On this day in 1926, Winnie-the-Pooh was published. To celebrate, I wore this pair of Shrinky Dink earrings that I made on a snow day last January.
I have loved the story of Winnie the Pooh and the bee tree since the first time I heard it. When? No idea. This copy of Winnie the Pooh has sat on my bookshelf since before I have memories.
My copy was printed in 1950. I'm guessing that my mother bought this book to use in the elementary school where she taught in the early 1950's. Children's books with her maiden name were books that she purchased to use in her classroom. Every volume in our World Book Encyclopedia contained that same signature.
While Pooh was floating past the honey tree, pretending to be a cloud, Christopher Robin was walking up and down carrying an umbrella, saying, "Tut, tut, looks like rain." One of the most quoted lines in the English language.
I read this morning in The Writer's Almanac that Milne wrote not for children but for whimsical adults. Hmm. I guess that describes me. And perhaps many of the adults who have bought children's books over the years.
The Writer's Almanac goes on to quote Christopher Robin Milne as saying, "My father did not write the books for children. He didn't write for any specific market; he knew nothing about marketing. He knew about me, he knew about himself, he knew about the Garrick Club — he was ignorant about anything else. Except, perhaps, about life."
We whimsical adults, we love Milne's notion of childhood and imagination. Perhaps it's because we treasure the magic we remember in our own childhoods. Alan Alexander Milne wrote,
"So they went off together. But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the forest a little boy and his bear will always be playing."
Maybe that boy was Alan himself, remembering his own magical childhood. I hope that children will continue to explore enchanted outdoor places through this century and those to come.