A Bear Called Paddington

By Michael Bond

What Is Family Dinner Book Club?

To help foster every child's love of reading, I will be hosting a family dinner book club each month. Throughout the year, your child will be introduced to a host of different titles, authors, and characters through our read-alouds at school. I try to choose texts that are appropriately leveled for our students and come from a variety of different series.

Students are invited to check out the same book from our school or local libraries and are encouraged to read along at home. Our monthly book club newsletters will include discussion questions to guide your discussions at home, a craft that accompanies the book, and also a menu if you would like to have a "themed dinner" when your child finishes the book.

In previous years, families have found it fun to celebrate the end of the book with the themed dinner and decorate the table with the craft related to the book. Students chose to lead table discussion in a night centered around them and their reading accomplishments. Families then chose to end dinner with the movie!

My hope is that your child will fall in love with a particular book and choose to continue the series or read other titles by the same author. Your family is invited to participate in as much or as little as you are able.

A Bear Called Paddington

Paddington has traveled a great distance from his home in Peru to England where he meets the Brown family. The lovely family invites him into their home where he has many adventures. Paddington sure does find himself in lots of mishaps which cause lots of chuckles for the reader.

Stephen Fry does a nice job with all the character voices in the audio version of this book, this would be great to listen to in the car. You can listen for free with an Audible trial.


Here are six conversation starters to get your dinner book club rolling. Just click on this link (A Bear Called Paddington Conversation Starters) for a one page PDF file that you can print and then cut apart. Use the cards on your chosen dinner night. You, of course, don’t have to use all of them or you may even have some other discussion points that developed while you were reading. These are just meant to be a guide. Happy talking!

  • There was a label around Paddington’s neck when the Browns found him that said, “Please look after this bear. Thank you.” Why do you think he arrived with that message?
  • If Paddington came to stay at your house, what things would you do with him?
  • What words would you use to best describe Paddington?
  • Locate London and Peru on a map. What types of transportation would be needed to travel between the two places?
  • Which mishap of Paddington’s did you enjoy the most?
  • Let’s talk about some of the British-English words in the story- lift(elevator), busby (hat), fairy cakes (small, iced sponge cakes), treacle (a blend of molasses, sugar, and corn syrup), spanner (wrench), sweet-meat (dessert). Let’s see if we can use a few during dinner tonight!

Service Project

Paddington didn’t have much in his suitcase when he traveled from his home in Peru. I was reminded of all the kids in the world who have to leave their homes for many reasons and can’t take any of their belongings with them.

This month, we will be remembering and helping families and children in crisis situations. During the month of November, if your family chooses to participate, our class will be collecting school supplies to send to schools affected by Hurricane Matthew, and non-perishable food items to supplement our local Buddy Backpack program as these families recover from crisis and prepare for the upcoming holiday season. Thank you for your support and for helping our students experience the joy that comes from showing kindness to others.

Table Decorations and Menu

Now, head over to Daisy at Home to get the A Bear Called Paddington menu. Then, check out the table crafts provided by Sunny Day Family.

Where Credit Is Due:

I wish I could take credit for this wonderful idea! Jodie Rodriguez, an early childhood/elementary educator and reading specialist from Growing Book By Book has partnered with her friends to create the Family Dinner Book Club as is posted on her site and on Facebook. I am simply borrowing her ideas and adapting them in a way that meets the needs and interests of our class. Her website is a wealth of ideas for supporting literacy at home, and I strongly encourage you pay it a visit!