Winnie the Pooh Backgrounder .pdf

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!
Penguin'Random'House'Canada!
320!Front!Street!West,!Suite!1400!
Toronto,!Ontario,!M5V!3B6!
www.penguinrandomhouse.com!
Phone:!(416)!364G4449!
Fax:!(416)!598G7764
'
MEDIA'CONTACT!
Nicole!Piasentini!and!Amanda!Speers!
Humber!Assignment!
WritingLab1@2016

BACKGROUNDER!
!
'
'
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THE'UNLIKELY'BOND'OF'A'BOY'AND'A'BEAR!
!

The!Winnie!the!Pooh!story!began!on!August!23,!1914,!when!Winnipeg!veterinarian,!
Harry!Colebourn,!bought!a!bear!on!his!way!to!Britain!during!World!War!I.!He!named!the!
$20!bear!cub!“Winnie”!after!his!hometown!of!Winnipeg!in!Central!Canada.!!
!
Colebourn!smuggled!Winnie!over!the!border,!and!she!quickly!became!the!unofficial!
mascot!of!his!regiment!(the!Second!Canadian!Infantry!Brigade).!When!called!to!the!
front!lines!in!France,!Colebourn!gave!Winnie!over!to!the!London!Zoo!for!safe!keeping.!!
Enter!Christopher!Robin.!!
!
Christopher!Robin!Milne!was!born!on!August!21,!1920,!to!Dorothy!and!Alan!Alexander!
Milne.!On!his!first!birthday,!Christopher’s!father!gave!him!a!toy!bear!named!“Edward”!
that!would!later!become!the!inspiration!for!a!beloved!icon!of!children’s!literature.!
!

After!visits!to!the!London!Zoo!years!later,!Christopher!Robin!became!enthralled!with!the!
sweet,!black!bear.!Winnie!was!accustomed!to!humans,!having!spent!so!much!time!with!
Colebourn!from!an!early!age.!Christopher!Robin!was!even!allowed!into!her!cage!to!feed!
her.!Promptly,!a!teddy!that!was!once!named!Edward,!forever!became!known!as!Winnie.!!
!
Christopher!Robin!frequented!a!pond!at!a!local!park!where!he!fed!a!swan!he!named!
“Pooh”.!His!reason!was!“if!you!call!him!and!he!doesn’t!come,!then!you!can!pretend!you!
were!just!saying!‘Pooh!’”!Between!these!two!animal!inspirations,!the!name!“Winnie!the!
Pooh”!was!born.!
!
The!name!change!of!his!teddy!bear!sparked!a!series!of!children’s!poems!by!A.!A.!Milne!
that!formed!a!compilation!called!When%We%Were%Very%Young.!As!Christopher!played!
with!his!toys,!his!father!found!inspiration!for!new!characters!and!adventures.!!
!
On!October!14,!1926,!A.!A.!Milne!published!his!first!children’s!book,!simply!titled!
Winnie.the.Pooh.!It!followed!the!adventures!of!the!bear!and!his!friends!and!was!a!huge!
success,!selling!150,000!copies!by!the!end!of!the!year.!Milne!penned!two!more!
successful!children’s!works!entitled!Now%We%Are%Six!and%The%House%at%Pooh%Corner.!!
!
The!characters!of!the!Winnie%the%Pooh!stories!continue!to!inspire!generations!of!
children.!The!most!recent!book,!Return%to%Hundred%Acre%Wood,!was!published!in!2009!
by!David!Benedictus.!
G30G!


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