More in the Series – Paddington
“More in the Series” scores the other books in a series where one (or more) of the books have made it into the 1001 Books list. Mostly because I’m a bit of a completionist.
POINTS: 2 out of 10.
Bechdel: 0 points
Variety of characters: 0 points
Good story: 1 point
Discretionary ideological points: 1 point
I have a real weakness for the Paddington books, because I read them as a child, and have clear memories of that experience, which I think colours my interactions with them now.
This book passes almost no metrics. There is no metric pass – while there are three regular female characters with names – Judy, Mrs Brown, and Mrs Bird – the only conversations they ever seem to have are about Paddington, so it can’t pass that.
Also, every person they encounter appears to be a very white, very British human. There is no evidence of any diversity at all. Paddington comes from Peru, but you wouldn’t think so, since his language and behaviour is totally British.
C was underwhelmed. It took us a long time to get through this one, because, with the exception of a few of the livelier incidents, he mostly found it kind of boring. I think, honestly, that the books are perhaps a bit dated now, and maybe a modern Kiwi kid just simply doesn’t have enough in common with the dated British lifestyle the book denotes. As a result a lot of the humour that relies on grasping that Paddington’s behaviour isn’t quite the thing goes right over his head.
Me though? I still love them. I still think they’re pretty charming stories, and am still quite tickled by the ridiculous things he gets up to. So I guess this is one of those taste things. They are definitely EXTREMELY British, and as such fail on nearly every metric we have here. Though Paddington is a good hearted bear, who is genuinely kind and tries to do the right thing, and there is a lot to be said for that.
Mixed review really.