Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally M. Walker, illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss

Published by Henry Holt and Co.

Summary:  When veterinarian Harry Coleburn saw a baby bear for sale at a train station in Canada, he couldn’t resist buying her.  World War I was raging, and Harry was traveling with his division to military training camp in Quebec.  They named the cub Winnie after their home town of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and she quickly became the company mascot, playing with everyone and sleeping every night under Harry’s bed.  When he was called up to go to England, she traveled on the ship with him, but when he got orders to go to the front in France, he knew it was time for Winnie to find a new home at the London Zoo.  It was there, several years later, that he was spotted by a little boy name Christopher Robin.  The boy couldn’t stop talking about Winnie, even changing the name of his teddy bear from Edward Bear to Winnie-the-Pooh.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Pros:  The narrative has the feel of a story, even though it’s true.  Kids will enjoy hearing the history of a familiar character.  The illustrations are adorable.  An author’s note and montage of photos on the end papers provide more interesting information.

Cons:  What about Piglet, Eeyore, and the rest of the gang?

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