HarperCollins Children’s Books is set to release new editions of classic Paddington books, as well as a new collection of stories, to mark 60 years since the iconic bear made it into print.
In June the publisher will publish a new edition of the first picture book, Paddington (h/b, £12.99), as well as the previously announced Paddington at St Paul’s, the last book written by Michael Bond before he died last year.
Then in October, the publisher will release a new edition of the first Paddington book, A Bear Called Paddington, which came out in 1958. It will feature illustrations by the original illustrator, Peggy Fortnum, and will printed in hardback, priced at £20.00. There will also be a new compendium of stories entitled The Complete Adventures of Paddington (h/b, £40.00).
Events planned for the anniversary year include a nationwide Paddington campaign in schools and Paddington parties and storytelling events.
Executive publisher Ann-Janine Murtagh said: “Michael was an absolute genius at creating characters and his unforgettable stories of Paddington Bear have delighted generations of children. Michael Bond’s Paddington Bear stories are marked by the author’s deeply felt values of justice and tolerance, hope and optimism and infused with his infectious humour and joie de vivre. They are as relevant to readers today as they were when he first wrote them nearly sixty years ago. We look forward to the most joyful of literary celebrations across the nation as we mark 60 years of publishing Britain’s most beloved Bear.”
According to HarperCollins, Paddington books have sold over 35 million copies worldwide and his adventures have been translated into 40 different languages. The recent World Book Day title, Paddington Turns Detective and Other Stories, sold more than 31,000 copies through Nielsen BookScan in the UK.