Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear
Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear

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Annotation: In this tale about the origins of A.A. Milne's "Winnie-the-Pooh," a woman tells her son the true story of his ancestor, Royal Canadian Army veterinarian Harry Colebourn, who rescued an orphaned bear cub on his way to overseas deployment during World War I.
Catalog Number: #108076
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 2015
Edition Date: 2015
Illustrator: Blackall, Sophie,
Pages: 56
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-32490-6 Perma-Bound: 0-605-90110-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-32490-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-90110-0
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2014041122
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
School Library Journal Starred Review
K-Gr 3&12; This sweet tale of the black bear that inspired the legendary children's book character Winnie-the-Pooh will resonate with readers. In the framing story, a mother tells her son, Cole, a bedtime tale about how veterinarian Harry Colebourn, a young Canadian soldier on his way to train and fight in Europe during World War I, stumbled upon a baby black bear that he bought off a trapper at a train depot. Colebourn named the bear Winnie, short for Winnipeg, a gentle reminder of his hometown, and took the bear with him to England. Winnie quickly became the mascot of his unit. But when the time came to ship out to France for combat, Colebourn left his beloved pet in the capable hands of the London Zoo. Later, Milne and his son, Christopher Robin, visited the London Zoo and Christopher Robin took an immediate shine to Winnie, developing an unusually strong bond with the animal and even playing with her in her enclosure. The boy imagined all sorts of adventures for Winnie, which became the basis for the now-famous stories written by Milne. Washes of muted colors convey a cozy cheeriness that imbues the book with warmth and comfort, while occasional interjections from young Cole add to the fun. Blackall's characters are rosy-cheeked and expressive, while Winnie is curious and whimsical. A perfect melding of beautiful art with soulful, imaginative writing, this lovely story, penned by Colebourn's great-great granddaughter, is ideal for sharing aloud or poring over individually. VERDICT Children everywhere will enjoy this tale for years. A must-have.&12; Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Mattick's family ties to Winnie-the-Pooh form the backbone of her cozy debut. Framed as Mattick telling a bedtime story to her young son, Cole, her tale begins in 1914 in Canada, when veterinarian Harry Colebourn, her own great-grandfather, sets off to join the war in Europe. A fateful whistle-stop encounter with a gentle bear cub begins the historic friendship, when Colebourn buys the cub for 20 dollars. Though officers in Colebourn's division were initially aghast that he would bring a wild animal along, they were quickly won over by her irrepressible charm (and appetite), and the bear, named Winnipeg after their hometown, became the division's mascot. Winnie accompanied the soldiers all the way to England, where Colebourn eventually took Winnie to the London Zoo. There Christopher Robin met Winnie and the rest is literary history. Blackall's warm, beautiful gouache-and-ink illustrations capture an impressive depth of feeling, even in relatively simplified faces. The visuals not only complement the fablelike cadences of Mattick's text but also include subtle details that enrich the story e opening pages, for instance, recall a storybook forest before melting into the surroundings of Cole's bedroom, where he hears the story of Colebourn and Winnie. Little ones who love A. A. Milne's classic stories will be enchanted by this heartening account of the bear's real-life origins.
Word Count: 1,525
Reading Level: 3.4
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.4 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 176655 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:2.3 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q67273
Lexile: AD590L
Guided Reading Level: P
Fountas & Pinnell: P

A #1 New York Times Bestseller and Winner of the Caldecott Medal about the remarkable true story of the bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh.

In 1914, Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian on his way to tend horses in World War I, followed his heart and rescued a baby bear. He named her Winnie, after his hometown of Winnipeg, and he took the bear to war.

Harry Colebourn's real-life great-granddaughter tells the true story of a remarkable friendship and an even more remarkable journey--from the fields of Canada to a convoy across the ocean to an army base in England...

And finally to the London Zoo, where Winnie made another new friend: a real boy named Christopher Robin.

Before Winnie-the-Pooh, there was a real bear named Winnie. And she was a girl!


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