Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Review: Winnie-the-Pooh

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Book Review of: 

Winnie-the-Pooh, by A.A. Milne, with decorations by Ernest H. Shepard: The Color Edition

*First of all, let me say that this edition is especially wonderful because the drawings have been beautifully hand-painted, courtesy of and authorized by the Ernest H. Shepard Estate.

Summary:Winnie-the-Pooh is a collection of stories told by A.A. Milne for his son Christopher Robin, in which he imagines Christopher Robin's favorite stuffed animals in stories, with Christopher Robin appearing often as the one who gets his animal friends out of tricky situations.  It is the first book about the adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends in the 100 Acre Woods, and so it introduces the cast of characters, and they are probably the best-known stories of Pooh.

Citation:  Milne, A.A. (1991). Winnie-the-Pooh. New York, NY: Dutton Children's Books.

Impression:  Although Pooh is a Bear of Very Little Brain, his innocence and buffoonery manage to endear you to him as a character and as a vehicle for humor.  Winnie-the-Pooh is a timeless story which both children and adults can surely appreciate. Christopher Robin's stuffed animals really come to life in these short stories of Pooh's adventures in the 100 Acre Wood, and in their simplicity ad innocence, allow us as readers to be children again, and let us appreciate the characters' philosophies on life. Children can appreciate the basic storylines and the silliness of Pooh and his friends, from Pooh getting stuck in Rabbit's burrow hole to Owl using Eeyore' tail as a ringer to his nest, kids see the humor before the characters do.

It remains a classic because it is a tale of a child's imagination brought to life with everyday toys, and entering the realm of daily make-believe that children surround themselves in daily, from generation to generation. It appeals to adults because under the pretense of make-believe, there are truths about childhood and about life that come out, and there are endless bits of humor that adults can pick up on that are just over a child's head.  It's a great story for children and adults alike, and this is why it manages to stick around for each passing generation.

Outside Reviews:
[Note: as this is an older book, professional reviews were limited. The second review is a well-written review from]

"Fans of the Hundred Acre Wood can celebrate Pooh's 75th birthday with collector's editions of Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner. Both books contain A.A. Milne's complete text as well as b&w decorations by Ernest H. Shepard. Dressed up for the party, each book features a redesigned jacket plus gold and silver gilded page edges, respectively. Each is sold separately, but they can be purchased together in a sturdy slipcased set."
[Review of the book Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne]. (2001, August 20). Publisher's Weekly. Retrieved from
"Winnie-the-Pooh has been beloved by several generations because of the wonderful way Milne captures the imaginative play of children. In this book, he introduces the characters of Christopher Robin, Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga, and Roo, and their adventures commence. These are the sort of pretend adventures a child might enact alone with their stuffed toys, but they are written with the sophisticated and original perspective of an adult who develops each toy as a unique character, and this takes the simple stories to a higher level.

Milne's excellent writing, wonderful use of language, subtle and silly sense of humor, and the unforgettable eccentricities of his characters make the world of Pooh a delightful place. Like other classic children's stories, Winnie-the-Pooh may not appeal to every reader, but every child ought to have a chance to experience it. If it is enjoyed at first, successive readings will provide even greater appreciation as the children grasp more of the story's subtleties. Since much of the humor hinges on dialogue, such as Rabbit's "Oh, must you?" when his greedy guest announces his departure, younger children may need adult help understanding some of the story events.

Winnie-the-Pooh will appeal best to children are old enough to engage in imaginative play. It's a good read-aloud for the 4-8 crowd, but the 8-12 age group will also enjoy it as a read-alone."

Gonzales, S. (2009, October 12). [Review of the book Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne]. Good Reads.  Retrieved from

I think it would be fun to have a Birthday Party for Eeyore at the library, like the characters do in the book. It could consist of a few fun games, like pin the tail on the donkey (poor Eeyore), lots of red balloons, and some cake and candles, and some friends for Eeyore, to let him know we librarians didn't forget him!

Another idea would be to have a bear party where kids could bring in their bears and make believe with them in a recreated 100 Acre Woods. Each kid could become his/her own Christopher Robin with their own story bears, but it could be set in Pooh's world, with each of Pooh's friends having their own houses set up. I'm getting excited just thinking about it!

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