HarperCollins Children's Books has acquired a brand new Paddington Bear story from Michael Bond OBE.
Paddington Bear Here and Now is the first new Paddington novel for 30 years and will be published in hardback in June 2008 to coincide with the character's 50th birthday.
HarperCollins has UK and Commonwealth rights, while HarperCollins US has also acquired rights, giving the firm worldwide rights in the English language.
Fans will read how life at number 32 Windsor Gardens is considerably enlivened by the sudden arrival of a mysterious stranger, who not only disturbs the normal peace and quiet but forces Paddington to consider where his 'home' really is.
"One of the very nice things about chronicling Paddington's adventures is that although the world has changed considerably over the past 30 years, he remains exactly the same; eternally optimistic and ever open to what life has to offer," said Michael Bond. "It makes writing the stories a pleasure."
HarperCollins has been publishing Paddington books since the beginning, when A Bear Called Paddington was launched in 1958. Over 30 million books have now been sold worldwide and the stories are translated into more than 40 languages.
"Paddington is, quite simply, a national treasure and being his publisher is both an honour and a great pleasure," said Sue Buswell, publishing director.