Welcome to my stop on the tour for More Than Marmalade!
Yes this is all about THE Paddington Bear 🥺 who is such a famous worldwide household name, I was really keen to read about how this legendary bear came to be and what inspired the author! (Fun fact: the author is Michael Bond not James Bond and confusing the two really doesn’t help yourself. Not that I would ever. 😌) This is a brief history of both Michael Bond’s life and Paddington’s and it’s simple and sweet (also has lot so history in it!) so perfect for kids to read too.
MORE THAN MARMALADE: Michael Bond and the Story of Paddington Bear by Rosanne Tolin organized is out out! Thanks so much to MTMC Tours for having me.
Michael Bond never intended to be a children’s writer. Though an avid reader, he was by no means a model student and quit school at 14. He repaired rooftop radio transmitters during the bombing of Britain in World War II and later joined the army. He wrote about the war and more, selling stories here and there.
One day, while searching for inspiration at his typewriter, hoping for a big story that would allow him to write full time, a stuffed bear on top of the shelf—a Christmas present for his wife—suddenly caught his eye. Bond poured his personal feelings about the events of his era—the refugee children his family had hosted in the countryside, a war-torn country in recovery, the bustling immigrant neighborhood where he lived—into the story of a little bear from Peru who tries very, very hard to do things right. The result was A Bear Called Paddington.
An incredible true tale, More than Marmalade: Michael Bond and the Story of Paddington Bear is the first biography about the writer behind the beloved series. Author Rosanne Tolin reveals how world history, Bond’s life, and 1950s immigrant culture were embedded into Paddington’s creation, bringing middle-grade readers a delightful, informative, and engaging book with a timely message of acceptance.
About Rosanne Tolin
Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, Rosanne Tolin is a wife, mother of four, avid runner and author. While studying law abroad in London, she subsisted mainly on a diet of tea and toast, and frequented Paddington Station. An experienced and well-respected journalist, she has focused her work primarily on children’s publications. She was the former creator and editor of an ALA notable children’s website, managing editor of Guideposts for Kids magazine, and a Hoosier State Press Award-winning features writer. When not writing, she can be found hiking with her dogs in the Indiana Dunes. MORE THAN MARMALADE is her book debut.
The story of Paddington Bear first came into existence in 1956 when Michael Bond bought a lonely small stuffed bear from a toy store.
I love reading Origin Stories, especially for authors and famous books. Paddington is such an iconic little bear, I don’t even remember learning about Paddington — he just always WAS. I remember reading one or two of the books growing up and that we had one of the toy Paddingtons (in his little boots and hat and everything!), but reading this biography does make me want to go search out the originals again. Especially knowing Michael Bond wrote over 150 of these adventures. Like that’s a LOT. He saw his bear was so loved, and helped so many children (and adults) that he couldn’t abandon it. He was writing Paddington literally right up until he passed about in 2017, at 91 years old.
When Michael Bond was about 13, his family took in some German-Jewish refugee boys. More Than Marmalade talks about how that totally stuck out in Michael’s memory for the rest fo his life: how children would just be put on trains and sent to whoever would take them, and usually they’d have a tag pinned to their clothes with their name/ages etc. Sound familiar? Like a small bear with a tag pinned to him, wandering around Paddington station, that read:Please Look After This Bear. Thank you.
The story is inspired by both children needing the comfort of a friend, refugees, and the kindness of strangers.
I loved all the facts in this book!
I am a bit of a fact-fiend, so this was just so interesting. My favourite parts were learning about Michael himself, especially his workaholic tendencies (as an author I, um, relate…) and the sheer amount of rejections he got just trying to make it as an author! He starting writing about Paddington basically on accident too. It’s also just encouraging knowing even the most famous world-changing authors struggled to start too.
Definitely pick up More Than Marmalade if you’re looking for a lovely-written book about the life of Michael Bond and how Paddington came to be! It’s definitely great for younger audiences and easy to read!
Enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win one of 2 hardcover copies of More than Marmalade! And stop on by all the other creative tour stops for more amazing content & extra chances to win.
Descendant of Poseidon Reads
Shannon A. Jade Books
A Beauty and Her Books
The Caffeinated Reader
Indie Asian Reads
tell me the children classics you grew up with?! did you ever read any Paddington stories? 👀