That night we reversed our usual practice, and my wife read to me in bed before we turned off the lights. I following her delivery of Bond's prose, and studied the sketches by illustrator Peggy Fortnum. After a few minutes, my eyes sought out each page, and threatened to consume the text before my wife could deliver it. I had to look away, so I could relax, and let Bond's writing (and my wife's reading) ease my pain.
|Paddington slips and tumbles onto his tea saucer.|
|Paddington leaps into his bath.|
Even though Bond's novel exhibits none of the overall tension the filmmakers infused their story with, I can't wait for my wife to read chapters to me. Like Paddington, I look forward to bundling up into our cozy bed, and listening to more of his adventures. Far from being scared, Bond's story, Fortnum's illustrations, and my wife's readings make me feel just like Paddington after being welcomed into the Brown household: cozy, loved, and secure.
Now, if I can just be patient, and enjoy the story in small, medicinal nightly doses, instead of giving into my desire to grab the book and consume it in one sitting. While doing so might not give me a tummy ache, I want to savor Bond's first novel for as long as possible, and as much as Paddington enjoys his marmalade sandwiches.