Winnie the Pooh Day

While I missed Winnie the Pooh Day last year, I made up for it by devoting October to looking at all the grand things about the silly old bear and celebrate his 90th birthday. I covered everything from the books, Milne himself, Shephard’s illustrations, and a range of other wonderful Pooh related things. If you would like to revisit all of these posts you can do so here.

Though this day has often been a recognition of the bear himself, Winnie the Pooh Day is such because it is author A. A. Milne’s birthday. Last year I made a brief post about Milne, his life is one of surprise when you realise just how small a role Winnie the Pooh really played. He wrote so many other wonderful things it’s sad his other works are not more widely recognised.

One of the things he wrote was his autobiography. Published in 1939 by Methuen, it stayed in print for 8 years. Now, 70 years later, it is being republished. The autobiography is called It’s Too Late Now: The Autobiography of a Writer and was republished in September last year by Bello. It covers numerous stages of his life, from his childhood, growing up, and his numerous careers including his time as a freelancer, a soldier, and an author. This of course also ties into the new film about Milne and his son, Goodbye, Christopher Robin which was recently released.

There is a wonderful article in The Guardian about Milne and his autobiography that may interest you, I would also certainly suggest seeing the film, or better yet reading the book Goodbye, Christopher Robin by Ann Thwaite which tells the true story that inspired the film. Ann Thwaite is also the author of an acclaimed biography of Milne titled, A. A. Milne: His Life where much of the story is drawn from.

The story of the two Milne’s is interesting but often sad, neither father nor son seemed joyous about their success and association with Winnie the Pooh, and it is a sad fact to know because of how much joy it brings me personally and millions of others. Of course, the Bear of the books is not the Bear of the Disney films, but there is still an essence of that original idea from Milne about a boy and his bear that is everlasting. It’s wonderful to be reminded each Winnie the Pooh Day how Milne’s work has not been forgotten, even if it has been altered over time. There is still so much joy to be had from those original stories and many lessons which can be learnt.

If you are up for an adventure, one way to celebrate Winnie the Pooh Day if you are in the East Sussex area is head over to Pooh Corner in Hartfield. You can play a game of Pooh Sticks, see the infamous bridge where Christopher Robin and Pooh play, have tea and snacks in Piglet’s tearoom, or go on a grand adventure as you follow the character’s footsteps through the woods. Or, for those of us who are less adventurous, curl up with a good book, may it be a biography, poetry, or story, and discover the wonder of Milne’s words and wisdom, and rediscover the magic of that silly old bear.







Winnie the Pooh Day

pooh_shepardI have an incredible love and affection for Winnie the Pooh, in all forms – from the books to the movies and the TV show, to appearances in videos games or the various stuffed animal variety. 18 January has become known as Winnie the Pooh Day, as it falls on creator A. A. Milne’s birthday. Having been around for 90 years Winnie the Pooh has cemented himself in popular culture and in people’s lives and memories, both childhood and beyond. In doing so, Pooh has become famous for certain phrases and sayings, A. A. Milne often being credited as creating quotes that are often inspirational or motivating, things to cheer you up or about friendship and love. And while beautiful, poetic and inspiring these are, many of them are not actually from the original works.

There are so many quotes misattributed to Milne, sometimes these are from the Disney films, or misquotes from the books, but sometimes they are completely different altogether. But as JGunn points out, it is easier to attribute these quotes to Pooh or Milne because “Disney Inc” doesn’t sound that profound. Still, even just Winnie the Pooh and the movie reference is better than continually giving Milne incorrect credit in my opinion.

There is a wonderful website, Pooh Misquoted, that helps locate the original references of many misquotes. It’s here I learnt that the phrase, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”, the one from last year I was convinced wasn’t from Milne but couldn’t find a reference anywhere, was actually from a 1975 film called The Other Side of the Mountain, and is actually a misquote of that! Pooh Misquoted is an informative read, and for a bit of fun you can buy your favourite Pooh misquote as a wooden mounted rubber stamp so you can spread the misquote forever more.

Looking around there were a rare few articles about these misquotes that stood out amongst the dozens that list these inaccurate Winnie the Pooh and Milne quotes. “Misquoting A. A. Milne” is a wonderful one where JGunn discusses these misquotes, but also has compiled numerous sites that help clarify true origins of Milne misquotes. Many of the articles Gunn lists also look at the tampering and changes to Pooh over the years, all fascinating reading, but they’re not all about misquotes specifically. I think getting any real chance of changing these misquotes are slim, there are too many motivational images and pillows and art pieces that have these incorrect quotes that it’s probably stuck that way forever.

But away from the misquotes that can ruin a good Winnie the Pooh experience, one thing I adore about Pooh is the amount of fan art that has been created by people; everything from crossovers to realistic portrayals, or just fun little drawings. In honour of Milne’s birthday I am sharing a few of my absolute favourites (click image for source).



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These ones below are not fan art, but they are my favourite pictures.

These came from my favourite episode of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Donkey for a Day.

You won’t regret watching it, it’s beautiful.



I could truly sit and write for page after page about what I love about Winnie the Pooh and how it has played a role in my life, but I won’t. Instead, I will leave with the hope that a little bit of Winnie the Pooh has brightened your day today, and maybe you’ve learnt something new; and certainly I am appreciating that even all these decades later, Winnie the Pooh and all of Milne’s wonderful creations are still loved, admired, and appreciated, misquotes or no misquotes.

