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Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear Hardcover – Picture Book, October 20, 2015

4.9 out of 5 stars 603 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 3—This sweet tale of the black bear that inspired the legendary children's book character Winnie-the-Pooh will resonate with readers. In the framing story, a mother tells her son, Cole, a bedtime tale about how veterinarian Harry Colebourn, a young Canadian soldier on his way to train and fight in Europe during World War I, stumbled upon a baby black bear that he bought off a trapper at a train depot. Colebourn named the bear Winnie, short for Winnipeg, a gentle reminder of his hometown, and took the bear with him to England. Winnie quickly became the mascot of his unit. But when the time came to ship out to France for combat, Colebourn left his beloved pet in the capable hands of the London Zoo. Later, Milne and his son, Christopher Robin, visited the London Zoo and Christopher Robin took an immediate shine to Winnie, developing an unusually strong bond with the animal and even playing with her in her enclosure. The boy imagined all sorts of adventures for Winnie, which became the basis for the now-famous stories written by Milne. Washes of muted colors convey a cozy cheeriness that imbues the book with warmth and comfort, while occasional interjections from young Cole add to the fun. Blackall's characters are rosy-cheeked and expressive, while Winnie is curious and whimsical. A perfect melding of beautiful art with soulful, imaginative writing, this lovely story, penned by Colebourn's great-great granddaughter, is ideal for sharing aloud or poring over individually. VERDICT Children everywhere will enjoy this tale for years. A must-have.—Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA

Review

A New York Times Notable Children's Book of the Year
Horn Book Fanfare
NYPL 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
Booklinks Lasting Connections
Bookpage Best Book of the Year


* "The sum total is as captivating as it is informative, transforming a personal family story into something universally resonant."―Horn Book, starred review


* "Little ones who love Milne's classic stories will be enchanted by this heartening account of the bear's real-life origins."―Booklist, starred review

* "A perfect melding of beautiful art with soulful, imaginative writing, this lovely story, penned by Colebourn's great-great granddaughter, is ideal for sharing aloud or poring over individually."―School Library Journal, starred review

* "The book strikes a lovely, understated tone of wonder and family pride...[Sophie Blackall] proves that she's equally imaginative at chronicling straight-on reality too."

Publishers Weekly, starred review


"Gorgeously illustrated...[a] delightful telling"―New York Times Book Review

"[An] inspiring text...Blackall's breathtaking watercolor illustrations demand to be examined up close, and Winnie's face is as expressive as the humans'."―School Library Connection

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Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5
603 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on October 13, 2016
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Top international reviews

Mrs L Tidmarsh
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 22, 2016
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G Wormley
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 8, 2016
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C Ireland
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 7, 2016
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4.0 out of 5 stars I sent the book as a gift to my cousin ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 28, 2016
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kathleen frank
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 7, 2016
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Deb
4.0 out of 5 stars Its a big book with fantastic illustrations by Sophie Blackell
Reviewed in India on August 6, 2016
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PGG
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem that started on the CPR Platform in White River Ontario, my hometown. Excellent book, and quite factual too!
Reviewed in Canada on July 9, 2018
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S C
5.0 out of 5 stars A nice book
Reviewed in Canada on May 9, 2019
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Walt Schoenhausen
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT WINNIPEG CONNECTION
Reviewed in Canada on June 14, 2018
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Marilyn Riopel
4.0 out of 5 stars Get the hardback not the Kindle for a delightful read.
Reviewed in Canada on April 8, 2016
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Clare Hallward
5.0 out of 5 stars Finding Winnie is a Must Have book!
Reviewed in Canada on August 4, 2017
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Monique M Corriveau
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful text!
Reviewed in Canada on December 2, 2015
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air.bear
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book
Reviewed in Canada on March 29, 2019
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Roy haigh
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book
Reviewed in Canada on May 1, 2020
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
Reviewed in Canada on October 21, 2018
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