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Paddington’s Finest Hour by Michael Bond. Book Review

June 3, 2017

Paddingtons finest hour

In Paddington’s Finest Hour, Paddington is brought up to date and yet remains wonderfully old fashioned in the telling of his adventures. Readers of Paddington know just what to expect and Michael Bond delivers all the usual hilarious catalogue of misunderstandings through Paddington taking things literally and considering his encounters with his unique form of logic.

Mr Curry is very much in evidence and as always is up to no good at Paddington’s expense. Yet Paddington never feels ill will towards him no matter how badly Mr Curry uses him to his own ends. But satisfaction is assured because the expectation of readers seeing Mr Curry eventually get his comeuppance is always delivered, in a way that means Mr Curry’s misdeeds come back to haunt him.

The stories may appear simple but have all the structure of much more sophisticated writing. There is a whodunit, involving plant theft, which gives its young readers an opportunity to work out who perpetrated the crime. Some of the stories might have conclusions but are also part of an ongoing saga.

The beauty of Paddington is his innocence and naivety which never changes no matter how much exposure he has to the demands of the modern world. That he has also managed to acquire such wonderful friends and charm (or bewilder) so many people is also part of the appeal of the Paddington stories.

The Paddington film proved very popular with the grown-ups who have matured with the bear and the new generations of readers. The film very neatly captured the whole ethos of the Paddington stories, so this new book will provide an excellent opportunity for young readers to be encouraged to delve into some great storytelling.

Paddington’s Finest Hour was courtesy of Harper Collins Children’s Books via NetGalley.

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