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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Happy Birthday, A. A. Milne!

A. A. Milne
Happy birthday to A. A. Milne, the creator of one of my favorite childhood characters...Winnie-the-Pooh (and Tigger too)!  The author was born on January 18, 1882 in London, England as Alan Alexander Milne.  He is best known for his books Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House At Pooh Corner (1928); stories he created for his son Christopher Robin.  Many of us have grown to love the adventures of Christopher Robin and his animal playmates.  Did you know that these beloved characters, Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit, Eeyore, Tigger, Owl, Kanga and Roo, were inspired by his son's stuffed toys?

Winnie was actually a female bear that lived at the London Zoo.  Winnie had an interesting life before she made the London Zoo her home.  Two books have been recently written about Winnie.  Finding Winnie:  The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear by the great-granddaughter of Captain Harry Colebourn (who owned and cared for Winnie) won the 2016 Caudecott Medal.  Winnie:  The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally M. Walker is a 2017 Monarch Nominee.  Both tell a similar tale of how Winnie was saved by Captain Colebourn and became a "member" of his section of the Canadian veterinary corps until he made the difficult decision to take Winnie to the London Zoo in order to keep her safe during World War 1.  It is there that Christopher Robin met Winnie and named his teddy bear after her.  This led to his father, A. A. Milne writing adventures of Christopher Robin and Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends.

The stories of Winnie-the-Pooh have been favorite read-alouds with each new generation.  The early illustrations of Pooh Bear and friends are very different from the Disney versions we have now become accustomed too. 
I loved Winnie-the-Pooh so much growing up that I shared the stories and the animated films with my own children.  They grew to love all the various tales and started collecting their own stuffed animal collection of the Hundred Acre Woods beloved characters.  My daughter definitely had the energy of Tigger!  My hope is that one day when they have their own children, they will pick up these books and share them with their son or daughter.  If you haven't done so already, stop by and check out these timeless stories.  They make a great family bedtime story.

A.A. Milne biography
Winnie-the-Pooh books
Winnie-the-Pooh music
Winnie-the-Pooh movies


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