Winnie’s Great War – Lindsay Mattick and Josh Greenhut

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(Published September 18th 2018 by Little, Brown)

The story of the real bear that inspired Winnie-the-Pooh has been capturing readers’ imaginations since the publication of the Caldecott Medal award-winning picture book, Finding Winnie.

But there was so much left to be told – not just about Winnie, but about the great world events she witnessed. Now, the creative team behind the bestselling picture book has reunited to bring you Winnie’s Great War.

In a triumphant blending of deeply researched history and magnificent imagination, we follow our irrepressible Bear on her journey — from her infancy in the woods of Ontario, to her unlikely friendship with Captain Harry Colebourn and her time as the mascot of the Second Canadian Infantry Brigade, to her experiences in wartime London before she met Christopher Robin Milne.

Told in beautifully crafted language and infused with Sophie Blackall’s irresistible renderings of an endearing bear, the book is also woven through with actual entries from Captain Harry Colebourn’s wartime diaries. The result is a one-of-kind exploration of the realities of war, the meaning of courage, and the indelible power of friendship, all told through the historic adventures of one extraordinary bear.

Review:

This is a beautiful story of the origin of Winnie the Pooh.

It is a fictional account based on historical events, diaries and photographs of the true story of a baby bear brought from Canada to England as an army mascot and future friend of Christopher Robin. Told as a story to a young boy and his bear we meet Winnie as she exits her den for the first time with her mama. We see the tender heart and caring nature of this sweet bear as she navigates this new world off wonders, loss and changes. She has an open heart and decides it is her duty to be there for others and to make them feel better.

It introduces the subject of war – the unfairness and the sadness but in a way that is gentle enough for children to read and digest but understand the severity of it. It brought tears to my eyes more than once – especially near the end.

This story is beautifully written and will touch your heart.

Recommended for all ages.

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