For me, I do not think there is a character that is as defining to my childhood as Paddington Bear. I can scarcely think of how to describe what Paddington has meant to me and why he is the best anthropomorphic bear, and above all that, a great best friend. I first met Paddington when he graced the pages of A Bear Called Paddington, written in 1958 by British author Michael Bond and illustrated by Peggy Fortnum. Paddington has gone on to star in more than twenty books, two recent movies, and a well-meaning cartoon.
For those who know me, this description is essentially a profile of me; so it is easy to see why I loved and continue to love Paddington Bear so much. Paddington is my mentor, his little nuggets of wisdom about just enjoying life and letting your troubles wash right over you resonated so much with me as a child that I ingratiated them to my psyche. Paddington Bear is the result of a lot of compassion and a big mess; in a real sense, there is no idealizing going on here, just a bear trying his best to survive in another country. Paddington is the every immigrant, his struggles are ours and ours are his. And as far as I am concerned, Paddington and I will always be in this beautiful struggle together.