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The bear who needs no introduction…

… but gets one anyway.

More about the Author

Alan Alexander Milne (1882–1956), the author of the original Winnie the Pooh stories, served as a signalling officer during World War I. The horrors of the war inspired him to write positive and joyful stories of days when life was simpler.

In his autobiography It’s Too Late Now (1939), Milne dedicated a considerable part to his fascination with his ‘own beginnings’ and his need to write positive tales for adults that would enable them to break away from the reality of war and it’s consequences. Who does not want that right?

More about the stories

Now for those of you who have not read Winnie the Pooh… I do not even know what to say to you. I am shocked and saddened. No, really, I am joking, I can be tolerant. What you need to know is that there are ten stories in each of the two books. All the stories take place in a beautiful forest called the Hundred Acre Wood. The premise of the storybooks is that toys belonging to Christopher Robin come to life and experience exciting adventures together. They are also constantly caring and nurturing towards one another. The stories involve different characters, but without exception, they all include a bear named Winnie the Pooh.

Who is Pooh?

Winnie the Pooh is also known as Pooh or Edward bear. In the introduction to Winnie the Pooh, Milne explains how the name came about: Pooh was the name of a swan Christopher Robin once had, ‘or the swan had Christopher Robin, I don’t know which, when we said goodbye we took the name with us, we didn’t think the swan would want it anymore’ (Milne, 2006, p. i). The name Winnie comes from a black bear cub, Winnipeg, who had been a mascot for the Canadian Army Veterinary before ending up at the London Zoo. It was there that Milne and his son met Winnie and she inspired their imaginations. There is a great movie about Winnipeg called, A Bear Named Winnie (2004).

Winnie the Pooh loves honey and condensed milk and spends his days playing and helping his many friends. Pooh is a bear ‘of Very Little Brain’ (Milne, 2007, p. 99) yet is often the hero in the plot. The other main characters are briefly described below:

The other Characters

PIGLET is a pig. He enjoys spending time with his friends, smelling the flowers and having wonderful adventures despite being overly cautious.

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN is a human boy. Although he does not appear physically in every story, he is present by implication. The narrator tells the stories to him and the reader.

EEYORE is a pessimistic donkey. He is capable of love and kindness towards the other animals. His friends, in turn, are fond of him.

RABBIT (obviously a rabbit) enjoys taking command of situations, frequently resulting in disastrous outcomes. Rabbit is also confident and intelligent.

OWL is an intellectual, although he overestimates his intellectual abilities. The other characters like to avoid his long-winded tales.

KANGA is a Kangaroo. She is the only female character and Roo’s mother. Kanga is kind and nurturing with a level of strictness.

ROO is a joey and he is Kanga’s son. Roo is lively, curious, and rather impulsive.

TIGGER is a tiger. He is a lot like Roo, and even comes across as his older brother. Tigger is playful and impulsive, but at times exhibits traits of caution. He is also very confident.

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