Celebrating Winnie the Pooh - Winnie the Pooh Day Posted on 16 January 2022 by Amber Gravenell - Kent Teach in General Did you know the 18th January is Winnie the Pooh Day? It is observed on this date as it was the birthday of Winnie the Pooh's creator and author, A. A. Milne. For generations, A. A Milne’s collection of short stories set in The Hundred Acre Wood has remained a firm family-favourite. The original collection of short stories has been adapted into numerous animated productions over the years. Winnie the Pooh was first published on the 14th October 1926. But, it has remained popular and relevant throughout the decades with life-affirming and poignant messages embedded in the very heart of the stories. In this article, we reveal interesting facts about Winnie the Pooh as well as sharing our favourite quotes and messages from A. A Milne’s timeless narrative. Facts About Winnie the Pooh SwanspirationWinnie the Pooh, the bear himself, was a result of combined inspiration. There is a lack of clarity regarding exactly where the name ‘Pooh’ was drawn from. It is believed a swan was the source of inspiration for this part of Winnie’s name. There are mixed accounts, but in his poem ‘The Mirror’, A. A. Milne references a swan called Pooh. Milne revealed his son, Christopher Robin, named a swan they met on holiday Pooh. But, also, it is believed Christopher Robin made a ‘pooh’ sound when blowing away the feathers shed by a different swan belonging to a friend. Although it is unclear exactly which swan influenced Winnie the Pooh’s name, it is reasonable to conclude ‘Pooh’ was inspired by a swan. Real Life to Fiction In 1914 Winnie, an orphaned black bear, was brought to England by Lieutenant Harry Colebourn, who was also a vet. He rescued Winnie after finding her on a railway platform in Ontario. Winnie was promptly made the regimental mascot for the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps. When Colebourn was deployed to France, he took Winnie to London Zoo. It was at London Zoo that A. A. Milne’s beloved character was born, taking inspiration from Winnie the black bear. It is reported Milne’s son, Christopher Robin, was a frequent visitor to the zoo. Christopher Robin named a teddy bear he owned Winnie the Pooh. Thus unconsciously facilitating the creation of the fictional Winnie the Pooh for his father. Toy Box InspirationsAs mentioned, Winnie the Pooh was inspired by Christopher Robin’s stuffed bear of the same name. but, the majority of the characters in The Hundred Acre Wood were also born from the contents of Christopher Robin’s toy box. The only exceptions are Owl, Rabbit and Gopher. Remarkably, you can view the original sources of inspiration from Christopher Robin’s toy box in the New York Public Library!Ashdown ForestAlthough The Hundred Acre Wood is a fictional setting, Milne was inspired by the Ashdown Forest in Sussex, which was close to his country home. Why not take a trip to the Ashdown Forest and play a game of pooh sticks? A. A. Milne: About the AuthorBorn in 1882, A. A. Milne was highly educated and attended Westminster School in London and Trinity College in Cambridge. He worked on various publications including Granta magazine whilst attending Trinity College and later, Punch. He was married in 1913 then served in WW1 from 1915 as a signalling officer, eventually he was discharged from service in 1919 due to poor health. Following his discharge from service, A. A. Milne composed several plays, a novel and verse before enjoying resounding success with his Winnie the Pooh collection. Global ReachWinnie the Pooh’s adventures have been translated into 50 languages, meaning the beloved stories are enjoyed on a worldwide scale. A Walk of FameWinnie the Pooh is one of a select few animated characters who have been chosen to appear on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Unforgettable and Timeless Quotes“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” - Winnie the Pooh“A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.” - Eeyore“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“A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left inside.” - Winnie the Pooh“Some people care too much. I think it’s called love.” - Winnie the Pooh“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.” - Winnie the Pooh“It never hurts to keep looking for sunshine.” - Eeyore“Rivers know this: There is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” - Winnie the Pooh“Any day spent with you is my favourite day. So, today is my new favourite day.” - Winnie the Pooh“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” - Winnie the Pooh“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” - Winnie the Pooh“Love is taking a few steps backward maybe even more to give way to the happiness of the person you love.” - Winnie the Pooh“If people are upset because you’ve forgotten something, console them by letting them know you didn’t forget—you just weren’t remembering.” - Winnie the Pooh“Oh, bother.” - Winnie the PoohSo why not celebrate Winnie the Pooh Day by sharing some of A. A Milne’s short stories with your children, Grandchildren or even your class? If you are searching for further literary inspiration for children, check out our article, ‘5 Timeless Children’s Books’.