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Winnie the Pooh A. A. Milne

Default Smiles Imagine bears. Imagine bears riding balloons up into the sky. You’ve got a pretty wild imagination, you know that? Well that’s how the first story starts. I guess a lot of you know Winnie the Pooh best from TV.
Sassy Sharky As being disgustingly adorable.
Angry Smiles 2 Oy.
Default Sharky Well they ARE. There’s a level of… of precious-ness that’s too much for me after a point. The book balances it out a lot better with plenty of surprisingly dry humour.
Default Smiles For anyone who doesn’t know, the book… well actually it’s two books called Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner but we’re treating them as one. It’s basically about the adventures of a little boy’s stuffed animals. They’re basically alive, you don’t get much indication that it’s actually an imaginary world of stuffed toys outside of maybe someone mentioning their head is full of sawdust or the donkey’s tail falling off and needing to be nailed on. Aside from that they have little mini adventures, and nobody’s very clever so there’s usually a lot of misinformation and mistakes and it’s all very adorable.
Default Sharky Except for the parts where it gets a little mean-spirited.
Confused Smiles Yeahhhh… There’s no real malice involved but in a book as harmless and cute as this it’s so unexpected.
Confused Sharky It’s usually Rabbit that comes up with the nasty ideas. … is that why you made me Rabbit this time?
Sassy Smiles You’re Rabbit because Rabbit usually thinks his opinion is the only right one.
Happy Sharky2 … yeah okay that’s fair.
Sassy Smiles I’m not saying you’d lose someone in the woods on purpose because you didn’t like them. … maybe. But yeah, Rabbit has… a very strange way of dealing with problems.
Default Sharky So you get weird plotlines like “There’s a strange new animal here and we don’t like strangers. Let’s scare her away by kidnapping her child.”
Default Smiles For once Sharky isn’t exaggerating out of frustration. That is LITERALLY what happens. But it’s played out hilariously, and the new animal, Kanga, doesn’t panic for a minute. There’s a very real sense that the boy who owns the toys wouldn’t let anything bad happen to any of them, and they’re all aware of that. So instead you have Kanga very calmly playing along and it’s all very funny. It makes everything kind of cosy and soft and aaaaah I just really like it all okay. There’s a true sense of bedtime story to all of it.
Happy Sharky2 A couple of the characters feel so much more rounded than the personality traits we remember them for. Eeyore seems to think that being constantly depressed makes him automatically wiser than everyone else and it’s the funniest thing. Find the part where he talks about education or when he writes a poem, you’ll know what I mean. And Rabbit’s self importance getting the better of him, like sending everyone a message, realising nobody else can read, and then going to their houses to read the message for them.
Happy Smiles Piglet’s constantly terrified of everything but has these amazing dream sequences of the brave things he could do and say. Owl is absolutely hilarious because he doesn’t know a single thing but everyone’s convinced he does because he uses long words that he can’t even spell. And Pooh’s really the heart of the story. He’s still adorably clueless, still has his mind on his stomach all the time, full heart and empty head. And he’s a poet, how about that! The poetry in the book is so very cute and clever.
Sassy Sharky And there’s Tigger-
Happy Smiles My spirit animal!
Sassy Sharky Loud and bouncy and excited about everything.
Happy Smiles Love him. He doesn’t show up as much as I’d like, but he’s great when he does. He’s just so HAPPY and ready to have fun in the world. And it’s a world to have fun in. It’s beautiful and warm… I mean emotionally warm, not literally, there’s winters too. You know what I mean!
Default Sharky Again this is all subjective, maybe it’s the nostalgia talking, but it’s easy enough to decide if you want to read it or not. Just read the first chapter.
Default Smiles Exactly! Find a preview online or borrow a copy and just read the first chapter. It’s really short. If you don’t find it at all charming, if it doesn’t make you smile even once, then the rest of the book isn’t for you. But if you liked it, even a little, then I think we’ll see you in the Hundred Acre Wood real soon.

Smiles likes to insert quotes from the books he reads at every opportunity.

Smiles likes to insert quotes from the books he reads at every opportunity.

2 thoughts on “Winnie the Pooh A. A. Milne

  1. A classic of children’s literature, if there ever was one. I can’t imagine growing up without Pooh and his friends by my side. My well thumbed copy was inherited from my parents and has been passed on to my daughter.
    The Hundred Acre Wood is cozy and inviting and not at all threatening despite the possible presence of “heffalumps and woozles”. The Bear of Very Little Brain can’t think past his tummy and the next pot of “hunny” to fill it with. Surprisingly, there is profound wisdom here as well:
    “The things that make me different are the things that make me.”
    “If the person you are talking to does not appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in this ear.”
    “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
    A new Winnie The Pooh book written by author Brian Sibley is supposed to come out later this year featuring Penguin, to mark the 90th anniversary of the first book. We shall see what that is like. Following in A. A. Milne’s footsteps will not be easy.

    1. Definitely not easy. Other people trying to recreate the magic of an original idea is a tall order. But let’s be optimistic, it might be alright!

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