More Than Marmalade: Michael Bond and the Story of Paddington Bear
Michael Bond wasn’t much of a student. In fact, he stopped going to school when he was only fourteen. But he wasn’t lazy. He simply wasn’t interested in what was being taught. He was much more fascinated with mechanical things and spent time fixing radio transmitters before joining the army. It was in the army he began writing, and one thing he’d learned from his grandfather was to never give up. Michael began collecting rejection slips, as most writers do, but he kept on. One Christmas, he bought a lonely-looking stuffed bear for his wife, and this became the inspiration for a new book. Michael and his wife named the bear Paddington, and that little bear changed Michael’s life. He built an extremely successful writing career on that character.
Author Roseanne Tolin started her writing career as a journalist, and that training in research and fact-finding is apparent in her work here. Her writing is lively and age-appropriate for middle-graders without talking down to them. Youngsters will find it interesting to see a writer develop through perseverance and dedication to his craft with the help of a healthy imagination. This is an excellent biography.
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