The Parish Magazine January 2022

Editor.Bob.Peters

Serving the communities of Charvil, Sonning and Sonning Eye since 1869

36 The Parish Magazine - January 2022

the ARTS — 1

January

'Winnie the Pooh has always

been a very special (albeit

funny old) bear, not least of

all because his books

are filled with wonderful

words of wisdom.'

— Stylist Magazine

This quote is one of many such

acclamations that Pooh Bear

attracts and it's why this fictional

character has a special annual

day of celebration — or rather his

creator, Alan Alexander Milne, does.

A A Milne was born in Hampstead,

London on 18 January 1882. He died

on 31 January 1956.

While he wrote many novels and

non-fiction books, and poetry and

plays, he is best remembered for his

four 'pooh' books which featured

his friends — Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga,

Roo, and Tigger — and, of course, the

human in his life Christopher Robin,

who was based on A A Milne's only

son, Christopher Robin Milne. Pooh

and his pals were based mainly on

Christopher Milne's soft toys.

The four pooh books were When

We Were Very Young; Winnie-The-Pooh;

Now We Are Six; and The House At

Pooh Corner.

It is estimated that these books

have sold 50 million copies around

the world, making Pooh, after Mickey

Mouse, the second most valuable

fictitious character in the world.

Likewise, most things associated

with Pooh are also internationally

popular, such as Ashdown Forest in

Images: Dreamstime.com

East Sussex which was close to the

Milne's family home, and which was

used as the setting for the Hundred

Acre Wood. The most notable site in

Ashdown Forest today must be Pooh

Bridge where visitors gather to play

'Pooh Sticks'!

Pooh Bridge in Ashdown Forest

George Robertson, dreamstime.com

To honour the 95th anniversary

of Winnie-the-Pooh last September,

a new collection of stories inspired

by A A Milne and E H Shepard,

who illustrated all the original

Pooh stories, was published by

HarperCollins. Written by Jane

Riordan and illustrated by Mark

Burgess, it is called, Once There Was

a Bear.

It is described as a 'prequel'

which takes us back to before the

time Winnie the Pooh was bought in

Harrods for baby Christopher Robin.

Once There Was a Bear is described

by Waterstones Booksellers as:

'This timeless story collection is a real

tribute to the world's most famous bear

and the perfect opportunity for everyone

to revisit these favourite friends and

find out how they become the larger

than life characters that we all know

and love'

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