddington. Just the thing for a busy bear 🙂
I would definitely take Paddington on a hike up Teapot Hill. It’s a wonderful hike located in the provincial park just five minutes don the road from where I live. People often leave teapots along the trail for others to spot.
(I have an alternate US address I can use even though I live in Canada.)
Sounds completely gorgeous and the teapots will just make Paddington even hungrier for some biscuits and jam back at home 🙂
If Paddington came to visit us here near Minneapolis, I think we’d have to drive him up to the North Shore for some camping and agate hunting on Lake Superior. Toast and marmalade makes an excellent camp fire breakfast!
Ahh! As a fellow North Shore fan, I 100% approve of this plan!
Dear Padding Bear,
If you came to visit me, here in Rochester, Indiana, we would go for a long boat ride on Lake Manitou. Years ago the Indians here named it Manitou, which means “monster,” because they claimed to have seen a scary monster rising up from its depths! Sort of like the Loch Ness Monster. But, don’t you worry your fuzzy little head. I will protect you with lots of hugs and giggles! Because, you see, this Manitou Monster is afraid of laughter, and I know for certain we would share lots of belly-busting chuckles together.
Going on a boat ride sounds grand, monsters, laughter, and all! I am a well-traveled bear, so I am up for the adventure 🙂
I would invite Paddington to Grand Camp with our granddaughter. We would take him up to the Shenandoah National Park for hiking and a picnic where our granddaughter would hold his hand so he wouldn’t be afraid to look down over the valley.
What a sweet outing and kind granddaughter! Just the name Shenandoah Valley evokes so much beauty for me. I’d love to hike there!
Paddington will visit two states when he comes to Kentuckiana. First, he will cross the Ohio River from the Louisville side on the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge. Halfway across he must be sure to adjust his hat to uncover his ears so he hears the piped in recording of Handel’s “Water Music.” When he descends to the bottom of the bridge in Jeffersonville, Indiana, he will make a sharp right turn and continue walking a few short blocks to the legendary Schimpffs Confectionery Store. When he enters the store , he will smell the aroma of cinnamon wafting from the store’s candy factory -ahhh! another batch of their famous red-hots is ready for sampling! After crunching that sticky ruby red-hot in his mouth, he can rest his weary paws in a cosy booth in the adjacent soda fountain. A frosty ice cream sundae will hit the spot after his long walk.
My goodness! This all sounds wonderful! I am sure a curious bear like Paddington would love a musical bridge! And also sure he would emerge verrrry sticky from the confectioners and soda fountain 🙂
If Paddington visited us in Ohio, we would take him on a big riverboat tour of the Ohio River and visit some of the Underground Railroad historical spots. And we would probably need to make a snack stop at Holtman’s Donuts too!
Very intriguing, Hannah! Sounds like a splendid outing and possibly a good idea to have the donuts be one of the last stops 🙂
I’m thinking Paddington would
Like to walk 18 at Bandon Dunes with my buddy Hal and me. It will be quite the adventure !
Oh my! Paddington with a golf club would really be an adventure!
I was read the Paddington books when I was little and now I read them to my children. I would let my children pick his adventure but I’m confident they would pick something that involved jumping and bounce houses.
Sounds like a lively time 🙂
If Paddington came to visit us, my Second Grade students and I would take him to visit all the classrooms at our school in Hartford, CT. He might get tired, so of course we would offer him a cot to take a nap in the Pre-K room. He would love to go outside with us to visit the maple trees we are tapping. The maple water is super yummy and sweet!
Napping and tapping 🙂 Sounds like a friend-filled day!
I’ve enjoyed your reviews for a few years now.
My children encountered Paddington here in Central Texas over 10 years ago and we would have taken him on a walk through the wooded ravine in our backyard and had a picnic.
Thanks again for the time you put into your blog. Cheers!
Sounds like a perfectly amiable day and a wonderful back yard 🙂
I would take him to Ebenezer house which is a home for children whose parents have addiction issues. I would sit with those children with Paddington the bear and read his story of hope and dreams and survival!
Such a lovely plan. Paddington is also sure to bring laughter wherever he goes, the best medicine 🙂
I would love to take Paddington on a hike in the mountains of San Diego.
My girls would show Paddington to a lovely dolly tea party with treats they made from their easy bake oven. After their bellies are full, they would take a stroll to their favorite park Butterfly Meadows and Caterpillar Crossing. We would end the day lounging in the sun having a scrumptious picnic filled with of course marmalade sandwiches.
What a treat of a day! I’m sure Paddington would love to assist with the easy bake oven 🙂
I would pack a summer picnic for Paddington and my sons, Easten and Theo!
Summer picnics would definitely be high on Paddington’s wish list. He’s a bear with a good appetite 🙂
I’m sure Paddington would appreciate a quiet early walk morning through the Coffee Creek watershed preserve…and maybe even during the fall with my daughter and I when we pick up the green walnuts and throw them into the water to make a splash.
Oooh, that sounds like an idyllic spot and a completely delightful fall activity 🙂 Just the thing for a small bear.
I would bring Paddington to the Dunes for to see the newest National Park for hiking, biking, kayaking, and snacking! I would of course want him to meet my dog as well, as she is great company.
Those all sound like my kind of activities! My dog mostly likes to sleep and snack, but she does love to ride in the kayak…makes paddling a tad tricky but she’s worth it 🙂
If Paddington came to visit, I would take him for a beach day to the Dunes of Northwest Indiana! I’m sure he would love hiking, swimming, and playing sand volleyball!
I’m sure Paddington would love a beach day as well, and all the sun and fun would give him an even heartier appetite for marmalade sandwiches 🙂 Win-win!
How fun! My kids loved Paddington so they helped me with our answer. If Paddington came to visit Northwest Indiana, we would take him on a hike at the Indiana Dunes National State Park, and picnic at the sunset. Then we would take him home for a bubble bath (because he loved that in the movie) to clean off the sand!
I’m delighted to hear your kids’ ideas! And very curious to learn more about your Dunes Park. A sunset picnic sounds like an amazing outing and the bubble bath, as we know, would be another adventure in itself!
Well…since I am from Northwest Indiana, my family and I would take him to Chicago for a fun filled day of “The Staples” that the City has to offer then back to Chesterton for a beautiful sunset picnic at The Dunes with an amazing view of the City he just spent the day in! Then for a snuggle sleepover with me and my two girls!
Sounds like a smashing time! You will have your work cut out for you, keeping track of Paddington in Chicago 🙂
I would take him to my favorite ice cream shop Valpo Velvet so he could get some delicious orange sherbet or honey topped ice cream to cool off in the Indiana heat!