10 Things You Didn't Know About Michael Bond

The beloved and much-missed author of the bestselling Paddington Bear books sold over 35 million copies of these treasured tales around the world, as well as many other stories for children and adults. Find out more about Michael Bond below.

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1. He was born Thomas Michael Bond on 13 January 1926 in Newbury, Berkshire.

He was an only child and the son of a post office manager. He had an unhappy time at school and left at the age of 14.

2. As a boy growing up in Reading, Berkshire, Michael loved to visit Reading Station to watch the Cornish Riviera Express go steaming by. This would inspire his love of trains.

Some of his visits were rather more poignant, however, as he watched evacuees flood in by train during World War II. The evacuees wore labels around their necks which read 'thank you'. This would be the inspiration for the label Paddington wears around his neck when he first arrives at Paddington Station.

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3. After leaving school, Bond worked for the BBC, and in 1943, at the age of 17, he signed up for the RAF.

He served in the RAF and the British Army during World War II.

4. It was in 1958, when Michael was working as a BBC cameraman, that he wrote the charming tale, A Bear Called Paddington.

In an interview for The Telegraph in 2016, he said he could have pasted his room with rejection slips. Thankfully, he never gave up, and as a result, we've been fortunate enough to enjoy his wonderful stories.

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5. He'd been gradually building up the inspiration to write the Paddington Bear books, but the final spark came almost 60 years ago, when Michael was looking for a Christmas gift for his wife in Selfridges.

He saw a forlorn-looking teddy bear, sitting alone on a shelf. He felt rather sorry for it and was inspired to write a book about a stranded little bear who finds a new family.

6. Beginning in 1958, Michael wrote more than 150 Paddington Bear tales. They've been translated into more than 40 languages.

The marmalade-loving bear has proved hugely popular around the globe.

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7. The success of the series led to the release of a feature-length film, Paddington, in 2014.

The delightful and popular film stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Bonneville.

8. Michael also wrote a number of children's books about the mischievous little guinea pig, Olga da Polga, and a series of adult cosy crime books about the food-loving detective, Monsieur Pamplemousse, and his sniffer dog, Pommes Frites.

The Olga da Polga books were inspired by Michael's particular affection for guinea pigs, and the main character was named after his own beloved pet guinea pig. In 2014, he was onto his sixth real Olga!

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9. Michael Bond was awarded an OBE in 1997 and a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2015.

He was awarded the honours for his services to children's literature.

10. Michael was married and had two children and four grandchildren.

He lived in London near Paddington Station, the place that inspired many of his stories. He passed away at his home on 27 June 2017, aged 91, after a short illness.

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  • ADEIR 3 years +
    3 years +
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    Paddington Bear has been delighting adults and children alike with his earnest good intentions and humorous misadventures for over fifty years. Now four of the best-loved classic London picture books are brought together in one volume. Paddington Bear had travelled all the way from Darkest Peru when the Brown family first met him on Paddington station. Since then their lives have never been quite the same! for ordinary things become quite extraordinary when a bear called Paddington is around. This fun-filled treasury brings together four of Paddington hilarious London-based picture book adventures for the first time. Paddington at the Zoo Paddington at the Palace Paddington and the Marmalaze Maze Paddngton and the Grand Tour
  • CPD2 4 years +
    4 years +
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    In Michael Bond's A Bear Called Paddington, Mr and Mrs Brown stumble across a small, polite bear in Paddington Station with a label around his neck which reads, "Please look after this bear. Thank you." It's the start of lots of hilarious stories in which Paddington Bear encounters all kinds of adventures, leaving his inimitable sticky imprint wherever he goes. The ultimate in funny and endearing classic chapter books to read with children aged five and older!

    This children's book has been hand-picked for you by Red House.
  • ACFWL 3 years +
    3 years +
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    "Bears like Paddington are very rare," says Mrs Bird, "and a good thing too, or it would cost us a small fortune in marmalade." Stephen Fry returns to tell us the continuing saga of Paddington and the Browns. The Brown Family first met Paddington on a railway station -- Paddington station, in fact -- and now he is just another member of their family, if not a slightly unusual one. But, it's a good thing for lots of reasons that bears like Paddington are rare. As he says himself, "Things happen to me -- I'm that sort of bear." With his attempts at home decorating, detective work and photography, the Brown family soon find that Paddington causes his own particular brand of chaos.
  • ABHHT 3 years +
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    Paddington Bear has been delighting adults and children alike with his earnest good intentions and humorous misadventures for over fifty years.

