Finding Winnie: The story of the real bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh; Lindsay Mattick, illustrated by Sophie Blackall
We’ve all heard of Winnie-the-Pooh, but what you may not have heard of is the true story of how a bear on a train station platform inspired some of the most well-read and loved children’s books of all time.
When veterinarian Harry Colebourn spotted a bear on a train station platform on his way to fight in World War One, he felt compelled to take the bear with him. Winnie, named after Harry’s home town of Winnipeg, quickly became part of the soldier’s lives and would remain with them until the day the soldiers were called to fight.
Knowing that war was no place for a bear, Winnie found a new home at London Zoo and although one friendship had been broken, Winnie would not be alone for long as another friend was waiting in the wings. A boy named Christopher Robin Milne struck up a remarkable friendship with the bear and an inspired father would write books about the adventures of his son and a stuffed teddybear. The father’s name was A. A. Milne and the bear’s name…Winnie-the-Pooh.
Finding Winnie is an adorable book that will be loved by many a reader both young and old. The incredible true tale of how Winnie-the-Pooh came to be is lovingly and vividly retold by the great-grand-daughter of Winnie’s saviour, Lindsay Mattick, and is beautifully illustrated in watercolour by Sophie Blackall.
The book is presented as two stories within one and adopts the format of mother - Lindsay Mattick - reading a bedtime story to her son Cole. The first story is of Harry acquiring Winnie on his way to war. As that story concludes with Winnie being left at London Zoo another story begins. The story of Christopher Robin who owned a nameless stuffed teddy bear. After meeting Winnie at London Zoo, Christopher names his own bear Winnie and the Winnie-the-Pooh stories are created. A final piece is presented as a photo album and makes for a great history lesson including a family tree and some wonderful information and details on Harry including photographs and diary extracts.
An absolutely delightful read. Knowing the true inspiration for A. A. Milne’s stories and the remarkable journey of a very special bear named Winnie makes the Pooh stories all the more magical. A book that will be treasured and lovingly adored by any fan of the wonderful Winnie-the-Pooh.
Recommended for 5+.