|Winnie-the-Pooh made his first appearance in a poem called "Teddy Bear" by A.A.Milne, which first appeared in PUNCH magazine, in 1923. A.A.Milne's verses were later published in the collection. When We Were Very Young, in 1924. The illustrator, E.H. Shepard, was an inspired choice, and the book quickly became a favorite with both young and adult readers. When in 1926, A.A. Milne's first stories about Winnie-the-Pooh were published, the book was an instant success. Since then, Winnie-the-Pooh has become a world famous bear, with A,A.Milne's stories about Pooh and his forest friends translated into thirty-one different languages.
The characters of the book POOH, PIGLET, EEYORE, TIGGER, KANGA and ROO, are based upon real nursery toys belonging to A.A.Milne's son, Christopher Robin, and their adventures are set in the Ashdown Forest where Milne and his family lived. OWL and RABBIT, are based on animals living in the Ashdown Forest.
The artist E.H.Shepard, lovingly depicted the Forest and the toys in his drawings and the places that he drew can still be seen.
A.A.Milne was born in London, in 1882. He began his writing career with humorous pieces for PUNCH magazine. He also wrote plays. By the time his first book of poems for children was published in 1924, he had already made his name as a dramatist and novelist. Milne always acknowledged that it was his wife, Daphne, and his son, Christopher Robin, who gave life to the nursery animals which were the inspiration for his stories, Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner. E.H.Shepard was first suggested as the artist for his works by his friend E.V.Lucas, the then Chairman of Methuen.
E.H.Shepard became known as the "Man who drew Pooh," but was also an acclaimed artist in his own right. Born in 1879, Shepard was able to draw well from an early age. He won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Arts, and later, like Milne, worked for PUNCH magazine as a cartoonist and illustrator. Shepard's witty and loving illustrations of Winnie-the-Pooh and friends of Hundred Acre Wood have become an inseperable part of the Pooh stories. Even Milne, who at first had been doubtful about the choice of Shepard as an illustrator for his stories, was well pleased with the final results. E.H.Shepard's illustrations have become classics in their own right and his drawings of Pooh are recognised all over the world.
|A.A.Milne and Christopher Robin, with Nursery Pooh|
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|Winnie-the-Pooh first published 14 October,1926 text by A.A.Milne, illustrations by E.H.Shepard copyright under the Berne Convention.
The House At Pooh Corner first published 1928 text by A.A. Milne, illustrations by E.H.Shepard copyright under the Berne Convention.
When We Were Very Young first published 1924 text by A.A. Milne, illustrations by E.H.Shepard copyright under the Berne Convention.
Now We are Six first published 1927 text by A.A.Milne, illustrations by E.H.Shepard copyright under the Berne Convention.
| If you happen to read another book about Christopher Robin, you may remember that he once had a swan (or the swan had Christopher Robin, I don't know which), and that he used to call this swan Pooh. That was a long time ago, and when we said good-bye, we took the name with us, as we didn't think the swan would want it any more. Well, when Edward Bear said that he would like an exciting name all to himself, Christopher Robin said at once, without stopping to think, that he was Winnie-the-Pooh. And he was. So, as I have explained the Pooh part, I will now explain the rest of it.
You can't be in London for long without going to the Zoo. There are some people who begin the Zoo at the beginning, called WAYIN, and walk as quickly as they can past every cage until they get to the once called WAYOUT, but the nicer people go straight to the animal they love the most, and stay there. So when Christopher Robin goes to the Zoo, he goes straight to where the Polar Bears are, and he whispers something to the third keeper from the left, and doors are unlocked, and we wander through dark passages and up steep stairs, until at last we come to the special cage, and the cage is opened, and out trots something brown and furry, and with a happy cry of "Oh Bear!" Christopher Robin rushes into its arms. Now this bear's name is Winnie, which shows what a good name for bears it is, but the funny thing is we can't remember whether Winnie is called after Pooh, or Pooh after Winnie. We did know once, but we have forgotten. . . .
I had written as far as this when Piglet looked up and said in his squeaky voice "What about Me?" "My dear Piglet," I said, "the whole book is about you." "So it is about Pooh," he squeaked. You see what it is. He is jealous because he thinks Pooh is having the grand introduction all to himself. Pooh is the favourite, of course, there's no denying it, but Piglet comes in for a good many things which Pooh misses; because you can't take Pooh to school without everybody knowing it, but Piglet is so small that he slips into a pocket, where it is very comforting to feel him when you are not quite sure whether twice seven is twelve or twenty-two. Sometimes he slips out and has a good look at the ink pot, and in his way he has got more education than Pooh, but Pooh doesn't mind. Some have brains, and some haven't, he says, and there it is.
And now all the others are saying, "What about US?" So perhaps the best thing to do is to stop writing Introductions and get on with the book.
|Christopher Milne at London Zoo (1981)
With Bronze Statue of Winnie the
|E. H. Shepard, with a compilation of his drawings|
|Cartoon of Pooh and Christopher done for PUNCH by J.H.Dowd-
|This is a map of the area that A.A. Milne and his family went to for vacation.
It is the area that is used in his famous books - "Winnie-the-Pooh" and "The House at Pooh Corner".
Map is from "The Brilliant Career of Winnie-the-Pooh" - page 82.