Winnie's Great War
Winnie's Great War
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Annotation: An imagining of the real journey undertaken by the extraordinary bear, from her early days in the Canadian forest to her travels with the Veterinary Corps across the country and overseas, all the way to the London Zoo, where she met Christopher Robin Milne and inspired the creation of Winnie-the-Pooh.
Catalog Number: #6531434
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Illustrator: Blackall, Sophie,
Pages: 227 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-316-44712-9
ISBN 13: 978-0-316-44712-6
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018009916
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
A mother tells her son the "real story" of the bear that inspired Winnie-the-Pooh: the boy's great-great-grandfather, Captain Harry Colebourn (author Mattick's great-grandfather), bought Winnie in a train station and made her a mascot for his Canadian Army battalion during WWI. A deft blend of historical research and gentle, heartwarming fiction enhanced by Blackall's art. "Colebourn Family Archive" appended.
Kirkus Reviews
The biography of the world's most beloved bear finds a whole new audience in this winsome new work about Winnie.As readers of Finding Winnie know, before she was Winnie-the-Pooh, the inspiration for the famous literary character was a cub living with her mother in the forests of Canada. Billed as a version of Winnie's origin story for a more mature reader, Mattick and Greenhut's thoughtful narrative tackles difficult subjects such as the death of a parent and the fear of being different with grace and humor. Besides its length, what most distinguishes this work from the Caldecott Award-winning picture book dealing with the same subject matter is tone. Winnie's journey demonstrates that new and unexpected life paths emerge from tragedy. In the authors' capable hands, Winnie becomes a strong and sympathetic character in her own right well before her fateful meeting with Lt. Harry Colebourn, the soldier who takes her to war with him. Narration that shifts between Winnie's life in the past and contemporary times, when Mattick tells the tale to her son, Cole, is an excellent framing device providing context for the larger historical events that shape Winnie's future. Blackall's spread-spanning illustrations, which serve as section breaks, are sublime as always and will make readers wish that there were more of them.A charming addition to Pooh lore that will send readers happily back to the Hundred-Acre Wood. (Historical fiction. 8-12)
Publishers Weekly
Expanding upon their Caldecott-winning picture book, 2015-s Finding Winnie, Blackall and Mattick add Greenhut (the Flat Stanley series) to their team for this amplified tale of the bear who traveled from the Canadian woods across the Atlantic during World War I to the London Zoo, where she became the inspiration for Milne-s Winnie the Pooh. Narrated by a descendant of Captain Harry Colebourn, who adopted Winnie, and told to Colebourn-s great-great-grandson, the story focuses on Winnie-s gentle, fun-loving nature and her devotion to Colebourn throughout their journey in wartime Europe. Brief excerpts from Colebourn-s diaries ground the book in historical reality, while Winnie-s relationships with horses and rats-even a Canadian infantry-s billy goat-create a warm animal story. Winnie expresses herself in language throughout the narrative, but she communicates with Colebourn through expressions and movements (---I-m not getting in,- Winnie said by lying down in the mud-). Well-detailed descriptions carry the reader along on the trip, and Colebourn and Winnie-s strong friendship, rendered believably and movingly, is the emotional heart of the story. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8-12. Authors- agents: (for Mattick) Jackie Kaiser, Westwood Creative Artists; (for Greenhut) Kim Witherspoon, InkWell Management. Illustrator-s agent: Nancy Gallt, Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency. (Sept.)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 35 Before Winnie became Winnie the Pooh, she was Winnipeg, a Canadian bear sold to Captain Harry Colebourn at the outset of the Great War. With her intelligence, wit, and bravery, Winnie became the unofficial mascot for Harry's Infantry Brigade, bolstering the morale of animals and soldiers alike in the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps. Written by Harry's great-granddaughter, this transporting book chronicles Winnie's extraordinary life and contributions to the war effort. Beginning sweetly with Winnie and her mother in the forests of Ontario, the narrative extends to Camp Valcartier, across the Atlantic, to Salisbury Plain, England. When at last the story winds its way to the London Zoo, readers encounter the burgeoning of a now-famous relationship between Winnie and a certain admiring young visitor, the son of author A.A. Milne, Christopher Robin Milne. Historical information is seamlessly interwoven with Winnie's touching personal tale of courage and friendship, with actual excerpts from Colebourn's war diaries interspersed. Occasional whimsical illustrations by Blackall add charm to a tale already sure to endear readers young and old. VERDICT A heartwarming read-aloud or a gentle independent reading escape, this is a must-have for elementary school collections. Melissa Williams, Berwick Academy, ME
Word Count: 28,679
Reading Level: 4.8
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.8 / points: 4.0 / quiz: 197013 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.5 / points:8.0 / quiz:Q75394
Lexile: 740L
Guided Reading Level: T
Fountas & Pinnell: T

From the creative team behind the bestselling, Caldecott Medal--winning Finding Winnie comes an extraordinary wartime adventure seen through the eyes of the world's most beloved bear.

Here is a heartwarming imagining of the real journey undertaken by the extraordinary bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh. From her early days with her mama in the Canadian forest, to her remarkable travels with the Veterinary Corps across the country and overseas, and all the way to the London Zoo where she met Christopher Robin Milne and inspired the creation of the world's most famous bear, Winnie is on a great war adventure.

This beautifully told story is a triumphant blending of deep research and magnificent imagination. Infused with Sophie Blackall's irresistible renderings of an endearing bear, the book is also woven through with entries from Captain Harry Colebourn's real wartime diaries and contains a selection of artifacts from the Colebourn Family Archives. The result is a one-of-a-kind exploration into the realities of war, the meaning of courage, and the indelible power of friendship, all told through the historic adventures of one extraordinary bear.

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