Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick, ill. Sophie Blackall

A bedtime story within a story is the perfect way to hear about the origin of our favorite bear from the classic bedtime storybooks.

You already know the world's most famous bear, whether through Disney or the original stories by A.A. Milne.  You're probably also aware that Winnie-the-Pooh's friend Christopher Robin was a real boy.  You may even have heard that he was A.A. Milne's son. But did you know that Winnie was a real, wild bear?  Did you know that Christopher Robin met the real Winnie in London?  How in the world did that wild bear get to England?  And where, for heaven's sake, did the name Winnie come from?

These questions and more are answered in the sweet book Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear.  Without revealing too many secrets, I can tell you that the inside story of Winnie came down to author Lindsay Mattick through her family, and she now shares it with her son and his favorite bear.

Sophie Blackall won the 2016 Caldecott Medal for her well-researched, but very child-friendly illustration of the book.  You can discover more about her work and her thoughts about Finding Winnie on her blog.

Interestingly, another picture book about the origins of Winnie-the-Pooh was also published in 2015: Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh, by Sally M. Walker.  If you'd like to visit or revisit the Hundred Acre Woods and all its denizens, Virginia Beach Public Library has many books--youth, picture, and board books--as well as DVDs of various versions of Winnie-the-Pooh. For a delightful collection with Ernest H. Shepard's original illustrations, colored, and with large, easy-to-read print, check out The Complete Tales & Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh and curl up with your teddy.

Review by Lynn K.

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