by A. A. Milne
This book doesn't really need much introduction, but I'll describe it to you anyway. My mother read it to me when I was young, and I was delighted to share it with my own daughter now. It took us about a week to get through, reading a chapter every night or so. I don't recall if there were Winnie the Pooh cartoons when I was small, but for my daughter her first introduction to the characters has been stuffed toys, cartoons and picture books from the library. It took a bit of convincing to get her to sit down and listen to the original story. Once we finished the first chapter she was hooked and wanted to hear more and more.
Winnie the Pooh is a collection of stories based on stuffed animals the author's son had, and imaginary adventures he made up about them. The introduction tells me that the artist, Ernest H. Shepard, visited the author's home and sketched the real Christopher Robin and his toys for his illustrations. The main characters are Pooh (of course) a "Bear of Very Little Brain" who loves honey, the shy and endearing Piglet, Owl who likes to feel important and use Big Words, the busy Rabbit and grumpy donkey Eeyore. Later in the book a sixth character is introduced, the practical Kanga and her baby Roo.
There are ten stories in the book. The humor in them is mostly based on the characters being confused about something the reader can clearly see (if there's a literary term for this, please let me know, I can't think of it). Some of the adventures include Pooh disguising himself as a cloud to try and get honey from some bees, Eeyore loosing his tail and Pooh finding it, Pooh getting stuck in Rabbit's doorway (from eating too much honey), Piglet needing rescue from a flood, and Rabbit hatching a plan to get rid of the newcomer Kanga, by stealing baby Roo (and putting Piglet in his place). They're all amusing and charming tales, with the characters expressing desires and concerns young children can easily relate to like feeling safe, helping someone who's made a mistake, trying to get something you really want, feeling important, and valuing friendship. I really like this book. Reading it to a child brought out all the wonder for me again.
Rating: 5/5 ........ 176 pages, 1926
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