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When We Were Very Young (Winnie-the-Pooh) Hardcover – October 31, 1988
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From School Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
In 1913, Milne married Dorothy de Selincourt (known as Daphne) and moved to a house in London's Chelsea section. When World War I broke out, he enlisted in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, eventually serving in France. During his training period, he wrote his first play, Wurzel-Flummery, which was produced in London in 1917.
By 1919, having completed one book and several plays, Milne finally achieved financial independence. His play, Mr. Pim Passes By, previously staged in London, was produced by the Theatre Guild in New York City. It was as great a success there as it had been on the London stage. Milne was now well established as a witty and fashionable London playwright. In 1920, Christopher Robin Milne was born, an event that was to change the history of children's literature. In 1923, during a rainy holiday in Wales, Milne began work on a collection of verses for children. The result was When We Were Very Young, published in 1924.
Demand for Milne's whimsical work was overwhelming, and in 1926, he duplicated his earlier success with the publication of Winnie-the-Pooh. The sequel, The House at Pooh Corner, followed in 1927. Now We Are Six, another charming collection of verse, followed one year later. It was through these four books, all illustrated by the wonderfully talented Ernest H. Shepard, that Milne acquired a vast audience outside of the theater. In the years since their initial publication, interest in these books has grown and grown.
Milne continued to be a prolific essayist, novelist, and poet until his death in 1956.
Top Customer Reviews
I am thrilled that my son asks for Christopher Robin as his bedtime stories and "Hoppity" and "Market Square" have become his favourites too. He is an avid reader and I am just beginning to introduce him to poetry, what better way than A A Milne - It makes me feel like a child again and connects a grandson and a grandfather who never met each other.
It takes an extraordinary book to capture children's attention on the strength of words alone.
It's not that there are no illustrations here, just that each poem has just one or two small, original ink drawings; delightful, but bowing appropriately to the genius of words that can hold children spellbound. For instance, Milne takes a subject like sidewalks and transforms it into the stuff of playacting in Lines and Squares - an irresistible cadence to chant on a walk (or a lumbering gait):
And the masses of bears
Who wait at the corners all ready to eat the sillies who tread on the lines of the street
And I say to them, "BEARS.....
Just look how I'm walking in ALL of the squares!"
As I read I can now recall the precise inflection and finger-shaking combination from Disobedience that it took to elicit giggles from my sisters and me, now working its comedy on my four-year-old son:
James James SAID to his mother, "Mother", he said, said he;
"You Must Never Go Down To The End Of Town If You Don't Go Down With ME!"
When We Were Very Young is a collection of poems for children, about childhood, and for those who wish to remember its special magic view on the world. This book is a beloved tradition in my family, starting with those cozy evenings on my Grandmother's couch as we all snuggled up to hear about the brownie that lives behind the curtain, Jonathan Jo (who had a mouth like an O), the three foxes and Christopher Robin, who couldn't stop his hoppity hop. Your family is sure to find its own traditions in reading these poems to each other, young and old alike.
For example, Milne has a poem with a refrain:
has a mouth like an 'O'
It is fun to say, and it almost means something. Another poem talks about halfway up and down the stairs, getting a child to see the difference and sameness of the situation, great for critical thinking.
If you want pure silly humor, go buy Silverstein, but for great writing and solid bedtime reading to teach your child wit and poetry, buy this tiny book. There's a good chance you will like it as well.
"Disobedience" is another interesting poem. It's kind of a role-reversal story about a kid whose mother disobeys his orders to stay away from the end of town, and she gets lost as the result of her disobedience.
"Spring Morning" emphasizes the beauty of nature to us, saying, "It's awful fun to be born at all." Next is "The Island" which has a wonderful closing message that screams, "God made it all - FOR US!" to me.
And there are so many other joyous poems in this quick read too. There's "Jonathan Jo," "Rice Pudding," "The Wrong House," "The Dormouse and the Doctor" (which has some terrific rhythm), a very touching "Little Bo-Peep and Little Boy Blue," "The Invaders," "If I Were King," etc., etc.
But perhaps my favorite poem in the collection is "Halfway Down" which is about nothing more than sitting on stairs. Man, if someone can take such a simple act and make it so astoundingly wondrous, then that person truly must be one of the greatest writers ever.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautifully produced reproduction of this classic. My grandson & I have enjoyed many happy hours with it.Published 2 days ago by Diana Douglass
Yes, this is the book I remember from childhood. However, I did not know that I was buying a former library book with all the attendant stickers and such pasted inside. Read morePublished 22 days ago by S. D. Morgan
This book doesn't fit the description of the book given, a description that fits a book the same ISBN. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Rani D. Vivathanachai
The book was in the condition it sold for. It was in very good shapePublished 3 months ago by Rachel Michel Lawhon
Small package works better than a great big book for little guys. Of course, the content is excellent....same as for my children and grandchildren...now on to the next generation.Published 3 months ago by Barbara Rochester
Beautiful, creative writing. I don't own this particular print copy, so I can't speak to that. But Milne's work is soothing and fun.Published 3 months ago by Nut with a Camera