So in the words of Owl, I say to Milne, HIPY PAPY BTHUTHDTH THUTHDA BTHUTHDY!


All Your Bits and Pieces Needs

50 Facts about Winnie the Pooh (scroll down a bit from the main article)

Pooh Misquoted

Quotes and Facts about Winnie the Pooh Day

Pooh Corner

Winnie the Pooh Day

Stories-Winnie-the-Pooh-Chp-3Winnie the Pooh has always been a favourite character, book, movie, television show and any other format of mine for as long as I can remember. I have always had a strong love for him and his friends and I will always hold a place in my heart for the bear of very little brain.

Today is Winnie the Pooh Day which is simply wonderful. I know many people think that Winnie the Pooh is for children, and many cannot think of him past the many Disney movies and merchandise, but A. A. Milne wrote his books in a way that not only spoke to children, but also adults as well. I will refrain from recounting the essay and analytical approach of Winnie the Pooh I wrote at university that shows how marvellous Milne’s writing was, but Winnie the Pooh was a book that was so innocent yet very profound at the same time, giving adults and children alike a wonderful story, a beautiful message of friendship, and so many lessons that can be held on to through their entire lives.

Towards the end of last year when Poland were trying to ban Winnie the Pooh for his genderless and questionable nature, Angela Mollard wrote a wonderful piece about Winnie the Pooh where she states that “[A]ll I know about life I’ve learned from him.”

I have always believed Milne has so many of the right lessons to teach, both profound, humorous, and touching, even all these decades later, so on this, Winnie the Pooh Day, I am going to share with you the great lessons Mollard has learnt from Milne, and maybe add a few more of my own.

The following is an extract of a Daily Telegraph article that was published in print and online on 30 November 2014 by Angela Mollard.

“Like anyone wanting to understand philosophy — or just look clever — I’ve had a crack at Proust and Dostoevsky but they’re just a preamble to the wisdom of AA Milne’s Pooh.

Here are 10 life lessons I’ve learned from an 88-year-old bear with a penchant for honey and an aversion to pants:

On individuality

THE things that make me different are the things that make me.”

How many times I’ve quoted this to my daughters as their lives become increasingly indexed to Instagram and its homogenous images of perfection.

On change

HOW lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.

My eldest was devastated when she left primary school.

In her school captain’s speech she forced back tears as she quoted the above. Of course, I blubbed something stupid.

On communication

“…WHEN you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.”

See why I love this bear? So smart, so self-deprecating, so playful with language. If more of us had the courage to share our “things” we might be less fraught about our worries and more flexible with our views.

On embracing others

YOU can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”

So many people are friends waiting to be made if only we’d be brave. And it’s so easy — just ask questions. And listen — properly listen — to the answers.

On small pleasures

“IT is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like ‘What about lunch?’”

Or breakfast. Or dinner. Or drinks.

On optimism

“‘SUPPOSING a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?’

‘Supposing it didn’t,’ said Pooh after careful thought.

Piglet was comforted by this.”

As a reformed catastrophiser I’ve read The Optimistic Child and tried to teach my kids to see the glass as half full. But this says it all.

On love

PIGLET sidled up to Pooh from behind. ‘Pooh?’ he whispered.

‘Yes, Piglet?’

‘Nothing,’ said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. ‘I just wanted to be sure of you.’

Love — we expect so much from it. How much might be solved simply by slipping your hand through someone else’s?

On anticipation

“‘WELL,’ said Pooh, ‘what I like best…’ and then he had to stop and think. Because although eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.”

My youngest wants a trampoline for Christmas. She’s wanted a trampoline all year. We’ve measured the garden and looked online and she’s even put an old mattress on the lawn, pretending what it might be like to jump there. Ah — the joy of delayed gratification.

On imagination

“‘HELLO, Rabbit,’ he said, ‘is that you?’

‘Let’s pretend it isn’t,’ said Rabbit, ‘and see what happens.’

Parenting requires so much good sense. How much simpler it might be if we gave in
to silliness.

On what matters

SOMETIMES,” said Pooh, “the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.

Whenever I’m conflicted in my priorities, I remember this. It’s why I called my book The Smallest Things. Winnie-the-Pooh will forever be my touchstone.”

The full article can be read here.

Personally the quotes I love from Winnie the Pooh are vast. They are not all life lessons so I shan’t include them here but I will say that I adore the “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard” line just like Mollard, it really makes you appreciate what you have and what it meant to you when you have to say goodbye. The only trouble is, that line may be from Annie, not Winnie the Pooh, but since the internet refuses to make up its mind and I can’t find any answer either way, feel free to keep being inspired by it!

Another favourite is “Just because an animal is large, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t want kindness; however big Tigger seems to be, remember that he wants as much kindness as Roo.” It reminds you that judging someone on how they look is no judge on who they are, and everyone needs a little kindness.

One that I find myself quoting a lot is “One can never be uncheered with a balloon” which is less profound compared to some but goes to show Milne (and Pooh) can also be a tad whimsical in their profoundness.

Of course not everything from Winnie the Pooh is a life lesson, but it’s great to take the time to read the humour and complex simplicity Milne put into his writing so that it was enjoyed by adults and children, and that the simple adventures of a boy and his bear, with all the friends in the Hundred Acre Woods, can mean so much to so many for so long.