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Ceridwen

Ceridwen

You kids get off my lawn. 

A Bear Called Paddington - Michael Bond, Peggy Fortnum I've seen a fair amount of remember when go past my feed in the last week. I'm a fan of remember when, as I have a sentimental soul, so I'm going to join in. Remember when Sarah Montambo had that one review of Paddington that would break your heart? I can't look it up anymore, obviously, but as I recall, she had a shy student whose parents were from Peru, and when she handed this to him, telling him about how Paddington was from Darkest Peru as well, and then he read it, and his shell cracked, just a little, just enough, it was a weep-worthy moment.

I was given this book by sisters from Peru myself. It had been awhile, long enough for my memory to fog, and I exclaimed something about Darkest Argentina. No! They cried, Peru! Darkest Peru, where we are from! So, okay, the phrase Darkest Peru is a little weird, but the story of belonging and finding a home still resonates, even 50 years after the term "Darkest Whatever" might seem like a good idea. Paddington Bear is found in a railway station in Britain by the Brown family. He has a note on his collar, beseeching those who find him to care for him. They do, without more than the most logistical reservations, and bring him home covered in pastries they bought him, and bathe him. He falls asleep in a chair waiting for the story for the night. I had two dolls at my Grandma Dory's that I remember: a Paddington Bear in his blue felt coat, and a Christopher Robin. Sniff. Nostalgia.

My daughter was very worried about Paddington's family. But he doesn't have a family! She kept saying. I think the idea of being left in a train station with a note rings more terrible for people who are five. He does have a family, I said. The Browns are his family. They found each other, and that is as important as blood, maybe more so. Okay, she said, the way kids say okay at things that don't make any sense. But it does make sense, it really does.

So, thanks Sarah Montambo. It was a nice trip down memory lane reading this book to my kiddies. Remember when you had hundreds of brilliant children's book reviews on Goodreads? I do.