"Paddington Helps Out" is Michael Bond's third collection of short stories about Paddington - a good-hearted bear who emigrated from "Darkest Peru" and was adopted by a family in London.

The stories follow a familiar theme established by Bond in earlier collections: Paddington tries to do something kind, but invariably messes up things through his clumsiness or ignorance; yet things always work out well in the end.

We get stories of the bear trying to figure out an auction and a laundromat and a movie theater on his first visit to each. Paddington struggles trying to build a woodworking project and make dinner for his adoptive parents.

With each collection, Bond ties together the stories more tightly. In this volume, each tale leads naturally into the next and has a reference to the one before. This gives cohesion to the entire book, which takes place over only a few days.

The stories are funny and charming and a pleasure to read, regardless of your age.