Tag Archives: Winnie the Pooh

A bear by any other name: a story…

In which, we discover new books about our favorite bear

I’m working on a new book project, not ‘toons but a non fiction book about…wait for it…PANDAS!!!!! Are you surprised? More will be revealed in due time. But as I haven’t read much non fiction for kids, I thought I better do a little studying over at the Freeland Branch of our public library.

The irony of Mehitabel criticizing Pooh Bear for his wardrobe, does not escape me.

I went into their online catalog, got some suggestions from my agent and other writer friends, and generally started rooting around and ordering big piles of books from the library. I found two books that were about the true life story of the actual bear who inspired Winnie the Pooh.  The first is Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie the Pooh, by Sally M Walker and illustrated by Jonathan D Voss. The second is Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s most Famous Bear, by Lindsay Mattick and illustrated by Sophie Blackall. (Lindsay Mattick is the great granddaughter of Harry Colebourne)

Both are wonderful books, with very different illustration styles, but they both recount the quite accidental finding and adoption of a black bear cub by Harry Colebourne, a Canadian Army veterinarian traveling by train, heading to a posting during World War 1. I’m not going to go into all of details of the story. Head to the library or your favorite bookstore and read them for yourself. One point I will let you in on, in advance, is that after traveling across Canada and the Atlantic Ocean with Harry and his fellow soldiers, Winnie eventually ended up living at the London Zoo, where she met her good friend Christopher Robin. Yes, that Christopher Robin.

I’m not sure Mehitabel has anything to talk about.

Now, If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I have an everlasting devotion to and affection for the Pooh Bear himself. There is a lot of the bear of little brain in Bob T. I had heard of these books, (Winnie, and Finding Winnie) but hadn’t yet gotten around to reading them. I’m so glad I have rectified that omission!

One thing both these books have in common, were actual pictures of Harry and his bear as they traveled across Canada and the ocean, at the post in England, and then at the London Zoo. There is a photograph of Christopher Robin, looking just like you would expect him to look, playing with the actual Winnie, as his father A A Milne, watches from above. It was taken in 1925, the year before the original publication of Winnie the Pooh.

31 days

Mini Bob, hanging out with Pooh Bear at the Prints and Drawing Study Room at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. And yes, this is an actual sketch by Ernest H Shepard.

I have to quote this paragraph from the introduction of Winnie the Pooh. I had always assumed that it was part of the fiction, of a bear and his boy, but the photograph puts that thought to rest forever.

“You can’t be in London for long without going to the Zoo. There are some people who begin the Zoo at the beginning, called WAYIN, and walk as quickly as they can past every cage until they get to the one called WAYOUT, but the nicest people go straight to the animal they love the most, and stay there. So when Christopher Robin goes to the Zoo, he goes to where the Polar Bears are, and he whispers something to the third keeper from the left, and doors are unlocked, and we wander through dark passages and up steep stairs, until at last we come to the special cage, and the cage is opened, and out trots something brown and furry, and with a happy cry of “Oh, Bear!” Christopher Robin rushes into its arms. Now this bear’s name is Winnie, which shows what a good name for bears it is, but the funny thing is that we can’t remember whether Winnie is called after Pooh, or Pooh after Winnie. We did know once, but we have forgotten.
~AA Milne; Winnie the Pooh 1926

What it made me think about more than anything, is this question:

How much of our lives turn on chance? On that instant where if we had looked the other way, we would have missed the turn, missed the face in the crowd, missed the small black bear cub on the ground under the bench when the train stopped at the station, and changed the course of literature? I guess we’ll never know, speculative science fiction, notwithstanding.

Thank you for stumbling onto The Panda Chronicles and sticking around to see what happens next.

Be the Bear…
Bob-Ther-Panda

is it….

…time for….

…a little something?

Fabulous Furry Friday Presents…

Hmmm… I had an idea the other day, but I seem to have misplaced it. That will teach me to write things down more often, especially when I have an idea! Fabulous Furry Friday comes but once a week, but you can read panda satire anytime. Well, if you have my books, you can, or even if you just pop into the archives and root around in there!

Did you know that Children’s Book Week is coming up on May 1st? Well, even if you didn’t know, it is! Huzzah! And even if you don’t have any children sitting around cluttering up the living room, you are never too old to enjoy books written for children. When I am feeling a little unsettled or fluffy around the edges, there is nothing more soothing than sitting down with my copy of Winnie the Pooh or any of the picture books I have been collecting for the last 8 years.

What are your favorite books for children (and the child still in you?)

31 days

Mini Bob, hanging out with Pooh Bear and thinking about a snack

The irony of Mehitabel criticizing Pooh Bear for his wardrobe, does not escape me.

I’m not sure Mehitabel has anything to talk about.

What will Christopher Robin say about this?

Bob’s first foray into the realms of literature …

is it….

…time for….

…a little something?

Heh!

Panda On!
Bob T Panda

Trespassers W

One of my favorite books as I was growing up was Winnie the Pooh. (No surprise there, huh?) And although I loved the stories, and still re-read them whenever I need something familiar and comforting to read, what this artist loved best was the drawings. and within those drawings were so many wonderful details that enhanced the story in a way that was not necessarily obvious. It was there for you to find on the many re-readings of this well loved story. And one of my favorite details was the sign outside of Piglet’s house that read, Trespassers W which Piglet claimed was his grandfather, short for Trespassers William.

So along with all the other signs and surveillance paraphernalia that Pinky had installed in “her” tree, is it any wonder that this sign should make it’s way there?

You keep using that word "share", mommee!

You keep using that word “share”, mommee!

What’s not to love about Pinky! That panda has a lot of…um…spunk.

Have a fun Sunday. Now would be an excellent time to eat all of that Easter candy that you have leftover. Run, chocolate bunnies! Run!

Be the Bear,
Bob T. Panda

Day 7: 31 Days of Pandas

Pandas were um…demanding a little closure of the Winnie the Pooh in Poland story, so what could we do, but comply?

I'm not sure Mehitabel has anything to talk about.

I’m not sure Mehitabel has anything to talk about.

Speaking of Mehitabel, she has been using my computer again when I wasn’t home, and trying to lead Cordelia’s Mom’s dog Cody astray. What am I going to do with this cat? You can read all about it here.

And since it is 31 Days of Pandas, I would be remiss if I didn’t post a little something with pandas here. Here’s another image from my book, Pandamorphosis:

sm pandamorphosis poster 4

Coincidentally, you can find this image on a beautiful panda print at The Fine Balance Imaging Gratitude Gallery.

Be the bear, and see you tomorrow!
Bob T. Panda

 

And now, the envelope, please…..

As you can imagine, Babette de Panda was quite disappointed that she was not nominated for an Oscar this year (we hesitate to point out that she did not appear in a new film this year, as she tends to be…um…well, you know).  She did attend the awards ceremony as a presenter, and we were lucky to obtain this footage, from sources that must remain, for obvious reasons, anonymous.

What will Christopher Robin say about this?

What will Christopher Robin say about this?

Hope you are having a happy Monday! Don’t forget to tune in onWednesday when we present the next installment of “A Pirate’s Life for Mister Wu”

Be the Bear!

Bob T. Panda