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The Tao of Pooh (Winnie-the-Pooh) Hardcover – April 30, 1982


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The Tao of Pooh (Winnie-the-Pooh) + The Te of Piglet (Winnie-the-Pooh) + Positively Pooh: Timeless Wisdom from Pooh
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 18 and up
  • Grade Level: 12 and up
  • Series: Winnie-the-Pooh (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; Reprint. edition (April 30, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525244581
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525244585
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (364 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Is there such thing as a Western Taoist? Benjamin Hoff says there is, and this Taoist's favorite food is honey. Through brilliant and witty dialogue with the beloved Pooh-bear and his companions, the author of this smash bestseller explains with ease and aplomb that rather than being a distant and mysterious concept, Taoism is as near and practical to us as our morning breakfast bowl. Romp through the enchanting world of Winnie-the-Pooh while soaking up invaluable lessons on simplicity and natural living. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

Author/narrator Hoff calls Winnie the Pooh a "Western Taoist" and uses the unassuming bear to introduce Eastern philosophical principles. Pooh epitomizes the "uncarved block," as he is well in tune with his natural inner self. Pooh enjoys simple pleasures and the daily progress of life. Hoff contrasts this unpretentiousness to other characters created by Winnie - the - Pooh author A.A. Milne, including Owl, whom he describes as a "mind that tries too hard," and Eeyore, the eternal pessimist. In a clear and crisp voice, Hoff explains the central tenets of Taoism and further illustrates them with familiar excerpts from The House at Pooh Corner stories (1923), Chinese proverbs, maxims, and tales from Lao Tzu and others. The result is at once thought-provoking and charming. This is a small literary event that will leave all who experience it a little more serene. For most collections.
- Jeanne P. Leader, Western Nebraska Community Coll. Lib., Scotts bluff
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Hoff's Tao of Pooh is a wonderful, easy to understand book on the basics of taoism.
Jonna D. Spelbring
I would hope that this book makes all people realize that we are what we are, and we need everyone else in order to be what we are.
M. Macie
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interersted in eastern religion.
R. Zimmerman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

