Book Review: “Winnie-the-Pooh” by A.A. Milne

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This is the first of four classic children’s books, written in the late 1920s for the author’s son, Christopher Robin. In this volume of ten sweet, silly, and courageous stories, Milne helps his son “remember” the adventures he has had with his favorite toy bear, named Edward Bear or (among friends) Winnie-the-Pooh. Pooh has a heart of gold but very little brains; but he and Christopher Robin love each other dearly. Also loved, and lovable, are the other residents of the woods where Pooh has his adventures: tiny Piglet, conceited Owl, troublesome Rabbit, motherly Kanga and her darling Roo, and my favorite of all – the hilariously pessimistic donkey, Eeyore.

Warning #1: When choosing a copy of this book, look first to see if it contains the original “decorations” by Ernest H. Shepard. If not, keep looking. This book just isn’t the same without them.

Warning #2: Don’t let the insufferable cuteness of the animated films based on this book keep you from reading it. To be sure, they are adorable stories about the world of a very little boy’s imagination, and the toy-animal friends who populate it; but they are also guided by a sense of rightness, a gentle father’s love for his gentle child, keen observation of a variety of types of character, and a sparkling wit.