Once upon a time, a very long time ago now, about last Friday, Winnie-the-Pooh lived in a forest all by himself under the name of Sanders. Suitable for Pooh fans aged 5 or 55, this book features stories about Pooh and his friends Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, and, Christopher Robin.
A. A. Milne's stories about Pooh and his friends have been loved by generations of children and their parents since Winnie-the-Pooh was first published in 1926. This slipcase collection of the four classic Winnie-the-Pooh paperback volumes has bright, eye-catching cover designs featuring E. H. Shepard's iconic images. The book insides feature fully coloured illustrations.
The characters in the stories are based upon the real nursery toys which belonged to A. A. Milne's son, Christopher Robin. Their adventures are set in the Ashdown Forest, where Milne and his family lived. E. H. Shepard lovingly depicted the Forest and the toys. The places he drew can still be seen today.
A.A. Milne grew up in a school - his parents ran Henley House in Kilburn, for young boys - but never intended to be a children's writer. Pooh he saw as a pleasant sideline to his main career as a playwright and regular scribe for the satirical literary magazine, Punch.
Writing was very much the dominant feature of A.A. (Alan Alexander)'s life. He joined the staff of Punch in 1906, and became Assistant Editor. In the course of two decades he fought in the First World War, wrote some 18 plays and three novels, and fathered a son, Christopher Robin Milne, in 1920 (although he described the baby as being more his wife's work than his own!).
Observations of little Christopher led Milne to produce a book of children's poetry, When We Were Very Young, in 1924, and in 1926 the seminal Winnie-the-Pooh. More poems followed in Now We Are Six (1927) and Pooh returned in The House at Pooh Corner (1928). After that, in spite of enthusiastic demand, Milne declined to write any more children's stories as he felt that, with his son growing up, they would now only be copies based on a memory.
In one way, Christopher Robin turned out to be more famous than his father, though he became uncomfortable with his fame as he got older, preferring to avoid the literary limelight and run a bookshop in Dartmouth. Nevertheless, he published three volumes of his reminiscences before his death in 1996.
Winnie the Pooh has always been a very special (albeit funny old) bear, not least of all because his books are filled with wonderful words of wisdom. Stylist, 2017
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