Happy Monday, readers! Today’s Marvelous New Picture Book is Winnie: The True Story of the Bear who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh. Author Sally M. Walker tells the heart-warming and true tale of Winnie, a bear cub who is adopted by an army veterinarian during World War I and eventually becomes the inspiration for A.A. Milne’s classic Winnie-the-Pooh stories.
The story itself stands alone. It is amazing and unique, and it is made all the more wonderful by the fact that it is true. Even so, Walker takes it to the next level by creating a wonderful sense of emotion; she beautifully depicts everything from friendship to heartbreak.
The story touches on some controversial subjects such as war, hunting, exotic pets, and animal captivity, but these topics are artfully addressed, leaving it up to parents and educators to expand and explain where they see fit. Ultimately it is a story about friendship and doing what is best for Winnie, even if what is best is not what is easy.
Voss’ illustrations are beautiful and classic. Each one makes readers feel what the characters are feeling, and they truly bring the story to life. The end pages feature photographs of the real Winnie, Harry, Christopher Robin, and A. A. Milne, and the extensive author’s note offers more detail for those who are interested.
This book is a wonderful read for avid fans of Winnie-the-Pooh and for more casual followers. The fact that the story is about a well beloved children’s literature character makes the book engaging for children and makes it a wonderful introduction to the non-fiction genre.
I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!