If there would be a children’s book character competition, Winnie-the-Pooh would stand a pretty good chance. The Bear of Very Little Brain has captivated millions of children all over the world, among which were my brother and me. I loved the stories about the Hundred Acre Wood when I was younger, but did Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger and Kanga stand the test of time?Title | The Complete Winnie-the-Pooh
Author | A. A. Milne
Published (first) | 1992 (1926)
Language | English
Pages | 316
Goodreads | ★★★★★
BookDepository | similar editionFirst sentence
Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin.
I can give you a short answer on the question whether or not Winnie-the-Pooh and his friend have stood the test of time – they did. At first I wasn’t really sure about that, but right from the start, right from the very first sentence, I was bewitched and loved, loved, loved it all over again.
In 1926, Winnie-the-Pooh, a collection of stories about a rather stout, somewhat confused bear, was published in England and America. The enchanting tales of Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Christopher Robin, and the others were an immediate success, and firmly established A.A. Milne, already an acclaimed dramatist, as a major author of children’s books. It was followed in 1928 by a second collection, The House At Pooh Corner, which continued the adventures from the Hundred Acre Wood and introduced bouncy, lovable Tigger. (Goodreads)As I said, I loved the stories about Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends. It was like going back to my childhood, when my mum used to read these stories to me and my brother. I remembered the story about the house at Pooh corner, in which Piglet and Pooh accidentally break down a ‘pile of sticks’ to build Eeyore a house, the story in which Tigger comes to the Forest and has Breakfast and the story in which the friends are going on an ‘expotition to the North Pole’.
‘I have been Foolish and Deluded,’ said he, ‘and I am a Bear of No Brain at All.’
The cause of every adventure is explained by Pooh, who, according to Christopher Robin is the Best Bear in All the World:
‘It all comes, I suppose,’ he decided, as he said good-bye to the last branch, spun around three times, and flew gracefully into a gorse-bush, ‘it all comes of liking honey so much. Oh, help!’
In the end, it is quite a sad story as well, as Christopher Robin grows up and has to go to school and therefore will no longer be able to wander the Hundred Acre Wood with his friends whenever he feels like it. But as Milne said in his preface to the second and last Pooh book: ‘of course, it isn’t really Good-bye, because the Forest will always be there … and anybody who is Friendly with Bears can find it.’
Winnie-the-Pooh is a classic, but I think that children of the present generation have only seen the animation and not read the books themselves. That’s such a shame, because the stories are lovely, full of nonsense and fantasy and just generally hilarious. Read it!
Have you read Winnie-the-Pooh or its sequel The House at Pooh Corner?