Winnie-the-Pooh is a 1926 children's book of ten chapters by A.A. Milne. The stories in the book were originally told by the author to his young son Christopher Robin Milne. One of the main characters in the stories is a fictionalized version of Christopher Robin himself. The other characters in the book are based on Christopher Robin's stuffed toy animals; the bear Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit, Eeyore the donkey, Owl and the kangaroos Kanga and her son Roo. All of the characters live in the forest, which contains the 100 Acre Wood (where Owl lives), the Six Pine Trees, a sand pit, a stream and Eeyore's gloomy spot.
The first edition of the book contained black and white illustrations by E.H. Shepard. Those illustrations have been colorized in some more recent editions.
Winnie-the-Pooh has been translated into more than thirty languages including Esperanto, Latin, Scots and Yiddish.
Milne wrote a sequel, The House at Pooh Corner, which followed in 1928.
The book begins with an introduction in which A.A. Milne explains that Christopher Robin had changed the name of his toy bear from Edward Bear to Winnie-the-Pooh, Winnie being the name of a bear at London Zoo and Pooh having been a name that Christpher Robin had previously given to a swan.
The first chapter begins with Christopher Robin dragging his toy bear down the stairs and telling his father that the bear wants to hear a story about himself. His father tells a story in which Winnie-the-Pooh finds a tree full of bees. He asks Christopher Robin for a balloon, so that he can pretend to be a rain cloud, float to the top of the tree and take some honey. Eventually, the bear decides that they are the wrong kind of bees and asks Christopher Robin to shoot the ballon with his gun. The bear comes down but because he had been holding on to the balloon for a long time he is unable to lower his arms for more than a week. As a result, whenever a fly lands on his nose he has to say "Pooh!" to get the fly off him. The author says that is probably how the bear got his name.
In the second chapter Winnie-the-Pooh goes to visit his friend Rabbit in his underground home. Rabbit happily provides Pooh with plenty of food which the bear happily eats. When it comes time to leave, Pooh, with his full stomach, gets stuck in the rabbit hole. Christopher Robin tells Pooh that he will have to stay where he is for a week with nothing to eat. After that time he will become thin enough to pull out again.
Chapter three introduces Piglet. Piglet and Pooh follow some animal tracks in the snow, fearing that they might belong to a dangerous "Woozle". They do not know that they are following their own tracks round and round the same tree.
Eeyore the donkey is introduced in the fourth chapter. Eeyore is feeling miserable because he has lost his tail. Pooh goes to ask Owl, who Pooh thinks is clever, for help in finding the tail. He discovers that Owl's new rope for his doorbell is in fact the donkey's tail.
In the fifth chapter Christopher Robin tells Pooh and Piglet that he saw a "Heffalump". Pooh and Piglet decide to set a trap for a "Heffalump", They dig a pit and place one of Pooh's honey jars in it as bait. During the night, Pooh becomes hungry. he remembers that there is a jar of honey in the trap. He goes there but finds there is not much honey in the jar, meaning that he has to stick his head inside it to lick out the remaining honey. He gets his head stuck in the jar. As a result, Piglet arrives in the morning and finds a monstrous "Heffalump" with a head like a jar in the trap. When Piglet goes to get Christopher Robin for help, Pooh breaks the jar against the side of the trap and the truth is revealed.
In the sixth chapter Eeyore says that it is his birthday. Pooh decides to give him a jar of honey but he eats the honey while he is on the way to see Eeyore again. Pooh decides that he can give Eeyore the jar and that the donkey can use it to put things in. Piglet decides to give Eeyore a balloon but he falls over and bursts it. Piglet offers the burst balloon to Eeyore anyway. The donkey is very pleased to get a present. He is even more pleased when Pooh arrives with the jar and he discovers that the burst ballooon fits perfectly inside it.
Kanga and her son Roo are introduced in chapter seven. Rabbit does not like them and wants to make them leave the forest. He decides that they should kidnap Roo and then tell Kanga where he is on the condition that she promises to leave the forest forever. Pooh and Rabbit distract Kanga and substitute Piglet for Roo. Kanga soon realises what has happened but has fun by pretending that Piglet is her son. She makes him take medicine and forces him to take a bath. Christopher Robin arrives at Kanga's home and tells her that Roo is at Rabbit's house. In the meantime, Rabbit has become very fond of little Roo and has decided that the two kangaroos can stay in the forest.
At the start of the eighth chapter, Christopher Robin announces that they are going on an expedition to discover the North Pole. During the expedition, Roo falls into a stream. Pooh finds a pole which he uses to fish Roo out of the water. Christopher Robin declares that the pole the bear has found is the North Pole. The expedition is over and Pooh is a hero.
In the ninth chapter there is a flood. Piglet's house begins to fill with water. He calls for help by throwing a message in a bottle out of the window. Pooh receives the message. He uses an empty honey jar as a boat to get to Christopher Robin's house. The two then use an umbrella as a boat to get to Piglet's house and save him.
In the final chapter Christopher Robin thanks Pooh for saving Piglet by throwing a party for him.
The book concludes with Christopher Robin saying that he hopes his father can think up more stories about Winnie-the-Pooh.
- ↑ The character Tigger does not appear in Winnie-the-Pooh. He is introduced in the 1928 sequel The House at Pooh Corner.
- ↑ A.A. Milne borrowed the idea of a character becoming too fat to get out of a small hole from Beatrix Potter's 1911 children's book The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes.
- Text of A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh on Wikilivres. The site is hosted in New Zealand where the book is in the public domain. It is still under copyright in the United Kingdom and the United States.
- Winnie-the-Pooh (book) on Winniepedia, the Winnie-the-Pooh Wiki
- Quotations from Winnie-the-Pooh on Wikiquote.
- Winnie-the-Pooh films on Moviepedia