There was once a bear called Paddington, and there was once a young reader called Emma. And the two were inseparable.
And now, in MPH Books, in Raffles City, Singapore, I'm thrilled to find my own book cosying up to this inimitable bear from darkest Peru.
The bear called Paddington always wore a hat that hid a marmalade sandwich, just in case of emergencies. It took no time to fall in love with the characters in these stories. And it made me start eating marmalade - that scrumptiously bitter-sweet jam without which toast is really not worth eating!
Thankfully, Petunia in my book does not hide anything under her tiara, or it might spoil it! Freddy, on the other hand, does keep a gobstopper sweet in his ear. But for dragons it's very important - it keeps their scales shiny and their eyes bright. You can see them clearly in Charlotte Micklewright's drawings.
I'm now the proud owner of a beautiful Princess Petunia dress, tiara and a set of ears for Freddy. I'll be using these for school visits and readings. Or for anyone who just fancies getting all dressed up.
Here's my young friend, Kitty, wearing the costume for Princess Petunia. Great modelling skills, Kitty. And thanks for the wonderful tailoring, Kinnetia!