Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends are perhaps the most famous stuffed animals of all time. 89 years ago today, this lovable bear was introduced to the world in the book Winnie-the-Pooh, the first collection of stories about the character.
British author A.A. Milne wrote Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928) for his son, Christopher Robin Milne, born in 1920. The real Christopher Robin had a stuffed bear, and later he was given a stuffed tiger, pig, donkey, and kangaroo.
Ernest Shepard, who illustrated the stories, visited the Milne family at their country home and based his drawings on Christopher Robin and his toys. Many locations in the stories can be linked to real places in the countryside around their home.
The Pooh stories have been translated into many languages, including Alexander Lenard’s Latin translation, Winnie Ille Pu, which was the only Latin book ever to have been featured on The New York Times Best Seller list.
Disney adapted A.A. Milne’s stories into a series of animated films starting in 1966 with the short Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree. (Disney dropped the hyphens in the bear’s name.) Winnie the Pooh became one of the company’s most successful franchises, and Pooh Bear remains Disney’s second best-selling character after Mickey Mouse.
The sport of “Poohsticks” began as a game played by Pooh and his friends in the book The House at Pooh Corner and later in the films. It’s a simple game that can be played on any bridge over running water. Each player drops a stick on the upstream side of a bridge, and the one whose stick first appears on the downstream side is the winner. The annual World Poohsticks Championships have been held since 1984 on the River Thames in Oxfordshire. The game competitors drop sticks into a stream from a bridge and then wait to see whose stick will cross the finish line first!
Find more fun facts about the magical world of Pooh at www.Just-Pooh.com.