January 18th has become known as Winnie the Pooh Day because author A.A. Milne was born on this day in 1882, and it was he and his son Christopher who created this loveable and wise character and introduced him to generations of readers.
Interestingly, just this week though, a book about the history behind the bear that inspired the fiction was named as the Caldecott Medal winner. This book, Finding Winnie is written by Lindsay Mattick and illustrated by Australian-born Sophie Blackall. (See Sophie's blog for a four part discussion of the illustrating of this book)
Lindsay Mattick is the great-granddaughter of Harry Colebourn, a vet who rescued a baby bear in Canada in 1914. He named the bear Winnie after his hometown, Winnipeg. He took the bear to Europe when he went off to war. Eventually, Winnie ends up in the London Zoo and there he makes a new friend, Christopher Robin, the son of author Alan Alexander Milne. Lindsay's website tells you Harry's story in more detail and has a wealth of information about the making of this book and her family history.
Last year American author Sally M. Walker also published a book about the real bear that inspired the stories of Winnie-the-Pooh. Putting these two books and the film A Bear Named Winnietogether as a precursor to or a follow up to some fun reading the original stories would make an enjoyable unit of work.
I need no excuse whatsoever to revel in the wonderful language, humour and languidness of Pooh.
"If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart… I'll always be with you."
And as school rolls around next week I know this will be me...
"When late morning rolls around and you're feeling a bit out of sorts, don't worry; you're probably just a little eleven o'clockish."
I'm a teacher/librarian in an early childhood school library. The library caters for 3-8 year old children, their teachers and their parents.
My aim here is to showcase at least one book each day until there is ' a year in a Prep School Library'. Usually the date will be the birthday of someone who is connected with Children's Literature.
I have met my initial challenge to write about a book every day, so now I write much more intermittently when I have learned of a new birthday, special day, have had a wonderful teaching moment or have found a great new book.