Wednesday, June 3, 2009

First Book: Winnie the Pooh

If it wasn't obvious by the title of this blog, I love Winnie the Pooh. This book has become a permanent classic, and in my opinion, rightfully so.

The book has ten chapters, beginning with Chapter 1: In Which We Are Introduced to Winnie-the-Pooh and Some Bees and the Stories Begin and ending with Chapter 10: In Which Christopher Robin Gives Pooh A Party and We Say Goodbye. Each chapter represents a new adventure, for not only the characters of the book, but for the reader as well. We are introduced to our main heroes, Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh (originally Edward the Bear), and their various friends - Piglet, Kanga and Roo, Rabbit, Owl, and Eeyore. Each character offers a new perspective and their own unique skills that make them invaluable to the 100 Aker Wood.

One of the main reasons that I feel I am attracted to this book is because of the way in which it perfects the magic of imagination. A.A Milne is able to make the reader feel as if they are not just reading a book, but participating in his child's (Christopher Robin) own concept of reality. Milne validates Christopher Robin's childhood hopes and dreams by offering these adventures to the entire world, as part of their own reality.

It would be remiss to leave out the illustrations of this book though. E.H Shepard was able to further the concept of this book by the amazing drawings that he did. I can't say much on the subject of art because I really lack any knowledge of it, but I do want to say that these drawings make me smile every time I see them, and that in itself adds more magic to any children's book.

With all of this said, I will continue by pointing out my favorite chapter. For me, the most enjoyable chapter was Chapter 9: In Which Piglet is Entirely Surrounded by Water. It is very possible that in a few months, or even days, I might alter my opinion, but for now, let me say why I loved this particular chapter so much.

While all the characters of the book have special relationships, I feel as if Piglet and Pooh really are the most loving towards one another. With this in mind, it really perfected the story to see Pooh, a bear known for having little or no brains, come up with the most ingenious idea in order to save his dear friend Piglet. This is made even better though by the fact that Pooh at first does not realize he is on his way to saving Piglet. This chapter really gives you a happy ending, showing that Pooh is not only smart, but also a hero and offering you the daring rescue of a dear friend of Pooh (and I am sure if you have gotten this far in the book, yours).

Quick facts: This book was originally published in 1926. Written by A.A. Milne and illustrated by E.H. Shepard. The book is based on Milne's son Christopher Robin and his stuffed animals, along with a couple other animals. The stories concept is attributed to Milne's wife Dorothy de Selincourt who apparently told Milne that he should write stories about the beloved stuffed animals.

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