Tag Archives: Michael Bond

Whoever had, has been given more

Until some years ago I admit I often felt grumpy when seeing among the books most sold during the year, the names of Jacqueline Wilson and Julia Donaldson. I recognised their greatness and that being ‘names’ and very popular, it made sense that adults bought lots of their books for little readers.

I just wanted there to be a few more children’s authors on the lists. Usually there was someone, but not many.

But at least they were there, alongside Jacky and Julia.

Now I feel grumpy beyond belief when having a quick look at the 2018 list of the 100 bestselling books of the year.

Yes, I am glad that children’s books make up a third of that top list. Although I have to take the Guardian’s word for that, since I was unable to identify all 33. And that’s so wrong. As the Bookwitch, even if I haven’t read them, I ought to know who’s who.

A third of the third – i.e. 11 of the bestselling titles – belong to the well known comedian David Walliams. This is wrong in so many ways. Jeff Kinney is there, but I can allow that. Three Harry Potters, thank goodness, one Julia Donaldson, one Kes Gray. Also one Michael Bond and Wonder by R J Palacio, both of which will be movie-related.

And some more celebrity-penned books, not all of which I actually recognise, despite people’s fame.

It seems both wrong, and unkind, to leave 2018 in a bit of an angry mood, but this is not right. Children deserve better. The world is full of really good books. I hope many of them found their way into children’s hands anyway, despite the big names hogging everyone’s attention.

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Paddington Bond… Bear

It’s not every author who gets to have a memorial service in St Paul’s Cathedral. But I think we can agree that Michael Bond deserved that, can’t we?

I wasn’t invited, but seem to know a few people who were. And I gather there was a – limited – opportunity to obtain a free ticket online, for those in the know. I hope everyone who attended had a good time.

Hugh Bonneville aka the Earl of Grantham aka Mr Brown of Paddington fame, was there, along with his two fictional Brown children.

The Bookwitch family went to see the second Paddington film in the cinema, the evening before. We had a great time, and the rare chance to actually dislike Hugh Grant. That doesn’t happen often.

I loved the scene were the prisoners shared pudding recipes, but suspect that really young viewers might not get the humour about the pannacotta recipe. So, something in there for all.

And isn’t it marvellous how a children’s book can spawn a couple of lovely films for all ages to enjoy?

Another year, another bear

Have I actually read Paddington Bear? Or just selected excerpts? (I do realise you don’t know. I was musing rhetorically.)

Anyway, I have now seen the film about dear, sweet Paddington. And honestly, it was a totally unplanned for bear-y coincidence to be quite so bear-centred around the New Year.

But I am bearing up fine. Thank you for asking.

Paddington

Don’t you just hate it when your head gets stuck in the toilet seat?