277 of 293 people found the following review helpful By Caz on June 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
I was introduced to this book a couple of years ago - had seen it on the shelf of the bookstore for years, thought about buying it and never did... and then I received it as a gift.
Without question, it's one of the best books I've read. It's not for its literary flow, academic presentation, entertaining style, or subject matter that I love this little book. I love it because it's a calm, smooth blend of all of the above.
The book does an outstanding job of presenting and explaining the basic tenets of Taoism. I laughed out loud several times over the experiences of poor Eeyore (oh, how I can relate!). If you'd like a quick dissertation of different philosophical views and personality styles, The Tao of Pooh does so through the showcasing of Pooh and his friends.
I'm not sure who Mr. Hoff's target audience was, but this is a book for young and old alike... all will gain something from reading through the book.
In fact, Mr. Hoff penned this book so well it stirred my desires to read once again Milne's classic title The Adventures of Pooh with a new light and perception.
This is an excellent title to add to your permanent library, whether you embrace Taoism or not. Its message of peace and tolerance is one that all faiths can understand and embrace - and well they should.
Can't recommend this one highly enough.
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105 of 110 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
A nice introduction to eastern philosophy and a good read for those seeking wisdom. In a modern society filled with superficial standards, noise polution and electronic everythings, this book is a welcome break that may just affect the ways you think and react. I also love and highly recommend the "Open Your Mind, Open Your Life" book of wisdom by Taro Gold which, like the Tao of Pooh, teaches that life is not about what happens to us, it's how we perceive what happens. Wonderful!
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206 of 225 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Hamlow HALL OF FAME on November 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
When we were covering Taoism in my World Religions class, I suddenly recalled the Tao of Pooh book my sister-in-law gave me the year I planned to end it all, back in 1995/96. I read it once, was comforted by it, and forgot it all. Years later, after reading Taoism, I instantly felt a light bulb flash in my head... "Oh, so that's what it's all about!" This cute book combines the Taoist philosophy in conjunction with Pooh's interractions with his friends, with Christopher Robin being the kind but serious teacher who tries to teach Pooh about what he represents--Taoism.
In contrasting Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, Confucius is described as a sour-faced man, Buddha as one with a bitter expression, but Lao-Tse being the smiling one. Basically, the laws that govern the heavens are the same one that govern earth and man, and that if we go with the flow, we'll be in harmony.
The concepts of wu-wei is also explained. Wu-wei means "not doing" but of doing nothing against the natural flow. Here, it's called the Pooh Way, because Pooh has a "mind that merely sees what's in front of it, and follows the nature of things." In other words, put the round peg in the round hole, the square peg in the square one.
The characters who make up Pooh's friends demonstrate the flaw of knowledge and cleverness, and I was fascinated and sobered by this because their personalities reflect me, and I realize the bad side in knowing too much.
Dig this: Owl, the modern equivalent of a Confusionist, Dessicated Scholar, is described as someone who gains Knowledge for Knowledge's sake, or for the sake of appearing wise. A bit harsh because that's me to some extent.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
Overall, "The Tao of Pooh" is a good introduction to Taoism, and some of its chapters are extremely well-written. I was disappointed, however, when the book began heavily criticizing other philosophies, specifically those personified by Rabbit, Eeyore, and Owl. I don't see Taoism as being that intolerant, or unable to see the wisdom and logic of other theories. I think this would have been a much better book if it had focused on what Taoism *is,* instead of what it is *not.*
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Belcher on May 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
I was recently introduced to taoism through the music of John Cage. The book is written as if for a child, but the terminology and philosophy put forth is far to introspective and mature for young children to handle. It is a gentle lesson on life and priority management. The author explains taoist beliefs though a conversation with Pooh and Piglet and the rest of them, as well as through short stories about their adventures. The book comes across astonishingly light for such seemingly serious subject matter. Large text and simple illustrations only add to the book's levity, but at the end, you're left feeling peaceful and refreshed. "The Tao of Pooh" is ripe for repeat readings, whenever you feel like you need to relax. While Eeeore frets...and Piglet hesitates...and Rabbit calculates...and owl pontificates...
Pooh just is.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By ! Metamorpho ;) on May 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
People. It is a beautiful spring day today. The sun is shining, a warm breeze is caressing, the clouds are puffy cotton, the squirrels are scurrying and the birds are chirping. (Which is o.k. as long as they don't fly overhead!). Your Metamorpho decided to take his pen and pad to the ol' babbling brook to get into the reflective mood to write this next review. I sat down against an old oak tree and started to write. However, it was so peaceful I started to doze off. In the middle of envisioning Sondra the Seerest doing her latest belly dance, I felt a furry hand tugging at my white linen cuff.

"Wake up Mr. Metamorpho, wake up!" a voice said. I blinked my eyes open to find Pooh there, face full of honey.

"Oh it's you Pooh," I said with surprise. "Funny you should be here. I was just going to write about you."

"You were?" he said with eyes wide open. "Why?"

"Well, because I'm here writing a review of Benjamin Hoff's book called 'The Tao of Pooh', which is about you."

"It is?" he asked. "Wow!"

"No, Tao Pooh", I corrected.

"What is Tao Mr. Metamorpho?" he asked with a puzzled look.

"Well, I think it is one of the great teachings of China. A philosopy of sorts. Mr. Hoff equates this with how you are. An uncarved block, as he puts it."

"He thinks I'm a blockhead?" Pooh said, as a lone tear started to form.

"No no Pooh. Even though you are a bear of simple brain, Mr. Hoff explains that you are not stupid, but representative of the simplicity one needs to lead a calm and natural life. Go with the flow, if you will."

"That sounds better," he smiled.

"Sure does. The concept of Tao is very interesting, but, essentially the belief is that there is constant evolution in the world.
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