LONDON (AFP) — The first new Paddington Bear adventure in three decades went on sale on Monday to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the little bear from Darkest Peru.
The latest instalment, entitled "Paddington: Here and Now" was released half a century after the character's very first adventure which saw him arriving in London from his native Peru after an earthquake.
Published in 1958, "A Bear Called Paddington" charted the discovery of a mysterious little bear who was found at London's Paddington Station by the Brown family.
Wearing a duffel coat, Wellington boots and a floppy hat, Paddington Bear was carrying only a battered suitcase containing an almost empty jar of marmalade, and had a label around his neck reading: 'Please look after this bear, thank you'.
He was adopted by the Brown family who took him to live at their home in 32 Windsor Gardens.
The latest adventure sees a surprise visitor arriving in Windsor Gardens, someone who disturbs the normal peace and quiet and forces the immigrant bear to consider where his 'home' really is.
Author Michael Bond wrote 11 books charting the adventures of Paddington between 1958 and 1979.
They have been translated into more than 40 languages and turned into a hugely-popular BBC television series.
"One of the very nice things about chronicling Paddington's adventures is that although the world has changed considerably over the past 30 years, he remains exactly the same -- eternally optimistic and ever open to what life has to offer," the author said.
"It makes writing the stories a pleasure."
Sue Buswell, publishing director for picture books at HarperCollins Children's Books, said Paddington Bear was "a national treasure".
"The mystery that has remained all these years around his origins is, in some part, explained in this most moving, hilarious and wonderful new novel. It has been well worth the wait," she said in a statement.
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