Return to the Hundred Acre Woods by David Benedictus

Image result for return to the hundred acre wood80 years after the original books were published, a third official Winnie-the-Pooh book was released in 2009, taking readers back to the Hundred Acre Woods and back to Winnie-the-Pooh.

Written by David Benedictus and illustrated by Mark Burgess, the story is in the style of Milne and Shepard and aims to capture the next stage in the life of Christopher Robin and his toys. Picking up where House at Pooh Corner ended, Benedictus’ stories bring the magic of Milne’s writing to life again with a new set of adventures.

There are some surprises, one of them being a new character is introduced; a friend called Lottie the Otter comes to the Hundred Acre Woods. Lottie is described as being feisty and, according to Benedictus, she “truly embodies Winnie-the-Pooh’s values of friendship and adventure seen throughout Milne’s work, thus making the perfect companion for everyone’s favourite bear”.

Benedictus is no stranger to Winnie-the-Pooh stories, having written two short stories of his own in the mid-1990s. Benedictus submitted his short stories to the Milne estate but was told they could not be published because Disney owned all the rights. Ten years later however, the sequel rights had returned to the trustees and Benedictus was asked to make some changes to a story he had already submitted and to write some more.

Image result for mark burgess winnie the poohThe estates of both Milne and Shepard had been searching for a sequel for years, wanting to find one that did the originals justice. This is what Benedictus has produced; ten new stories with the same much loved characters that reflect all that embodies Milne’s originals, including over 100 gorgeous new illustrations.

I was originally wary when I first heard about this sequel, but seeing both men try so hard to capture the original Milne and Shepard spirit, it’s an absolute delight to be able to return to these beautiful characters again for all new adventures.

 

 

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