The true story of the bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh.
by Sally M. Walker
illusrated by Jonathan D. Voss
Age range: 4 and up
If you are thinking that this book is of interest only for Winnie-the-Pooh lovers, let me tell you that this is a story absolutely worth of reading by itself. None of us here is really a fan of Winnie-the-Pooh, but we enjoyed knowing the story of the real Winnie, that will engage any animal lover.
Winnie (short for Winnipeg) was an American black bear who had her mom shot when she was around 7 months old. The shooter only realized about the cub after he shot the mom. He didn't want to let her by herself, but he couldn't take care of her either, so he decided to sell her. Harry Colebourn, veterinarian and soldier, bought her in a Canadian train station. Winnie became the mascot of Harry's regiment, and when the regiment moved from Canada to England when World War I started, Winnie went with them. As the war worsened and the regiment had to go to the French front, Harry decided to leave Winnie in the London Zoo until the end of the war so she wouldn't be at risk, but by that moment Winnie was so used to her new home, that Harry decided to don't take her with him to Winnipeg again. Winnie was very gentle and loved to play with kids at the zoo. One of the kids who loved Winnie as soon as he met her was Christopher Robin, son of author A. A. Milne, and the bedtime stories about Winnie that followed the zoo visit eventually became a book.
The book, besides being beautifully illustrated, contains amazing photos of Winnie. Great non-fiction option!