“Oh Bear, how I do love you.”
There’s nothing quite like a teddy bear. At some point, every child has—and loves—a stuffed bear. But for one family, a teddy bear wasn’t just a childhood playmate; it was the key to millions of hearts all around the world.
That bear’s name, of course, was Winnie-the-Pooh.
In her new book Life and Times of the Real Winnie-the-Pooh, The: The Teddy Bear Who Inspired A. A. Milne, Shirley Harrison goes beyond the books, movies, and TV shows, delving into the bedroom of the real-life Christopher Robin where the stuffed bear and his friends once played.
Christopher Robin’s father, A. A. Milne, was enchanted by his son’s teddy bear, which was brought to life by Christopher Robin’s mother, Daphne. His wife and son’s imaginative games inspired Milne to pen stories about the bear and his friends—which were later adapted to the silver screen by Walt Disney.
In her book, Harrison shares intimate knowledge of the Milne family as well as stories collected from family and friends about the real Christopher Robin’s childhood and his famous stuffed companion. She recounts Pooh’s journey from London to the English countryside to New York—where he and some of his co-stars remain to this day. Harrison also shares the details of Pooh’s “life,” including his friendships with famous authors and his travels on both sides of the Atlantic as he was given the VIP treatment.
I loved Winnie-the-Pooh as a child, and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about his creation in Harrison’s charming book. To me, Winnie-the-Pooh was always an animated bear in a red shirt who loved “hunny” and playing with his animal friends. Reading this well-researched account gave me the opportunity to discover the story of the real Pooh—from the moment Daphne Milne brought him home to his journeys in the U.S. to his philanthropic activities. This book is a must-read for anyone who has ever visited the Hundred-Acre Wood.
Life and Times of the Real Winnie-the-Pooh, The: The Teddy Bear Who Inspired A. A. Milne by Shirley Harrison will be available as a 192-page hardcover from Pelican Publishing on October 1 at a list price of $24.95.