Paddington Bear Writer Awarded CBE for Services to Children’s Literature

Paddington Bear Writer Awarded CBE for Services to Children’s Literature

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  • Michael Bond, 89, said he may take much-loved character to the ceremony
  • The author was also given an OBE in 1997 for his creation Paddington Bear
  • Big screen success introduced the bear to a new generation of children

Paddington Bear may be getting a trip to Buckingham Palace to see his creator collect his CBE.

Michael Bond, 89, joked he may take the much-loved children’s character along, provided the bear does not try to sneak in a marmalade sandwich under his hat.

13068686000005DC-0-image-a-16_1434145055249Mr Bond, who has been awarded a CBE for services to children’s literature to add to the OBE he received in July 1997, said: ‘I think it (the award) will be good for children’s books as a whole. I am delighted but I do think that my pleasure is mostly directed at Paddington getting it because he is a very real person to me.’

Recent big screen success has introduced the clumsy but impeccably polite bear to a new generation of children. Paddington hails from ‘darkest Peru’, loves marmalade sandwiches and is adopted by the Brown family.

Mr Bond’s first book, A Bear Called Paddington, was published in 1958. The Paddington books have sold over 35 million copies worldwide and been translated into over 30 languages.

Mr Bond said: ‘I got the OBE some years ago. I took him to the palace and read the notice I had from the palace about what you can and can’t do. Then I saw it said that no food must be taken in and I realised he probably had a marmalade sandwich under his hat – that was quite a worry.

‘To me he is very real and sometimes he makes me laugh when I am writing him. He is so accident-prone but I admire his confidence.’

He said he will ‘probably’ take Paddington to the palace, saying: ‘Yes, if I am allowed to because the time before people wanted a photograph of him.

‘I think the award is more for the Paddington books than anything else (I have done).’

Mr Bond was born in Newbury, Berkshire, and educated at Presentation College, Reading. He served in both the Royal Air Force and the Middlesex Regiment of the British Army during the Second World War. He began writing in 1945 when he was in the Army.

234EB07400000578-0-image-a-17_1434145075720The dream of becoming a writer was born after he was paid seven guineas when his first short story was sold to a magazine called London Opinion.

With a mass of short stories and radio plays under his belt, his agent suggested that he could consider writing for children.

Mr Bond turned a television play into a children’s play and eventually the married father-of- two from Maida Vale, London, crafted a career as a successful children’s writer.

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