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In this story he has saved up his bun money to take the Brown family to see Santa Claus and at Barkridges, a department store that has seen better days. The sleigh ride through Winter Wonderland experience turns out to be a big disappointment. My favourite bit in the book is this:

‘But Paddington wasn’t listening. He was counting the number of buns it had taken to pay for the outing.’

Paddington may look cute but he’s a funny little gentleman bear. He has a spectacular scowl on his face at this point which made my two laugh for ages – it is the honest scowl of a toddler.

Paddington tries to fix the lights in the display, blows a fuse, enrages the manager and things go very badly. But seeing a bear in the store causes quite the stir and Barkridges invite them back – and this time they all get to meet Santa Claus. And he has an enormous jar of marmalade, thanks to a tip off from clever Mrs Bird.

There has been a stir in the UK recently about a Winter Wonderland experience turning sour – there always seems to be at least one of these stories each Christmas, so it seems very apt. If only every child could be placated with an enormous jar of marmalade.

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