More Than Marmalade: Michael Bond and the Story of Paddington Bear
Author Michael Bond’s beloved storybook icon was inspired by refugee children escaping war.
Michael Bond always felt lucky to grow up in a home full of books. He was also fortunate to have been part of a family loving enough to take in two boys who fled from danger at the outbreak of World War II.
Bond’s response to the plight of refugees and his compassion for immigrants shaped his outlook. They also shaped the manuscript he dashed off in only ten days!
The story he hadn’t much intended to write, A Bear Called Paddington, was about a little bear who tried very hard to do things right. Just like the immigrants and refugees Bond saw all around him, Paddington had to build a new home in a strange place. The character touched readers worldwide and, after a dark couple of years when Bond slid into depression, saved the author who had created him.
SWEET reviews for MORE THAN MARMALADE
Sounding a timely note, (Tolin) also weaves in as a recurrent theme experiences with and lifelong sympathies for immigrants—from Jewish Kindertransport refugees and children evacuated from London during the Blitz to later contacts with Afro-Caribbean and West Indian arrivals in London—that informed (Bond’s) most famous creation’s character and overseas origins.
A very readable and enjoyable book…this title will delight Paddington fans and appeal to readers who enjoy nonfiction works like the “Who Was?” series.
–School Library Journal
In this first-ever biography of the beloved children’s author, Tolin gives devoted fans a look into Bond’s life and how he stumbled upon the bear that changed him…. Her intimate writing style makes readers feel she is talking directly to them.