Michael Bond is still sadly missed since he died in June, but he left us a present – one last adventure for Paddington Bear.
Paddington at St Paul’s, the author’s last book, will be released next year on the anniversary of his death.
The book sees Bond’s beloved creation mistaken for a choirboy during a visit to the famous London landmark.
The news coincides with the release of the Paddington 2 film and a few days before Bond’s memorial at St Paul’s.
According to Karen Jankel, the late author’s daughter, Bond finished his final Paddington story just before he died.
He was inspired to write it after becoming involved in the National Service of Thanksgiving to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday last year.
An essay by Bond, Reflection on the Passing of the Years, was read by Sir David Attenborough at the service in St Paul’s.
The cathedral also makes an appearance in Paddington 2, in a scene featuring Hugh Grant’s character disguised as a nun.
“There will be many people who will be delighted to learn there is another Paddington book to look forward to,” said Jankel.
“Our family feel immensely proud that we will be honouring his life at St Paul’s, and the fact that this is the setting for his final story makes it very special indeed.”
Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme earlier, she said Paddington at St Paul’s was likely to be the final Paddington book.
“My father had the magic touch and I don’t think he wanted anybody to continue writing the stories after he died.”
Ann-Janine Murtagh, from HarperCollins Children’s Books, called the book a “classic Paddington story” and said it was a “parting gift” to its author’s fans.
Its illustrations will be drawn by American artist R W (“Bob”) Alley, who has been illustrating Bond’s Paddington books since the 1990s.
The publication of Paddington at St Paul’s will also coincide with the 60th anniversary of A Bear Called Paddington, Bond’s first Paddington book.