Monday, February 23

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh
Written by Sally M Walker, illustrator by Jonathan D. Voss

My rating: ★★★★½

ISBN: 978-0805097153
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Date of publication: January 20, 2015
Age: 4 - 9 years
Genre: Nonfiction

Themes: bear, mascot, zoos, WWI

When Harry Colebourn saw a baby bear for sale at the train station, he knew he could care for it. Harry was a veterinarian. But he was also a soldier in training for World War I. So Harry took Winnie (short for Winnipeg, his company’s home town) with him to the training camp in England. Winnie followed Harry everywhere and slept under his cot every night. Before long, she became the regiment’s much-loved mascot. But who could care for the bear when Harry had to go to the battleground in France?

This is just the coziest of lovely tales. The illustrations are soft and beautiful, and really capture the story. Basically, I now wish I had my own bear. Which, of course, is the whole point: it's factual story behind the beloved storybook character, Winnie-the-Pooh—how the real Christopher Robin would visit Winnie and want his own bear. I didn't know about this inspiration for the character, and this book just helped me appreciate it all the more (the real Winnie-the-Pooh, not the Disney one). So definitely, you should pick this one up.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

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