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Winnie the Pooh

By Rachel Wadham, Host of WORLDS AWAITING

As a librarian, I’ve read a lot of books and one of the most exciting things for me is to get to know the story behind the story. This sometimes means reading about what inspired the author, or reading beyond a book to learn more about a person or event in the book. But sometimes, it means getting to know a real story that inspired one of my favorite classics. This is what happened to me recently when I read two books about the real bear that was the inspiration for one of the most iconic characters in children’s literature Winnie-the-Pooh.  Did you know that a soldier in training during World War I named Harry Colebourn bought a bear at a train station? As a veterinarian, Harry knew he could care for the baby bear who he named Winnipeg, after his company’s hometown. Winnie stayed with Harry throughout his training, but when he was shipped off to France he found a good home for Winnie the bear in the London Zoo—and who would encounter that bear there but Christopher Robin! Winnie’s amazing story is told in two picture books: Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally Walker and illustrated by Jonathan Voss, and Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick and illustrated by Sophie Blackall. Both books tell the story of Harry and Winnie in their own unique way, supported by their own distinctively beautiful pictures. So why not pick up both and learn the story behind the story of the beloved Pooh bear? And that’s a recommendation straight from Rachel’s World.

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally Walker and illustrated by Jonathan Voss.  Henry Holt and Co., 2015.

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick and illustrated by Sophie Blackall.  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2015.


DISCLAIMER:

At Worlds Awaiting we discuss a wide range of information aimed at supporting adults who want to build literacy skills in their children.   We understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to children’s development, so the information we provide is intended to reach a wide audience. The books and other resources we recommend will also naturally cover a wide range of interests and subject matter that addresses a range of maturity, reading, and comprehension levels.  Since no one understands a child’s needs better than their caretakers, we encourage families to critically select the books and resources that meet their own individual needs and standards.



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