Michael Bond, the author who created beloved children’s book character Paddington Bear, died at age 91 on Tuesday, June 27. Bond’s publisher, HarperCollins, announced the sad news on its Facebook page the next day.
“It is with great sadness that we announce that Michael Bond, CBE, the creator of one of Britain’s best-loved children’s characters, Paddington, died at home yesterday aged 91 following a short illness,” they said.
A Bear Called Paddington, the first book in Bond’s hit series about a brown bear with a suitcase found in a London train station after arriving from Peru, was published in 1958.
Fans of the popular Paddington and his creator paid their respects on social media.
"In London everyone is different, and that means anyone can fit in" -Paddington Bear. RIP Michael Bond, and thank you ?? pic.twitter.com/t87pnX4Z2h
— Leah Kreitzman (@lkreitzman) June 28, 2017
“Paddington Bear is a brilliant story about an immigrant trying to find a new home in a strange country. RIP Michael Bond you fantastic human,” one user wrote.
Another fan said they’d eat a marmalade sandwich, Paddington’s favorite food, in honor of Bond. “Marmalade sandwiches for me this lunchtime. It’s what Paddington would have wanted. #MichaelBond,” they wrote.
One fan Tweeted a line that encouraged inclusiveness.
Ann-Janine Murtagh, executive publisher at HarperCollins Children’s Books, said on the company’s Facebook page: “I feel privileged to have been Michael Bond’s publisher – he was a true gentleman, a bon viveur, the most entertaining company and the most enchanting of writers. He will be forever remembered for his creation of the iconic Paddington, with his duffle coat and wellington boots, which touched my own heart as a child and will live on in the hearts of future generations.”
Tales of Paddington’s adventures have sold more than 35 million copies worldwide and inspired two movies. The author’s latest Paddington novel, Paddington’s Finest Hour, was published in April 2017 by HarperCollins.
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