First of all this fantastic book is bright, large, heavy and has a wonderful blue and yellow stripe box cover to reveal a yellow and blue stripe book cover when you slide the pretty book out. I love it, as on the front it says ” The Bear for All ages” which is exactly what it is all about.
Poems, stories, and beautiful colourful illustrations on every page by E H Shepard, some of which are large full page pictures or even double full page pictures, that will make children love Winnie- the- Pooh more and more after every story and every poem. This is a book to treasure and buying it for children will not only give a love of stories, poetry and reading, but will give a long lasting keepsake for years to come. I was given my copy a few years ago from my daughter and I treasure it because it makes me feel happy whenever I pick it up. Just to read a story or poem and look at the cozy comforting illustrations, all the while knowing it was given to me by her.
The book is a collection of stories by A.A. Milne from Winnie-the -Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928), and the poems from When We were Young (1924) and Now We Are Six (1927). We get to know Christopher Robin, Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, Kanga, and Roo, through all their adventures in words and illustrations that fit so perfectly together, the characters seem to come alive.
Open the front cover and try not to be moved by this warm loving dedication of a gift from A.A. Milne, to his wife Daphne Milne.
Hand in hand we come
Christopher Robin and I
To lay this book in your lap.
Say you surprised?
Say you like it?
Say its just what you wanted?
Because its yours –
Because we love you.
Next you get to read a warm introduction by A. A. Milne giving a hint of how these characters came to be, and just how much he understands a child’s view of the world when he says how comforting it is, to be able to secretly slip Piglet into your pocket at school and know he is there when you are “not quite sure whether twice seven is twelve or twenty – two.” Its childhood at its finest, children playing, imagining, having toys that become friends for life, who doesnt have a teddy bear or tiger, lamb, pig etc from way back when they were very young, that could never be got rid of. It may live its days tucked away forgotten in a dark and lonely attic for many years while we are busy, but one day you will come across it and feel all the love you had for the little creature when you were a child. No way can it go, it is not junk, it is childhood, and it brings you joy.
There are illustrations on every page, all the characters showing vulnerability, happiness, wonder etc, all the emotions of a child discovering the world around them, you can’t miss the meaning. The smallest detail is here, down to the way children learn to write, just look at the notices written by Christopher Robin for Owl ( “who is the only one in the forest who could spell;” ) just like a child would write it when learning letters and exactly like many cards and letters my children wrote to me when they were young.
I’m sure children will discover their favourite stories and poems in this book since you can dip in to read a poem, chapter, look at illustrations that your child likes to see again and again or find that special song or ‘Hum,’ that Winnie- the-Pooh has been practising. It’s fun, funny, warm and gives you a great feeling sharing the amazing story writing with children. There is even a ribbon book mark so you can remember where that song is long after your child has gone to sleep, should you wish to learn it off by heart to surprise them when you next go out in the snow.
So finally, if you can find this book, I strongly recommend you buy it, as it is worth every penny and will be great value for money, for all the family will love it for many years to come. Read it often, love the characters, love the pictures and love getting in touch with childhood once again. A.A. milne and E.H. Shepherd capture those special growing up moments perfectly.