“A Bear Called Paddington didn’t begin life as a book. The opening paragraph was simply an early-morning doodle brought on by the certain knowledge that if I didn’t put something down on the blank sheet of paper in my typewriter, nobody else would. However, it caught my fancy, so I wrote a second paragraph, then a third, until by the end of the day I had completed a whole story.
The source of my inspiration was a toy bear sitting on the mantelpiece of our one-room flat near London’s Portobello Market. I had bought it in desperation the previous Christmas Eve as a stocking filler for my wife, and we called him Paddington because I had always liked the sound of it, and names are important, particularly if you are a bear and don’t have very much else in the world. “
It’s so fascinating to hear when and how inspiration strikes different writers. Sometimes it’s so elusive, and sometimes it’s right under your nose. Our current read-aloud: A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond and pictures by Peggy Fortnum.