June 25 is the summer birthday of Paddington Bear. Paddington, the cute little bear is a fictitious character in a series of books for children created by the British author Michael Bond.
1. The home address of the Brown family does not exist. Don't try to find it.
Many tourists who try to locate 32 Windsor Gardens, the address of Paddington's adoptive family, find out to their disappointment that there is no house with such a number in that street. Michael Bond invented that address as a combination of his and his parents' addresses.
2. Had Michael Bond gone Christmas shopping earlier, Paddington Bear would not have been born.On Christmas Eve, 1956, Michael Bond entered a toy store looking for a present for his wife Brenda. On one of the shelves he noticed a small toy bear that had been left all by itself. Feeling sorry for it, Bond bought the bear, took it to his home near Paddington station, and sat down to write a few amusing tales about it just for fun. After ten days he realized that he had a book on his hands, not primarily intended to be specifically for children.
3. Paddington Bear is a spectacled bear.
Bond wanted Paddington to be a bear that had "travelled all the way from darkest Africa", but his agent recommended that he change the original habitat as darkest Africa had no bears. So, Peru was selected, being the natural home of the spectacled bear. Paddington later reveals that his Peruvian name was Pastuso and that he was reluctant to disclose it fearing that no one would be able to pronounce it.
4. Paddington Bear raised a political scandal.Mick Young, Australian Special Minister of State in Bob Hawk's government, was compelled to step resign in 1984 after failing to declare at customs a large Paddington bear and other goods carried by his wife in her luggage. The event became known as the Paddington Bear affair.
5. Google loves Paddington Bear. On October 13, 2008, Google dedicated a doodle to Paddington Bear to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary since the publication of the first book in the Paddington Bear series.
6. The Wellington boot manufacturers could hardly meet the massive demand for boots for Paddington Bear dolls.
The early Paddington Bear dolls were fitted with kiddy boots made by the Dunlop Corporation, in order to ensure that they stood up firmly. However, as demand stretched Dunlop's manufacturing capability to the limit, the doll makers Gabrielle Designs were forced to manufacture the boots by their own means. In the year 1978 the demand for Paddington Bears reached a peak of 87,000 dolls.
7. Up to 2014 twenty four books were published in the Paddington Bear series.
Over thirty five million copies, translated into forty languages, were sold worldwide.
8. Paddington appeared in the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The phenomenon that is often called the "Paddington effect" shows no sign of waning. Paddington Races Ahead was published in April 2012 as a salute to the London Olympic Games that took place in the summer of that year. In the book, Paddington, who repeatedly says that his legs "are a bit short for the pole vault", is mistakenly identified as a Peruvian hurdler by a film crew. Naturally, Paddington actually participated in the opening ceremony parade along the athletic track in the Olympic Stadium.
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