HarperCollins Children’s Books will next year publish a further new Paddington Bear story by Michael Bond.
Paddington’s Finest Hour, due for publication in hardback in April 2017, will show the eponymous bear undertaking a new series of adventures, including starring in a cookery TV show and clashing with a stage hypnotist.
It follows Love From Paddington, a collection of letters "from" Paddington published by HCCB in November last year.
Kate Hayler, publishing director at HarperCollins Children’s Books, acquired world English language, digital and audio rights for the book from Hilary Delamere at The Agency, and will simultaneously with HarperCollins US.
The book will feature interior illustrations by R W Alley, who has illustrated the Paddington Bear books since 1997.
HCCB executive publisher Ann-Janine Murtagh said: “It is a pleasure and a privilege to be publishing a new Paddington novel by Michael. HarperCollins Children’s Books is Paddington’s home and he is dearly loved by all of us here. It was a delightful surprise when Michael delivered this wonderful new book and it is always a joy to bring new Paddington adventures to fans young and old.”
The book will be published just before the release of the second Paddington film from StudioCanal, which is scheduled for autumn 2017.
Michael Bond, born in 1926, published the first Paddington book, A Bear Called Paddington, in 1958 and his books have never been out of print. According to HarperCollins, the Paddington Bear books have sold over 35 million copies worldwide and have been translated into over 30 different languages.
Bond was awarded the OBE in 1997.