I was tickled when I saw this on Google this morning. Today is the 50th birthday of Paddington Bear, or more accurately the 50th anniversary of the first publication of a Paddington Bear book. “A Bear Called Paddington” and the lot were written by Michael Bond with illustration by Peggy Fortnum. Today, 35 million copies of the Paddington Bear books have been sold.
I loved Paddington Bear as a child, but my love was immense enough to be shared with several other bears of Britain. I never really thought about it until today, that they were all originally written and published in England, but so be it.
This is what I remember Winnie-the-Pooh looking like when I was a kid. I had a little set of the books illustrated by E. H. Shepard and written by A. A. Milne. My mom is still obsessed with him.
And then there’s this fella, Rupert. I don’t know that he ever caught on much here in The States, but he’s been around in England since 1920. It was started as a serial comic in the Daily Express. Since 1936, there has also been an annual published. There were a few of these around the house when I was growing up, and I still have one from 1983. My grandmother brought them back for us from England when she would go home.
So, my childhood was just overflowing with books about bears from England, and I don’t think I can pick a favorite.