Winnie's Great War

by Lindsay Mattick, Josh Greenhut, and Sophie Blackall

Cole already knows the tale of the bear that inspired the Winnie the Pooh books.... read more

Cole already knows the tale of the bear that inspired the Winnie the Pooh books. When he wants a new bedtime story, his mother decides he’s old enough to hear more about Winnie. Expanding on the picture book Finding Winnie, this story begins with a bear cub orphaned after its mother is killed by a hunter. The cub wreaks havoc when it’s taken in by the hunter’s child before being adopted by a Canadian veterinarian (Cole’s great-great-grandfather, Henry Colebourn) headed to training for World War I military service. Winnie—short for Winnipeg—has a special rapport with horses and rats on board the ship, brokering a peace between them, while she provides companionship and delight for many behind the lines in Europe before the veterinarian realizes war is too dangerous for Winnie and arranges for the London Zoo to take her. It is there she eventually meets a boy named Christopher Robin Milne and his writer father. At times funny, moving, tender, and sad, Winnie’s tale is always firmly centered on the loving relationship between a bear and his human and full of child-appeal. Charming illustrations introduce each chapter, and a concluding “Coleburn Family Archive” offers family photographs and artifacts. (Ages 7–12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

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