The one and only Michael Bond is 90 years old today!
All of us here at Alphabet Soup — especially the 50-something resident Paddingtons — are in a full out tizzy of joy. We’ve been rereading the stories, noshing on marmalade sandwiches, sloshing about in our wellies, and ever-so-politely tipping our bush hats to honor the man who gave us our beloved bear from Darkest Peru some 57 years ago.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Rescuing a lone bear from a department store shelf on Christmas Eve says a lot about a man. This small kindhearted gesture would prove to be delightfully fortuitous, spawning a bear chapter book written in just 10 days, 25 more published novels, numerous picture books, board books, an avalanche of Paddington-related toys and other merchandise, several television series, a play, and an award-winning motion picture. Paddington’s likeness has appeared on postage stamps and marmalade jars, and a Paddington balloon was recently introduced in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The furry helpers in the Alphabet Soup kitchen are just counting down the days till the new Paddington movie premieres in the U.S. on Christmas Day, which just happens to be Paddington’s winter birthday (he also celebrates June 25).
Though we’re disappointed Colin Firth decided to leave the project, and that the bear in the first movie trailer didn’t quite feel like the same character from the books, we’re still very pleased that Paddington will likely win over millions of new fans.
HarperCollins is re-releasing some of the Paddington novels and picture books, Michael Bond has written a new novel,Love From Paddington (hitting shelves in December), and there’s the wonderful Paddington Trail with 50 bear statues scattered around London. And what about all the coolio movie tie-in merchandise? Yes, please!
Yes, the 6″ tan teddy bear who frequents this blog turned 26 on Wednesday. Back in September 1988, he winked at me from a booth at the Fall Teddy Bear Show in Timonium, Maryland.
He promised to be good so I brought him home. Mr. Cornelius turned out to be an avid reader and a good baker but has quite the knack for mischief. You may have noticed that he loves to have his picture taken (he’s not happy unless he has at least one blog close-up every week). I must say he keeps me very busy answering all his fan mail. 🙂
Just for Poetry Friday, he selected three favorite poems from Bears∙Bears∙Bears: A Treasury of Stories, Songs and Poems About Bears compiled by Mary Pope Osborne (Parachute Press, 1990). He had fun finding just the right vintage photos to go with them.
And just to make sure you don’t go hungry, he’s whipped up a batch of Lemon-Glazed Tea Cookiesfrom Winnie-the-Pooh’s Cookie Book. Wrap your lips around a few while you enjoy the poems. 🙂
Confession: I am obsessed with have a penchant for dishes.
Oh, you noticed? 😀
I especially love novelty china and porcelain with drawings and words on them. Food simply tastes better on cool plates, in cheeky bowls, and sipped from nifty cups. Beautiful handcut crystal usually leaves me cold. But give me a fetching illustrated ceramic plate and I’m all yours. Yes to color, pattern, detail, and personality!
Several months ago, I was delighted to discover JimboBart, featuring the work of London-based artist/designer James Ward. I saw his “Eats Cake and Leaves” side plate on Liberty of London’s Pinterest board and was immediately hooked.
He mostly likes to draw cheeky animals paired with clever sayings. While Cornelius and I are crazy enamoured with his BEARS, we also covet his badgers, mice, foxes, penguins, and owls.
Seriously, how could you not love an artist who draws a big bear in a bathtub?
I can’t even tell you how excited I was when I first heard about this last week — actually two lovely writer friends sent me a news link within seconds of each other with the same message: OMG! HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?!
And I died because I’ve loved Paddington forever, have read all his books numerous times and own 30+ Paddington stuffed bears and visited Paddington Station and like eating marmalade sandwiches and want a duffle coat and give people hard stares and want to change my last name to Brown and, and . . .
I mean, I was excited enough when I heard P was doing a genuine-for-real movie, but then to learn that of all the actors in the entire world with nice voices it will be COLIN FIRTH saying all of Paddington’s lines! Paddington’s character will be computer generated, but as Colin said, “Paddington will have something of me in his DNA because I’m going to do some sessions wearing one of those helmets with cameras to capture my face muscles, and all that data will somehow be incorporated into Paddington.”
Holey moley, two of my favorite guys morphed into one! Colin Firth face muscles for crying out loud. Too, too much!
One of my friends said, “It’s almost like Colin’s doing this just for you.” SCREAM. Oxygen, I need oxygen! We’ll have to wait till 2015 before the movie comes out. Sigh. And here I thought I couldn’t possibly love Paddington or Colin any more than I already do . . .