Winnie the Pooh Day
every 18 January
On 18th January 1882, the creator of Winnie the Pooh was born. AA Milne has created many children’s characters and is the author of many books. Now, every year we celebrate Pooh Bear on the day of the author’s birth.
In a world shaken by war, Winnie-the-Pooh offered innocence, simplicity and a happy place to escape
the horrors of The Great War, a devastated Britain was desperately in search of hope and happiness. So when author AA Milne and illustrator EH Shepard, who had both served as officers delivered their first collection of children’s poems in 1924, When
We Were Very Young, it was “an instant and huge bestseller.
As well as being a much-needed tonic for the country, the collection also introduced the first generation
of children to what is now, arguably, the most famous bear in the world: Winnie-the-Pooh. Two years later the duo published their first collection of short stories about Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends, including Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Kanga and Rabbit. Winnie-the-Pooh
himself was based on the much-loved teddy bear owned by the only human in the story, Christopher Robin, who was AA Milne’s son.
Just like the poems, the stories were
an international bestseller, translated into dozens of languages, including Latin. The following year Walt Disney Productions licensed the trademarks and began making the stories into cartoons. Since its publication, it has never been out of print.
But also it was the innocence of an imagined world that adults – still traumatised by war – were as keen to escape into as the children they read it to.
Shepard’s illustrations (or ‘decorations’ as they were always referred to in the books) were deliberately simple and accessible, using just a few lines to create atmosphere and
images was trying to convey a sense of innocence and simplicity, a world that was uncomplicated and where issues and problems were resolved in a humorous and unthreatening way ’ in contrast to the 'real world' of that time.”
The simplicity of the prose and illustrations also served to heighten the beautiful and philosophical undertones, which were key not only to their appeal, but to their endurance. Pooh’s
With his caring nature the oh-so-loveable old bear appeals to all ages.
So celebrate Winnie the Pooh day!
Some interesting facts about Winnie the
A.A. Milne, author of Winnie-the-Pooh, served in both WWI and
The curious name of Winnie-the-Pooh came from Christopher Robin, from a combination of the names of a real bear and a pet swan. During the 1920s there was a black bear
named "Winnie" in the London Zoo who had been the mascot for the Winnipeg regiment of the Canadian army. "Pooh" was the name of a swan in When We Were Very Young.
name Winnie-the-Pooh first appeared in print in a Christmas story published in The Evening News on Christmas Eve 1925.
"The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers"
was composed by Richard M. Sherman, with lyrics by Robert B. Sherman.
Unlike Piglet, Kanga, Roo, Winnie-the-Pooh, Eeyore, and Tigger, Rabbit was not based on a toy owned by
Pooh was purchased at Harrods department store in London and given by A.A. Milne to his son Christopher Robin on his first birthday, August 21, 1921. He
was called Edward (proper form of Teddy) Bear at the time.
The rest of the toys were received as gifts by Christopher Robin between 1920 and 1928.
Not only Christopher Robin played with the toys; so, apparently, did the family dog, which may have contributed to their well-worn appearance.
The baby kangaroo stuffed animal (named Roo) was lost in an apple orchard during the 1930s.
Winnie-the-Pooh had adventures with Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Owl, Rabbit,
and Tigger in the 100 Aker (Acre) Wood (based on the Ashdown Forest in southern England, located near the Milne family home).
Owl and Rabbit were brought to life to join Pooh
and pals Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga, Roo, and Tigger, by Milne and illustrator Ernest H. Shepard.
The stuffed animals range in height from 25" (Eeyore, the biggest) to 4 1/2" (Piglet,
The origins of the name go back to a bear bought by a Canadian soldier in the First World War named Winnie after his hometown Winnipeg.
The Hundred Acre Wood in the Pooh books is strongly based on Ashdown Forest in Sussex.
The 2016 World Pooh Sticks championship was
won by Charlie Roman, seven, of Stonesfield.
Winnie Ille Pu, the 1958 Latin translation of Milne’s book, is the only book in Latin ever to appear on the New York Times
Best Sellers list.
The original Pooh animals can be seen in New York Public Library. Except for Roo who was lost around 1930.