    To celebrate his enduring popularity, six of his best-loved stories are brought together in one lavish audiobook volume, truly to be treasured.

    This sumptuous CD treasury brings together six of the Paddington's most popular stories: Paddington, Paddington at the Zoo, Paddington at the Palace, Paddington in the Garden, Paddington and the Marmalade Maze and Paddington the Artist.
  • Monsieur Pamplemousse Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9780749017934 - Michael Bond
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    • Just £1.66 per book
    Famous for being the creator of Paddington Bear, Michael Bond is also a very talented author of adult fiction. His Monsieur Pamplemousse stories - part-quirky detective drama, part-cosy crime with a hint of Wodehouse - are sure to keep you delightfully entertained.

    Monsieur Pamplemousse and his beloved sniffer dog Pommes Frites have to untangle a number of unlikely cases throughout the three books included in our collection. The Militant Midwives finds a coffin exploding during a funeral ceremony... Scarcely escaping with his life intact, Pamplemousse can't help wondering who was behind the explosion - and if the culprit was also responsible for the demise of the coffin's inhabitant...

    In The French Solution, Pamplemousse gets an urgent summons from the director of Le Guide and knows this can only mean there is trouble at the top - someone has been spreading rumours to smear Le Guide's credibility as France's premier restaurant and hotel guide. The Carbon Footprint sees Monsieur Pamplemousse writing a play to try and boost Le Guide's standing in the States...
  • ALKOA 3 years +
    3 years +
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    Enjoy eight delightful Paddington story books in this special gift edition suitcase. Children's favourite, Paddington Bear is a distinguished small bear of earnest good intentions who gets drawn into mishap and adventure at every turn. Thankfully his great sense of logic and determination manage to get him out of most scrapes, albeit in perhaps some rather unconventional ways. Find out what happens when Paddington gets all the wrong kind of attention at the zoo, how he skyrockets on a funfair ride and how he 'helps out' around the house...with messy results! The Paddington books contained in the suitcase are: Paddington and the Busy Day Paddington and the Marmalade Maze Paddington and the Tutti Frutti Rainbow Paddington at the Fair Paddington at the Palace Paddington at the Zoo Paddington Minds the House Paddington the Artist
  • Paddington Fiction Collection - 13 Books - Collection - 9780007943609 - Michael Bond
    PTON 7 years +
    7 years +
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    • Just 92.00p per book
    Michael Bond's lovable, marmalade-loving bear has a huge fan base among young readers and their parents - and with the Paddington film having introduced the polite Peruvian bear to an entire new generation, there has never been a better time to relive the classic adventures of Paddington!

    Having travelled all the way from deepest, darkest Peru, Paddington is rescued by the kindly Brown family, who quickly discover that the charming little bear is a little bit of a trouble-magnet! Paddington's antics are guaranteed to get children aged 7 and over chuckling!

    Complete with Peggy Fortnum's original Paddington illustrations, this 13-book collection is essential reading for any little one who loved the film and wants to find out where the story came from - or for adults who wish to reacquaint themselves with Paddington's original adventures.
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    5 years +
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    Olga da Polga has left the pet shop to start a new life with her owners. Her home is now a large and airy hutch and it's not long before she meets Noel the cat, Fangio the hedgehog, and Graham the tortoise. Her garden companions soon discover that Olga loves an audience and from the moment she arrives she tells them stories about her wild and exciting adventures. Although they are not always sure whether to believe everything Olga says, one thing is certain - since Olga moved in, life is never dull! Whether she's Olga the explorer, Olga the prizewinner, or Olga the storyteller, she is always Olga da Polga! Written by the beloved Michael Bond, with wonderful illustrations by Catherine Rayner, this is a gift edition for young readers to treasure.
  • Paddington Little Library - Collection - 9780008195809 - Michael Bond
    PDO2 3 years +
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    • Just 75.00p per book
    This is a little library full of four Paddington stories for any fan of the marmalade-loving bear.

    The little board books follow Paddington as he travels all the way from Peru to London to meet the Brown family and go on all sorts of fun adventures.

    The size and format of these little books make them ideal for younger Paddington fans.