Michael Bond, beloved author of this beloved series, died today. Let's take a moment to remember what he has contributed to the world of children's literature.
Who is your favorite classic bear character from childhood? There are so many good ones to mention: Winnie the Pooh, Yogi Bear, Little Bear. Later this week we are going to share our favorite list of classic bear books. Today we take a closer look at one of our favorite classic bears - Paddington Bear! Paddington Bear is beloved in his native Great Britain, so let's have a tea party!
The origin story of Paddington Bear goes like this:
One day, the Brown family arrived at Paddington train station and found a cute bear who had traveled all the way from Peru to London. Around the bear's neck is a tag around his instructing them to take care of him.There are over seventy books featuring this cute little bear in the blue coat and red wellie boots, so there is bound to be a story for every kid and adult to love. I recently bought this collection of Paddington Bear stories. In The Paddington Bear Treasury, read as Paddington meets his family, goes to the zoo, visits the Queen at the Palace, and eats lots and lots of marmalade.
We need munchies for our Paddington Bear tea party, and nothing is more British than mini Victoria's Sponge! Victoria's Sponge is a classic English recipe consisting of jammy fruit preserves sandwiched between two layers of cake.
I made mine the cheater's way. (Don't judge!) Life gets busy, and not every day is cake from scratch day. If you have a vanilla cake recipe you love, please insert that recipe here. For my mini sponges, I used a yellow cake mix.
Instead of baking my cake in a pan, I used a muffing tin to make them "mini". I have these adorable silicone muffin wrappers from a certain large Swedish home store and using them gave my mini cakes fluted sides which I love.
After the mini cakes cooled, I cut the muffin tops off and spooned strawberry preserves on one cake before adding another cake on top. They taste great with a little freshly brewed English breakfast tea!
The author of one of the most successful and beloved book series, Michael Bond, didn't start out wanting to be an author. He was working as a cameraman for the BBC. One Christmas eve night, he went into a store looking for a gift for his wife (last minute, much?). He found one lonely stuffed bear all alone on a shelf. He felt sorry for the bear being alone on Christmas eve, so he brought him home for his wife. Ten days later, Bond had written his first story about a bear found in Paddington Station. He chose Paddington Station because he lived around the corner from it. And the rest is history! 80 titles, 30 million copies, 40 languages. Isn't that amazing?