A Bear Called Paddington, by Michael Bond, 1958
When we first moved to England in 1978, Paddington was HUGE. I'm not really sure why. Maybe because the story was turning 20. The curious thing was, where we were living (North Yorkshire) felt like it was stuck in the 1950s, so the book felt both nostalgic and contemporary to me at that time.
Even though I dressed my young son up as Paddington one Hallowe'en, I hadn't re-read the story since my primary school days in the deep, dark 1970s. England, including the North Yorkshire area, has modernized by leaps and bounds, and today it doesn't really feel any different, contemporary culture-wise, than the US. So now when I read the Paddington book, it feels nostalgic, but part of my history.
It has recently been turned into a movie, and, although I know that the story will most likely be altered greatly, I do hope the characteristic of Paddington always landing on his feet remains the same.