Today is Michael Bond's birthday, the author of Paddington Bear. Paddington was my favorite series when I was in second grade. It was also the first series I remember seeking out on my own to read. I wasn't much of a reader as a child. I was a good reader in school, but did little reading in my free time. I much preferred to play with toys and have them act out stories of my own creation. But something about Paddington spoke to my stuffed-animal obsession. I fondly remember checking out many books from the school library, and buying quite a few at the book fair.
On a trip to London a few years ago, I bought the Paddington bear in the photo above and took him around with me in my pocket. Then I snapped this picture of him in front of Paddington Station. There's something about the books you love as a child that influences you throughout your life, which is one of the many reasons that I love what I do. So thank you Michael Bond for sharing your imagination with us all, and have a wonderful birthday!