REVIEW: Paddington At Work

I love Paddington Bear. How can anyone fail to love Paddington Bear? It is one of the classic series of books for children. Michael Bond

I don’t think I read the whole series as a child, in fact I definitely don’t remember this one.

I started looking for them a few months ago now and I have three or four. For once, I started my reunion with Paddington with the first book – A Bear Called Paddington.

Paddington at Work is the seventh book in the original series and was first published in 1966. My copy is a 50 Year anniversary edition, published in 2008 on the anniversary of the publication of the first book. It still has Peggy Fortnum’s original illustrations though.

When I read these as a kid I had a certain affinity with Paddington. He had some very good ideas and the best of intentions but things never really went to plan. Trouble followed him like a shadow… very much like it did me.

Even nearly 60 years after Paddington At Work was first published it stands the test of time. I suppose that’s what makes a classic book. Hard to believe that Bond wrote it in 10 days!

This book opens with Paddington returning from Darkest Peru where he has been to visit his aunt. The Browns meet him on board the ship for the last leg of the journey and Paddington wins a lot of money by accidentally delaying the ship reaching port and thereby winning the sweepstake.

He is going to be sensible and put the money in the bank when he is offered a share option and exchanges all his cash for it. Unfortunately he has been conned and he sets about trying to earn some money to buy the presents he wanted to get for the family.

His misadventures include him working in a barbershop (and an unfortunate incident with a toupee), ballet dancing and accidentally knocking a huge hole in the side wall of Mr Curry’s kitchen.

It’s fun, it’s chaotic, everything turns out alright in the end and there are plenty of marmalade sandwiches to go round.

At whatever age you read Paddington books, they remain joyous.

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