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The Tao of Pooh Paperback – July 28, 1983
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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.
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 the Audio CD edition.
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The Dao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff is an allegorical novel paralleling that of Winnie the Pooh and friends in Hundred Acre Wood. With symbolic references to Taoism’s most valued text, The Tao Te Ching, are depicted by relating them to the inhabitants in the village. Each character has a certain characteristic, and through the principles of Taoism, they are able to explain the ideology which is the platform for the philosophy.
Embedded within the story is an ample amount of figurative language which made for an easy read. I completed the book in a little over 3 hours; I was fascinated by the philosophy of Taoism and its allegorical connection to the characters in Winnie the Pooh. Each of the characters are used to demonstrate the most basic principles of Taoism, quickly grabbing the attention of the reader. I feel it would be interesting to read again, or perhaps listen to the audio version of the story in order to fully comprehend the ideology in its entirety.
The most interesting thing about this adorable book is the connections he makes between us and all the characters of Winnie the Pooh: Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit, Pooh, Tiger, and Owl. According to him, the majority of the time we want to be efficient Rabbit or learned Owl.
But is this really what we want? Or are we merely conforming to society and the prestige marked behind these characteristics?
Us IB kids are stereotypically known for always being on the run- running but never knowing where we're going half the time. This is really not far from the truth. In this generation, the focus for all high-achieving high school students is usually to enter a prestigious college. But the probelm is, most of us never have any idea what we want from our lives let alone what major to decide on. This book is so relevant because it takes the time to bring up all the choices that most of us are making so lightly or beliving we have none.
In The Tao of Pooh, Pooh emerges as the unlikely hero and truly the wisest of them all. It has given me a new outlook on the world and the meaning of our actions and choices.
Another little bonus is a raise in optimism. =]