A Bear Called Paddington

Common Sense Media says

Delightful classic about a bear adopted by a London family.





What parents need to know

Educational value

Shows kids a bit about life in London, talks bout Peru, where Paddington came from.

Positive messages

Keep calm and carry on. Be polite. Use your wits to get out of tough situations.

Positive role models

Nearly everyone in this book is kind, tolerant, and generous. Through no fault of his own, things are always happening to Paddington. But no matter how big the disaster, Paddington always comes out on top. Paddington and his adoptive London family display the classic British virtues of kindness, tolerance, and unflappability .

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that A Bear Called Paddington is a wonderful story about the adventures and mishaps of a polite bear found abandoned at a London train and taken in by a British family. This beloved classic, originally published in 1958, comes out of an earlier tradition in children's literature in which stories were gently humorous and comforting. The oversized 50th anniversary edition, published in 2008, includes the original illustrations, now in color, and a few that were left out of the original edition.

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Kids say

What's the story?

The Browns find a small bear sitting on his suitcase in Paddington station in London with a tag that says, \"Please look after this bear.\" He has emigrated from \"darkest Peru\" after his Aunt Lucy went into \"a home for retired bears.\" So they take him home, name him after the station where they found him, and he quickly becomes one of the family. But, through no fault of his own, things are always happening to Paddington -- he's \"that sort of bear.\" But no matter how big the disaster, Paddington always comes out on top.

Is it any good?


This oversized 50th anniversary edition, which includes the original illustrations, now in color, and a few that were left out of the original edition, is a lovely way to introduce a new generation to one of the classic children's book series of the 20th century. This is a book from an earlier time, when the humor was gentle and not fixated on bodily functions, when the classic British virtues of kindness, tolerance, and unflappability were assumed without fanfare, and when books for children were expected to entertain and comfort, not introduce them to the seamier side of reality.

Michael Bond is not A. A. Milne, winking at the adults in the room while he tells his stories to the children. These stories don't have different levels that appeal to different audiences -- they have just the one, which appeals to everyone. They are perfect both for young readers making the move into chapter books, and for snuggling up in bed with an adult to read to them out loud while you drift off to sleep -- there's nothing here to disturb young dreams, and much in both text and simple pictures to make both reader and listener grin and giggle. In our hurried, violent world, during the headlong rush to grow up, these stories can carve out a little space for a child just to experience unalloyed pleasure.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how books for children have changed in the last half century. How does this book seem different from other, more modern books you read? Why do you think they have changed? Which type of book do you like better, and why? Why has this book lasted for so long?

Book details

Author:Michael Bond
Illustrator:Peggy Fortnum
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Brothers and sisters, Friendship, Misfits and underdogs, Trains, Wild animals
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Houghton Mifflin Children's Books
Publication date:March 29, 1958
Number of pages:142
Publisher's recommended age(s):8 - 12
Read aloud:7
Read alone:8

This review of A Bear Called Paddington was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 11 years old December 29, 2010

perfect than u thought

the best book ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hands off to u micheal bonds!!!!!!!!!! excellent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! from - rasheeda nasreen sri lanka
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Great messages
Kid, 7 years old November 12, 2008

I havent read it yet

I havent read it yet


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