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Think. Think. Think. (Pooh wants you to)

What a treat it is to spend time in the pages of A.A. Milne’s classic “Winnie-the-Pooh.” The stories are timeless, and the characters are as charming as you remember. Wise Owl, timid Roo, motherly Kanga, depressed Eeyore, hungry Pooh, bouncy Tigger.

What’s even more fun is reading aThe Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Poohbout the real people (and bear!) that inspired Mr. Milne’s stories and Ernest H. Shepard’s illustrations.Finding Winnie

Did you know there¬†was a real bear — an American black bear — that a young Canadian veterinarian bought at a train station en route to training for World War I? The bear was named Winnipeg (Winnie for short) and traveled with Dr. Harry Colebourn all the way to England where he continued his training.

When dispatched to France, Dr. Colebourn found Winnie a home in the London Zoo. There author A.A. Milne brought his young son (you guessed it — Christopher Robin Milne) to visit the tame black bear, inspiring the boy to change the name of his real toy bear from Edward to Winnie-the-Pooh.

The rest, as they say, is history.

-Deanna