TEDDY BEARS

Forebears of the Modern Teddy

Teddy Bear Therapy

Winnie the Pooh

Bears in the News

X Ray

Making and Collecting Teddy Bears

Good Bad Fat Skinny


Winnie the Pooh


You can't discuss Teddybears without mentioning that Bear of Very Little Brain, Winnie the Pooh. He and the other cotton-brained residents of the Hundred Aker Woods have charmed kids for 75 years.

For their impact, it's hard to imagine that Alan A. Milne wrote only two books about the bear and his friends plus twobooks of verse (some of which featured Christopher Robin).To illustrate them, he enlisted an illustrator he knew from writing for Punch Magazine, Ernest Shepard. Recognizing Shepard's contributions to the success of his first book, Milne began splitting his royalties with him 80-20 instead ofjust giving him the normal illustrator's flat rate.

Despite the book's huge success, Milne got tired of writing for children. He was a fairly successful playwright who believed his kid books to be a diversion from his "real" career. After his second Pooh book, he announced that it was to be his last, and stuck to that decision.

Meanwhile, his son Christopher tired of the media attention and being ribbed constantly in school, army, and adult life with "Hey, where's Pooh?" and "Cwistopher Wobin is saying his pwayers" became estranged from both father and his literary namesake, alternately seeking anonymity and blasting both regularly in word and print.

His father began feeling the same way as the public continually rejected his more serious efforts. In 1952, a few months before the stroke that eventually killed him, though, he wrote in his memoirs, "There was an intermediate period when any reference to Pooh was infuriating; but now such a 'nice comfortable feeling' envelopes him that I can almost regard him impersonally as the creation of one of my favorite authors." His funeral in 1956 was the last time Christopher would see either parent, although his mother would live another fifteen years.

She was busy during that time, enraging Christopher by selling his father's original manuscripts; infuriating most of England by giving most of the original stuffed animals to Milne's American publisher, which placed them in a case in a New York Public Library where they reside still; and exasperating most readers of the books by selling the movie rights to Disney, which returned the favor in "Winnie-the-Pooh and the Honey Tree" by turning Piglet into a gopher and giving all the characters Midwestern accents.

Christopher somewhat came to terms with his unwelcome notoriety over the years after writing two successful books about it. He died in April, 1996.

There really was a Christopher Robin Milne, author Alan A. Milne's son. Through his REAL- LIFE childhood, though, he was usually called Bill or Billy Moon. ("Moon" because that's the closest young Billy could get to pronouncing his own last name).

The very first Kanga and Roo belonged to Christopher Robin's childhood friend, Anne Darlington, who later auctioned them off to a Teddy Bear Museum in December, 1995. Later Milne apparently got his own.

"Winnie the Pooh" has been translated into at least 33 languages. The Latin version made history as the first non-English book to hit the NY Times Bestseller List in 1960. "Winnie ille Pu" remained there for 20 weeks.

"Back to the house of Christopher Robin and Pooh...." Written and performed by Kenny Loggins, "Return to Pooh Corner" was originally released in 1969.

That Bear of Very Little Brain's mindless existence awakened author Benjamin Hoff to write about Pooh-philosophy in "The Tao of Pooh" (1982). His sequel, "The Te of Piglet" was released in 1992.

Do you want to see Christopher Robin's stuffed toys?

Despite numerous grumblings from England, Winnie, Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga, and Tigger are displayed in the children's section of New York Public Library's Donnell Library Center. The toys are a little worse for wear, because the Milne family dog also apparently enjoyed playing with them. And, most tragically, Roo was lost somewhere in an English apple orchard in the 1930s.
Donnell Library Center
20 West 53rd Street
New York, N.Y. 10019
Phone: (212) 621-0618

Hundred Akers Woods

Traveling to England, presumably on your way to the North Pole, and want to see the real woods where Tigger bounced and Eeyore grouched? It's still there, more or less, an hour from London from the Pooh Sticks Bridge to Owl's House to the North Pole Itself. For travel information, contact:
The British Tourist Authority
551 Fifth Avenue, Seventh Floor
New York, NY 10176

The Page at Pooh Corner
Background stories, biographies, history, photos, timelines... this is the best-researched and documented site we've found.

http://chaos.trxinc.com/jmilne/Pooh/

Virtual Pooh Sticks
Everybody's played Pooh Sticks, a game of speed and agility. Here's a computer simulation of the game which is definitely better than the real thing. Play on the Internet against stuffed animals from around the world!
http://pooh.muscat.co.uk/pooh-sticks/ps_origin.html



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