Winnie: the True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh
Students enjoyed this Red Clover title by Sally M. Walker, which tells the story of the REAL Winnie! In 1914, Canadian veterinarian Harry Colebourn was heading out to Europe to care for horses on the front when he encountered a motherless bear cub at the railroad station. He named her Winnipeg for his hometown, but the name was quickly shortened to Winnie.
When the War became too dangerous for Winnie to stay with Colebourn, he placed her in the safety of the London Zoo. It was there that author A. A. Milne and his young son Christopher Robin met her. Christopher Robin was so entranced by Winnie that he changed his own toy bear’s name from Edward to Winnie The Pooh-- and the rest is history!
Walker’s book includes lots of real photos and historical information in a kid-friendly format that the children really enjoyed. This is the second book about Winnie that our students have experienced. The 2016 Caldecott medal winning title was Finding Winne by Lindsay Mattick. And, there’s a special twist: Lindsay Mattick is Harry Colebourn’s great granddaughter, and her infant son is named Cole in his honor.
Winnie and Harry’s statue at the London Zoo
We’ll read all 10 Red Clover books this year, and vote as a school for our top choice in April. I look forward to viewing what the favorites will be!