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English humorist A.A. Milne published Winnie-the-Pooh, a children's book featuring the adventures of a honey-loving bear and his friends, including Eeyore and Piglet.
children’s stories by Milne
Winnie-the-Pooh, collection of children’s stories by A.A. Milne, published in 1926. Milne wrote the episodic stories of Winnie-the-Pooh and its sequel, The House at Pooh Corner (1928), for his young son, Christopher Robin, whose toy animals were the basis for many of the characters and whose name was used for the young boy who appears in the tales as the benign master of the animals.
The main character, Winnie-the-Pooh (sometimes called simply Pooh or Edward Bear), is a good-natured, yellow-furred, honey-loving bear who lives in the Forest surrounding the Hundred Acre Wood (modeled after Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, England). His companions are Eeyore, a gloomy gray donkey; Piglet, a timid pig; Owl, a pontificating bird; the meddlesome Rabbit; and Kanga, an energetic kangaroo whose inquisitive baby, Roo, lives in her pouch.
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Pooh, a self-described “Bear of Very Little Brain,” gets himself into all kinds of sticky situations, and the book’s 10 chapters recount his various adventures. In the first chapter, Pooh hears bees in the treetop and believes they must be making honey. After unsuccessfully attempting to climb the tree, he uses a balloon to pretend he is a cloud, but the bees are suspicious. Deciding they are the wrong sort of bees, Pooh realizes he is unable to get down, and he enlists the help of Christopher Robin, who pops the balloon with a gun. In a later adventure, Pooh visits Rabbit and, after eating too much, gets stuck in Rabbit’s doorway. For the next week, Pooh fasts while Christopher Robin keeps him company. Finally he is slim enough for the others to pull him free. Pooh’s kindness is also evident, notably when he finds Eeyore’s missing tail in chapter four. Later in the book Pooh demonstrates his bravery when he and Christopher Robin set off in an upturned umbrella to rescue Piglet from a flood.
The stories are simply written, to appeal to young readers, and full of comic moments as well as silly verses. However, the work also is notable for its insights into human behaviour, and Milne’s characters are endearing but also complex. E.H. Shepard’s original illustrations add to the charm of the book and helped make it a children’s classic. In The House at Pooh Corner Milne introduced another popular character, an exuberant tiger named Tigger.
Cathy Lowne The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica
Piglet, fictional character, a small and timorous pig who is a friend of Winnie-the-Pooh in A.A. Milne’s classic children’s books Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928).
This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen.
Eeyore, fictional character, a donkey in several popular children’s stories by A.A. Milne. Eeyore, whose tail is attached by a nail, is one of Christopher Robin’s many toy animals whose adventures are detailed in the stories in Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928). A melancholy misanthrope, Eeyore frequently makes bitter, self-deprecating comments that make him an excellent foil for Winnie-the-Pooh, the affectionate, bumbling Bear of Very Little Brain.
Christopher Robin, fictional character, an English boy whose adventures with Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, and other animals are the basis of the stories in the classic children’s books Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928) by A.A. Milne. The character was based on the author’s young son. In the stories, Christopher Robin is usually the voice of reason and the character who can be relied on to get the animals out of the predicaments they get themselves into. He is also a character in the verse collections When We Were Very Young (1924) and Now We Are Six (1927).
A.A. Milne, in full Alan Alexander Milne, (born January 18, 1882, London, England—died January 31, 1956, Hartfield, Sussex), English humorist, the originator of the immensely popular stories of Christopher Robin and his toy bear, Winnie-the-Pooh.
Milne’s father ran a private school, where one of the boy’s teachers was a young H.G. Wells. Milne went on to attend Westminster School, London, and Trinity College, Cambridge, the latter on a mathematics scholarship. While at Cambridge, he edited and wrote for Granta magazine (then called The Granta, for Cambridge’s other river). He took a degree in mathematics in 1903 and thereafter moved to London to make a living as a freelance writer. In 1906 he joined the staff of Punch (where he worked until 1914), writing humorous verse and whimsical essays. He was married in 1913, and in 1915, though a pacifist, he joined the service during World War I as a signalling officer. He served briefly in France, but he became ill and was sent home. He was discharged in 1919.
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When he was not rehired by Punch, Milne turned his attention to playwriting. He achieved considerable success with a series of light comedies, including Mr. Pim Passes By (1921) and Michael and Mary (1930). Milne also wrote one memorable detective novel, The Red House Mystery (1922), and a children’s play, Make-Believe (1918), before stumbling upon his true literary métier with some verses written for his son, Christopher Robin. These grew into the collections When We Were Very Young (1924) and Now We Are Six (1927). These remain classics of light verse for children.
Despite Milne’s success as a playwright, only these verses and his two sets of stories about the adventures of Christopher Robin and his toy animals—Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit, Owl, and Eeyore—as told in Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928) endured into the 21st century. Illustrations by Ernest Shepard added to their considerable charm. In 1929 Milne adapted another children’s classic, The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame, for the stage as Toad of Toad Hall. A decade later he wrote his autobiography, It’s Too Late Now.
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