More than Marmalade

More than Marmalade
More than Marmalade

More than Marmalade

Michael Bond and the Story of Paddington Bear
By Rosanne Tolin


176 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Formats: PDF, Cloth, EPUB, Mobipocket

Cloth, $18.99 (US $18.99) (CA $25.99)

ISBN 9781641603140

Rights: US & CA

Chicago Review Press (Mar 2020)


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The first biography about the beloved Paddington Bear series' elusive writer
Michael Bond never intended to be a children's writer. Though an avid reader, he was by no means a model student and quit school at 14. He repaired rooftop radio transmitters during the bombing of Britain in World War II and later joined the army. He wrote about the war and more, selling stories here and there.  One day, while searching for inspiration at his typewriter, hoping for a big story that would allow him to write full time, a stuffed bear on top of the shelf—a Christmas present for his wife—suddenly caught his eye. Bond poured his personal feelings about the events of his era—the refugee children his family had hosted in the countryside, a war-torn country in recovery, the bustling immigrant neighborhood where he lived—into the story of a little bear from Peru who tries very, very hard to do things right. The result was A Bear Called Paddington.  An incredible true tale, More than Marmalade: Michael Bond and the Story of Paddington Bear is the first biography about the writer behind the beloved series. Author Rosanne Tolin reveals how world history, Bond's life, and 1950s immigrant culture were embedded into Paddington's creation, bringing middle-grade readers a delightful, informative, and engaging book with a timely message of acceptance.


"Paddington Bear was born of Michael Bond's memory and imagination. At the onset of World War II in England, teenaged Michael was haunted by the plight of war refugees in his village. As a whimsical adult, Bond drew friends and family into the life of an orphaned stuffed bear he had 'rescued' on Christmas Eve. Paddington Bear rescued him right back, but not before giving comfort to young readers around the world. Rosanne Tolin's More than Marmalade captures this story of bravery and creativity, tenacity and generosity." —Corabel Shofner, author of Almost Paradise

"Rosanne Tolin's More than Marmalade reveals the surprising influences behind the iconic bear's irresistible persona. This moving biography of author Michael Bond hits all the right notes, uncovering historical events that shaped Paddington's character in profound ways. I lost my stuffed bear when I was 10 years old, just about the time A Bear Called Paddington was published, and I too hoped my teddy had found a good home. Later, I founded Build-A-Bear Workshop with the hope that children everywhere would be able to know how it feels to hug their own furry friend—one that has a heart inspired by the kindness of a bear with a red coat, a hat, and his BEARY own suitcase. Children and adults alike will delight in Tolin's telling of 'the man behind the bear.'" —Maxine Clark, founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop

"A lovely biography for Paddington lovers."— Booklist

"A very readable and enjoyable book."—School Library Journal

"An account permeated with affection."—Orange Marmalade Books

"Paddington fan or not, you will love this story!"–Blazer Tales blog

"This was just fun to read in the way that The Childhood of Famous Americans books were back in the day…and the glimpses into every day life are fantastic."—Ms. Yingling Reads

"[The] writing is lively and age-appropriate…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." —Seattle Book Review 

Author Biography

 An experienced and well-respected journalist, Rosanne Tolin is the creator and editor of the ALA award–winning children's ezine and website Imagination Café. Tolin is also the former managing editor of Guideposts for Kids magazine and the Guideposts for Kids website. She lives in Chesterton, Indiana.