08 Sep Nelson Bear – Generations of Lovely
Move over Paddington, we just love Nelson Bear.
We loved Nelson from the moment we saw him. In her lovely illustrations, artist Tracey Yager has captured something about the simplicity of a child’s imaginings about and love for a teddy bear. It was also a lovely motivation that was presented to us by the author’s daughter who wanted to immortalize the story that had been written for her and read to her by her mother.
It’s difficult as an adult to remember how or when we clearly started to understand the shift in our soft toys from soft landing pads for our developing emotions into inanimate objects. My daughter now plays with a bear, Charlie, that I loved as a child. I loved him partly because he had an interchangeable fur suit (zip on, zip off) and blue striped pyjamas. As a little girl I was constantly transferring him from one to the other, mothering him, managing him just as I was being mothered and managed.
Nelson’s adventure with his yellow umbrella is a simple one, as befits the time the story was written (1954). But a gust of wind is just as much a hazard now as it was then, and it can still make us feel as if we are about to be swept away by a misdirected umbrella! There is something innocent about the story, though; it does have a cosy, warm slippers by the fire feel to it. It’s not modern, certainly, and it’s not ‘a classic’ either (we’ll reserve that right to Paddington) but it’s a small slice of history brought back to the present by a loving daughter as a tribute to her mother and a gift to her granddaughters – and that is a lovely thing to be part of.