Fiction — eBook. Penguin, 2009. Originally published 1926. 160 pgs. Free download.
Although Milne’s collection of short stories about a silly old bear named Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends in the Hundred Acre Woods is considered a classic children’s tale, I’ve never actually read the original stories. My introduction to Winnie-the-Pooh was through the Disney movies, which my brother and I considered a cherished part of our VHS collection as children. They were incidentally one of the few movies we could both agree to watch as I was all about the Disney princesses and he was really into dinosaurs and The Land Before Time series.
Anyways, I decided to finally read the classic tales of Winnie-the-Pooh after seeing this book on my mom’s iPad (it is the “starter book” for iBooks when you first receive your iPad). Before I even started reading, though, I was struck by the beauty of the original illustrations. I grew up with Dinsey’s version, and the round bear with his red shirt is immediately what I think of when someone says Winnie-the-Pooh. Kanga, Owl, and Rabbit look completely different!
The story in which Pooh gets stuck in Rabbit’s front door will probably always be my favorite, but I did enjoy reading each tale for the first time. Many of them have been replicated in Disney’s movies; however, the stories of traveling to the North Pole and hunting the Heffalump are not ones I remember viewing as a child. I was also surprised not to see Tigger in the book as I had assumed he was a part of the original cast of characters, but he apparently does not make an appearance until The House at Pooh Corner.
The stories are very cute, but I think the illustrations are really what made the stories. It’s hard to imagine reading the book without them now. If I ever have children, I certainly plan to make sure they do not miss out reading this book when they are younger. Nineteen years is just too long to go without reading these classic stories!