National Winnie the Pooh Day
Winnie the Pooh Day is celebrated every year on January 18th – the birthday of the author A.A. Milne. It is a day of celebration which fans of all ages like to embrace – whether it is by having teddy bear’ picnics featuring plenty of honey, or walks in the Hundred Acre Wood (Ashdown Forest in Sussex) and of course playing pooh sticks!
What makes it a classic?
The Winnie the Pooh books are timeless - due in part to the characters’ relatability, the soft but clever humour and the funny storylines, which are often at the character’s expense.
“Everyone knew an ‘Eeyore’ or a ‘Tigger’,” James Campbell, who runs the EH Shepard Trust and is the author of The Art of Winnie-the-Pooh, says, “Readers could recognise these characteristics in themselves or their friends.”
“The simplicity of the prose and illustrations also served to heighten the beautiful and philosophical undertones, which were key not only to their appeal, but to their endurance. Pooh’s philosophical musings – such as the poem, The Two of Us, which ends with the line:
“It isn't much fun for One, but Two, Can stick together, says Pooh, says he. ‘That's how it is,’ says Pooh” – are now regularly read out at weddings.” Jessica Salter, The Telegraph
- A.A. Milne released his first volume of stories in 1926.
- Many of the locations that inspired the books and Disney Film are in Sussex – where Milne lived when writing the stories. The Hundred Acre Wood is actually Five Hundred Acre Wood in Ashdown Forest.
- The character Christopher Robin was inspired by Milne’s son who was also called Christopher Robin. The characters Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore were based on his toys.
- The origins of the bear are said to have been influenced by a Canadian black bear at London Zoo during WW1 – who Christopher would often go and visit. Interestingly, in his poem ‘The Mirror’ A.A Milne mentions a swan called Pooh.
- In 1960, the book of Winnie the Pooh reached the prestigious New York Times Best Seller List.
- In 1961, Milne’s widow sold the rights to Disney.
- In 1977 Disney released “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” which featured a new character (Goffer) who was not in the original books.
- Winnie the Pooh’s adventures have been translated into 50 languages.
- Winnie the Pooh is one of a few animated characters who appear on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Everyone has a favourite Winnie the Pooh quote. However some of the quotes are not written by A.A. Milne, but are from the Disney adaptation. Here are a selection of quotes:
- “I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words Bother me.” Winnie the Pooh
- “A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.”- Eeyore
- “It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like, 'What about lunch?'” - Winnie The Pooh
- “This Writing business. Pencils and what-not. Over-rated, if you ask me. Silly stuff. Nothing in it.” – Eeyore
- “Some people care too much. I think It’s called love.” – Winnie the Pooh
- “A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left inside.”- Winnie the Pooh
- “They’re funny things, Accidents. You never have them till you’re having them.” - Eeyore
- “I think, said Christopher Robin, ‘that we ought to eat all our Provisions now, so that we shan’t have so much to carry.”
- “It never hurts to keep looking for sunshine.” – Eeyore
- “An ambush,' said Owl, 'is a sort of Surprise”
- “So is a gorse-bush sometimes,” said Pooh
- “Rivers know this: There is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” - Winnie the Pooh
- "If you live to be a hundred, I hope I live to be a hundred minus one day, so that I never have to live a day without you." – Winnie the Pooh
Currently on the Library window, we have the quote:
“Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.”
Ashdown Forest is a popular destination for Winnie the Pooh fans. There is a Pooh walks leaflet with details of the trails you can visit Eeyore’s Gloomy Place and the Heffalump trap. Inside the forest there is also stone memorial to A.A Milne and E.H Shepard, who was the illustrator.
Christopher Robin and his father played Pooh sticks at Posingford Bridge, Sussex and it is a popular spot to play the game. There is even an annual World Poohsticks championship which takes place in Witney Oxfordshire.
A.A. Milne wrote a number of Winnie the Pooh books including:
The House at Pooh Corner
*When We Were Young
*Now We are Six
The Christopher Robin Story Book
The World of Pooh
The World of Christopher Robin (which contained *these titles). In this version he wrote:
“In some way the name of Chrsitopher Robin has caught the fancy of children, and the child to whom it belongs has always been identified with the two books of verse into which his name (actually) so seldom comes”.
An extract from Now We are Six
“That’s what they are,” said Pooh
“Let’s frighten the dragons,” I said to Pooh
“That’s right,” said Pooh to Me.
“I’m not afraid,” I said to Pooh
And I held his paw and I shouted “Shoo!
Silly old dragons!” – and off they flew.
“I wasn’t afraid,” said Pooh, said he,
“I’m never afraid with you.”