by A.A. Milne
I have been reading The House at Pooh Corner gradually over the past few weeks with my daughter. We enjoyed this second collection of Pooh stories just as much as the first (Winnie the Pooh). The various adventures are full of a childlike wonder and imagination. My favorite stories in the book are where Pooh and Piglet build a house for Eeyore, and another where Tigger gets stuck up a tree. My daughter really liked the one where Owl's tree fell down and Piglet saved the day.
I thought a lot this time about the different characters in the book; each seems to represent a different kind of person, some which could be annoying when you meet them in real life: Rabbit the self-important busybody, Owl pretending he knows more than anybody else, Eeyore always finding a reason to be morose and depressed, Pooh well-meaning but bumbling, Kanga forever practical, Piglet shy and self-effacing, and Tigger (perhaps my favorite) always optimistic and quick to save face. Even though the characters often express their dislike of others' behavior, sometimes outright (like when Rabbit plans to get Tigger lost because his incessant bouncing is so irritating) they always make efforts to be kind and considerate, to be true friends. It's admirable and makes the stories all the more endearing. I've noticed that in the cartoons Tigger is excessively cheerful, to the point of being a serious annoyance, but in the book he's not like that at all. I remember when I was a child and my mother read me the story, I felt sorry for Tigger when he first showed up that rainy night, a stranger who doesn't seem to even know himself well (they spend the whole chapter trying to figure out what Tigger likes to eat for breakfast). Pooh welcomes him and introduces him to the others, but Tigger seems to feel uncomfortable as a newcomer for quite some time, anxious to make himself look good and find ways to fit in with the close community of the Forest. I felt sympathetic towards him.
The stories are all fun and charming, and the only one I didn't recognize from my childhood was the final chapter, where Christopher Robin says goodbye to Pooh in a rather muddled way. It was unclear to us where he was going. Off to school? Simply growing up and not playing with his old toys anymore? This was the only story upon which my daughter shut the book, but as we were already at the end, I didn't mind.
Rating: 5/5 ........180 pages, 1928
I can't find any other blog reviews of this book, so if you've written one, let me know!