Michael Bond had a formula when writing about Paddington the Bear.
The bear begins with good intentions and a plan; things get messed up due to lack of foresight or lack of skill or bad luck; things work out anyway. Bond executed this plan over the course of just a few pages and repeated it seven times, then bundled those seven stories into a single volume.
The plan works because Paddington - the anthropomorphic bear adopted by the Brown family - is charming and likable and readers want to know into what mischief he will find himself next.
"Paddington at Work" sticks to this plan and amuses the reader with another delightful collection of tales.
Paddington returns from his sea trip to South America and is startled by the appearance of the Browns aboard his ship.
Paddington is taken in by a swindler who sells him shares in a fake company.
Paddington attempts to build a serving hatch in a wall, but forgets which wall leads to the outside.
Paddington fills in for a barber without being asked or trained.
Paddington is a last-minute substitute at a ballet.
There is nothing surprising in these stories. They are exactly what fans of the talking bear will expect.
And they are fun!