Once upon a time, in the Hundred Acre Wood, there lived a silly old bear who loved “hunny” almost, but not quite as much, as he loved his friends Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga, Roo, and of course, Christopher Robin. Since 1926, Winnie the Pooh and his cohorts have brought joy to children and adults, inspiring us to embrace the love and friendship that’s all around. Every year on January 18th, we mark writer A.A. Milne’s birthday by celebrating Winnie the Pooh, Milne’s greatest professional achievement.
Winnie the Pooh is one of the rare book characters to have transcended children’s literature and become a part of our culture. Although the Pooh Bear stories were originally penned in the 1920’s–Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928)–our favorite “chubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff” bear has remained more than relevant thanks to Milne’s wise words and an array of retail items, television shows, feature films, and other spinoff creations. Truly, Pooh and his pals have never left us. More so, Milne’s uplifting words are still tiny nuggets of wisdom, now spread far and wide online. Some of my favorites, all of which can be found in Winnie-the-Pooh, include:
“You’re braver than you believe and stronger and smarter than you think.”
“‘We’ll be friends forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet.
‘Even longer,’ Pooh answered.”
Piglet: “The things that make me different are the things that make me.”
For a great collection of other Winnie the Pooh quotes, see Kate Krug’s article on BookRiot.
I grew up watching The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. I loved introverted but loving Piglet and pessimistic Eeyore. During the holidays, I watched Winnie the Pooh and Christmas, Too. Even as an adult, I still laugh when Pooh attempts to play Santa Claus and delivers some unfortunate DIY items, and I become emotional at the resolution, when Christopher Robin saves the day and reminds Pooh that Christmas is about who you share it with rather than what you receive. There are so many other wonderful Winnie the Pooh movies here at the LPL for you to enjoy, including a variety of holiday specials and others, such as:
Recently, two feature films were released related to Milne and the Pooh universe. The first, Goodbye Christopher Robin is a biopic of A.A. Milne, starring Domnhall Gleeson and Margot Robbie. The second, released just this past year, is Christopher Robin. Starring Ewan McGregor, the story is a blend of live action and CGI, with McGregor playing the titular role as a disillusioned adult who needs his old friends from the Hundred Acre Wood to regain his sense of wonder and imagination.
The world of Winnie the Pooh is larger than just the stories on the page. Two fantastic picture books tell the incredible story of the real-life bear who traveled from an English military camp to the London Zoo, eventually crossing paths with Milne and his real-life son, Christopher Robin Milne, forever changing their lives and ours. Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the Pooh and Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear (a Caldecott Medal winner) are both available through the LPL. Another special connection to the real Winnie the Pooh can be found at the New York Public Library’s Children’s Center at 42nd Street. There, visitors can see the original stuffed animals of Pooh, Piglet, Kanga, Eeyore, and Tigger that belonged to Christopher Robin Milne.
Stop by the Library for more Winnie the Pooh stories and take a moment to reflect on the power of imagination and friendship.