Saturday, 1 November 2014

Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) (Egmont)
A.A. Milne, illustrated by E.H. Shepard
Grade: A
Genre: children's illustrated fiction / classics
Source: own
Fiction RBC 2014: A book of short stories 

Winnie-the-Pooh, a bear with little brain, lives in the One Hundred Acre wood, surrounded by his friends, Christopher Robin, Piglet, Rabbit, Owl and the eternally grumpy Eeyore. This collection of stories about the world’s favourite bear follows his adventures as he goes hunting for a Woozle, tries to trap a Heffalump, meets Kanga and baby Roo, finds the North Pole and saves the day when Piglet is in need of rescuing.

I receive a lot of requests to use material from the four WTP books (Winnie-the-Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner, When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six). When I say a lot, I’d estimate that on average, around one in five requests are looking to use the world’s most iconic bear, who turns 90 years old in 2016. I’ve never read any of the books as a child, though I remembered bits and pieces from the Disney screen adaptation (a poor substitute, my boss says!) and so I thought it was high time I started.

This was beautiful and any child who has not had the pleasure of reading WTP, must read it – the film is not an alternative. Milne’s brilliant writing style coupled with Shephard’s beautiful drawings (make sure you get a colour edition) makes for a heart-warming story, even if you’re reading it as an adult. I’m sure I got a fair share of strange looks for reading WTP on the train, but I was really too engrossed to notice. I didn’t expect this to be as funny as it is and Pooh’s attempts at poetry are equal parts hilarious and sweet. Pooh really is a bear for all ages and has so many great lessons to teach children and adults alike.

Image courtesy of Book Depository.

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