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The Complete Tales of Winnie-The-Pooh Hardcover – Lay Flat, October 1, 1996
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When Christopher Robin asks Pooh what he likes doing best in the world, Pooh says, after much thought, "What I like best in the whole world is Me and Piglet going to see You, and You saying 'What about a little something?' and Me saying, 'Well, I shouldn't mind a little something, should you, Piglet,' and it being a hummy sort of day outside, and birds singing."
Happy readers for over 70 years couldn't agree more. Pooh's status as a "Bear of Very Little Brain" belies his profoundly eternal wisdom in the ways of the world. To many, Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and the others are as familiar and important as their own family members. A.A. Milne's classics, Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, are brought together in this beautiful edition, complete and unabridged, with recolored illustrations by Milne's creative counterpart, Ernest H. Shepard. Join Pooh and the gang as they meet a Heffalump, help get Pooh unstuck from Rabbit's doorway, (re)build a house for Eeyore, and try to unbounce Tigger. A childhood is simply not complete without full participation in all of Pooh's adventures. (All ages) --Emilie Coulter
About the Author
A. A. Milne was born in England in 1882, the third and youngest son of London schoolteachers. As a boy he wrote verses, parodies, and short humorous pieces for his school’s paper. He went on to study at Cambridge.
In 1903 he left school to write. Before long he was supporting himself on his earnings, and became an editor at Punch magazine. In 1913 he married Dorothy de Selincourt. He began his military service in 1915 in Europe. During this time he wrote three plays, all of which were produced on the London stage.
Christopher Robin Milne was born in 1920. It was Christopher’s toy bear, pig, donkey, tiger, and kangaroo that became the inspiration for the famous Pooh books.
A. A. Milne wrote more plays, a novel, his autobiography, and political nonfiction, although he is best remembered for Winnie-the-Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner, When We Were Very Young, and Now We Are Six. Milne died in 1956.
Ernest H. Shepard was born in 1879 in London. His mother, who died when Ernest was ten, encouraged her son to paint and draw, and there was never any doubt that Ernest would be an artist. He was later awarded medals for his work and was named a Landseer Scholar. In 1901 his first picture exhibited in the Royal Academy.
In 1903 he married Florence Chaplin. The Shepards had two children—Graham, who was killed in World War II, and Mary, who later illustrated the Mary Poppins books. Shepard served in Europe during the war. Afterward he joined the editorial board at Punch, where he met A. A. Milne.
Shepard’s drawings appear in many books for adults and children. Among them is Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. Shepard died in 1976.
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Yep, my first of three sons, Trey, left the "fort" (what we call our house). Some of my favorite memories are of our bedtime ritual where I would read to he and his brothers. Then I would strum guitar and we would sing songs. Back then, he was so innocent that he and his brothers thought that I could carry a tune, which I cannot; but I sang anyway. Then I'd strum a lullaby or two before going back to my work (they seldom stayed awake for a third).
There was no mother there. I'd read my medical journals, wash their school uniforms to be ready for the next day, and (here's a secret) sometimes I would read, alone, while my sons slept, more of the adventures of Christopher Robin before putting the book back on the shelf, taking a last peek at my sons, and then going to bed.
Remembering those nights brings me more joy than remembering anything that I ever did at work (and as a former ER physician I have literally saved the lives of hundreds).
One of the most magical of the books we read back then, and my favorite for a younger child, is this version of Pooh. If you only know the "Disneyfied" version, then you don't really know Pooh. Here you hear the beauty, and the rhythm, and the vocabulary of slightly antiquated British English; and you learn a sweeter and deeper understanding of the world of Pooh.
Such precious times are childhood--but not perfect times--not without pain. Children (mine own included) know the pain of divorce, death, and turmoil. But, what better can a parent do than to fight to protect the magic of childhood?
This volume will go far towards both protecting and nurturing that magic.
In the last story of the series, Christopher Robin and Pooh sit and talk about how Christopher will be leaving the Hundred Acre Wood--and not coming back. I'm not sure that I ever made it through that one with a dry eye.
So, yesterday, as I drove away from my son's college dorm, leaving him there to find his place on the globe; as I made my own way home, alone with only my memories and the highway in front of me, I gave thanks for the time he and I spent together in our Fort, there in the middle of his Hundred-Acre-Wood. I remembered the round faces of he and his brothers, which (no matter what the bully did that day) lit with laughter when we read this book and made up melodies to carry the little rhymes the animals would sing.
I drove and I remembered how 10 years ago I would look at the haunting last illustration of the book, Christopher Robin and Pooh saying goodbye, and then would look at my sons (ages 8, 6, and 4). I knew then that one day I would be left behind, like Pooh, and with joy and with pain would say goodbye as each son left to enter the future outside the Wood--a place where the father can never go.
Yesterday, that day came.
Here's a tip: Turn off your stupid iPhone and read this book to your child.
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