The literary world is mourning the death of Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond.
The beloved author died at his home on Tuesday after falling ill, HarperCollins shared in a statement on Facebook. He was 91.
Bond's publisher helmed him as a "giant of children's literature" and looked back at his first book in 1958, A Bear Called Paddington. The story follows the adventures of an orphaned bear who travels from Peru to the U.K. and is found at Paddington Station in London wearing a tag that reads, "Please look after this bear. Thank you." He is then looked after by the Brown family.
According to HarperCollins, more than 35 million Paddington books have been sold worldwide, and Bond just recently published Paddington's Finest Hour in April. In 2015, he was awarded a CBE by Queen Elizabeth II.
"Michael Bond was one of the great children’s writers and at HarperCollins we are immensely fortunate to have published him and to have known him," Charlie Redmayne, HarperCollins CEO, said in a statement shared on Facebook. "He was a wonderful man and leaves behind one of the great literary legacies of our time.”
In addition to being a huge influence on children's literature, Bond's character also also inspired two Paddington
movies, one of which is to be released
in January 2018. Here's a look at the sequel: