paddington bear

by Michael Bond / illustrated by R. W. Alley

HarperCollins Publishers, UK and US

“Mr. and Mrs. Brown first met Paddington on a railway platform.” And so begins the now classic first adventure of Paddington Bear from A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond (1958). Mr. and Mrs. Brown had come to London’s Paddington Station to meet Judy, one of their two children who was coming home for school vacation.  But then, amid a confusion of bicycles and luggage piled near the arrival platform, Mr. Brown spotted a bear. The bear politely explained that he was from “Darkest Peru” and had run out of marmalade. Luckily for all concerned, the Browns were just the sort of people to welcome a lost bear to their family.
Paddington Bear Line Drawings
Paddington Bear watercolor
Paddington Bear Line Drawings

My love of drawing in pen and ink and watercolor may have lead to the invitation to illustrate a new line of books beginning in 1997.

From the beginning, there’s always been a bit of variation in my approach to drawing Paddington. For books aimed at younger children, a less line-defined style seemed more fun. For the picture books, it’s always been pen and ink with watercolor. In keeping with tradition, the novels are embellished with looser, pen and ink sketches. In other venues, such as presentation drawings and art created for charities, I’ve expanded a bit on the books’ stylings.

In the course of his many, many books, many artists have drawn Paddington. I have indeed been lucky to be part of that list and to get to know such an interesting bear.

Today, Paddington’s adventures appear in a wide variety of new stories and new compilations of previously published stories. It’s very hard to keep up with it all. There’s only a smattering of the available titles on this page.

I CAN READ! Series

The newest series is a group of six I Can Read! books from Harper in the US. The full line will be available by the end of 2017.

Videos

For the new I CAN READ! Series:

Drawing Paddington at the Nantucket Book Festival:

A good place to keep up with the newest Paddington books is HarperCollins UK Instagram page.

A good place to enter Paddington’s official website is via my illustrator’s page.