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5 Facts You Need To Know About Winnie The Pooh



Saturday the 18th of January marks the birthday of AA Milne, the author of the famous and unforgettable Winnie the Pooh stories.  Every year this day is celebrated by libraries, storytellers and fans who celebrate the honey-loving bear and his adventures. 

Winnie the Pooh first appeared on a printed page in 1926 together with his friends Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore. The group of animals were based on toys owned by the author’s son, Christopher Robin. Many people will be celebrating this weekend by attending teddy bear picnics or joining to read the wonderful children stories. 

“A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left inside.” - Winnie the Pooh

Although many of us will have fond memories of reading the loveable collections, we often forget that Winnie the Pooh was inspired by a real bear. Read our 5 facts to find out more about the making of Winnie The Pooh. 

1) The stories were based on toys owned by the author's son
AA Milne based the collection of children's stories on his young son named Christopher Robin. Christopher received toy animals from his father in in the 1920s and these became the basis for many of the characters. Christopher previously named his teddy "Edward" but renamed it Winnie after his favourite animal at the zoo. Sources state that “Pooh" was added because Christopher would say this when feeding swans.  After first appearing in the 1924 poem as "Mr Edward Bear", Winnie made his first appearance in a book in 1926.

2) Locations named after The Ashdown Forest in Sussex, England
In 1925 AA Milne bought a farm on the edge of Ashdown Forest in East Sussex where he took his family for weekend trips in the summer. His collection of stories is based on explorations he had with his family in the woods and a pamphlet of "Pooh Walks" is available to visitors including Wrens Warren Valley (Eeyore's sad and gloomy place).

3) Original toys found in New York Public Library
Visitors can find Winnie the Pooh and friends in the New York Library where they have been since 1987. If you go to the children's centre on the ground floor at Fifth Avenue you will find Eeyore, Kanga, Piglet and Tigger. Hullabaloo joined in 1998 when a British Member of Parliament ordered for the toys to be returned to England but authorities in the United States and England decided to keep all the friends together in New York Library.

4) Winnie was a female bear
Winnie the Pooh' s voice has always been provided by a man in Disney films. Sterling Holloway, Hal Smith and Jim Cummings are the three actors who gave their voice to Winnie the Pooh. The real-life bear was named after the female black bear named Winnie. Christopher Robin named his teddy Winnie after he had seen the actual bear at London Zoo.

5) The real Winnie
AA Milne has made many links between the real Winnie and the cuddly bear in his stories. The real Winnie had an appetite for sugary foods including condensed milk, similarly, Winnie the Pooh also has a sweet tooth and craves honey. The real Winnie passed away in 1934 and her skull was transported to the Royal College of Surgeons in London where it was preserved. Winnie's skull went on display for the first time in 2015 at Hunterian Museum.

Take a trip down memory lane, indulge in childhood memories and grab a copy of Winnie the Pooh. Find a quiet place or book corner this weekend. Read about book corners in schools in Backed into a Book Corner. 
 
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