Monday, December 15, 2008
Winnie the Pooh Top Picture
Winnie-the-Pooh, commonly shortened to Pooh Bear and once referred to as Edward Bear, is a fictional bear created by A. A. Milne. The character first appeared in book form in Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928). Milne also included several poems about Winnie-the-Pooh in the children’s poetry books When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six. All four volumes were illustrated by E. H. Shepard.
The hyphens in the character's name were later dropped when The Walt Disney Company adapted the Pooh stories into a series of Winnie the Pooh featurettes that became one of the company's most successful franchises worldwide.
The Pooh stories have been translated into many languages, notably including Alexander Lenard's Latin translation, Winnie ille Pu, which was first published in 1958, and, in 1960, became the first foreign-language book to be featured on the New York Times Best Seller List, and is the only book in Latin ever to have been featured therein.
Milne named the character Winnie-the-Pooh after a teddy bear owned by his son, Christopher Robin Milne, who was the basis for the character Christopher Robin. His toys also lent their names to most of the other characters, except for Owl and Rabbit, who were probably based on real animals, and the Gopher character, who was added in the Disney version. Christopher Robin's toy bear is now on display at the Main Branch of the New York Public Library in New York.
Harry Colebourne and Winnie 1914
Christopher Milne had named his teddy after Winnipeg, a bear which he and his father often saw at London Zoo, and "Pooh", a swan they had met while on holiday. Winnipeg the Bear was purchased from a hunter for $20 by Canadian Lieutenant Harry Colebourn in White River, Ontario, Canada, while en-route to England during the First World War. He named the bear "Winnipeg" after his hometown in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
"Winnie", as she became known, was surreptitiously brought to England with her owner, and gained unofficial recognition as a regimental mascot. Colebourn left Winnie at the London Zoo while he and his unit were in France; after the war she was officially donated to the zoo, as she had become a much loved attraction there. Among her many young fans was Christopher Milne, who named his own teddy bear "Winnie". Pooh the swan appears as a character in its own right in When We Were Very Young.
In the first chapter of Winnie-the-Pooh, Milne offers this explanation of why Winnie-the-Pooh is often called simply "Pooh": "But his arms were so stiff ... they stayed up straight in the air for more than a week, and whenever a fly came and settled on his nose he had to blow it off. And I think - but I am not sure - that that is why he is always called Pooh."
The home of the Milnes, Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, England, was the basis for the setting of the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. The name of the fictional "Hundred Acre Wood" is reminiscent of the Five Hundred Acre Wood, which lies just outside Ashdown Forest and includes some of the locations mentioned in the book, such as the Enchanted Place.
The origin of the Poohsticks game is at the footbridge across a tributary of the River Medway near Upper Hartfield, close to the Milne's home at Posingford Farm. It is traditional to play the game there using sticks gathered in nearby woodland. When the footbridge required replacement in recent times the engineer designed a new structure based closely on the drawings (by E H Shepherd) of the bridge in the original books, as the bridge did not originally appear as the artist drew it. There is an information board at the bridge which describes aspects of how to play the game.(Wikipedia)