Saturday, January 14, 2023

Coming Soon ~ National Winnie-the-Pooh Day

You still have a few days to plan your celebration for National Winnie-the-Pooh Day. The date set apart to commemorate the beloved bear is Wednesday, January 18th, which is also A.A. Milne’s 141st birthday.

Alan Alexander Milne, the British author of the immensely popular children’s stories, Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928), was born on this date in 1882.

How to celebrate? 

Eat honey! Read the stories! Listen to Kenny Loggins sing “Return to Pooh Corner” (one of my all-time favorite songs)!

You may choose to watch one of the movies that have been released in recent years such as Christopher Robin (2018), starring Ewan McGregor, or Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017; just a warning that this one is kind of depressing).

For more ideas on how to celebrate, check out this post from National Day Calendar.

More about Milne:
  • He was born in London, England to John Vine Milne and Sarah Marie Heginbotham Milne.
  • He served in WWI as a lieutenant in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and in WWII as a captain the Home Guard.
  • One of Milne’s early teachers was H.G. Wells, the popular author of such titles as The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau, and The Invisible Man.
  • Milne’s teammates on his amateur cricket teams included J.M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan and Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes.
  • In 1903, Milne graduated from Cambridge University.
  • In 1913, Milne married Dorothy “Daphne” de Sélincourt (who died in 1971). 
  • In 1920, Milne’s only child, Christopher Robin, was born. He died in 1996.
  • In 1925, the Milnes bought Cotchford Farm, located in East Sussex. This country home was on the edge of Ashdown Forest, the inspiration for The Hundred Acres Wood. 
Though his enduring popularity is due to Winnie-the-Pooh and the bear's lovable collection of friends, Milne wrote several plays, novels, and nursery rhymes before writing his Pooh stories.

As you may know, Winnie-the-Pooh was named for Winnie, a black bear named for the Canadian province of Winnipeg who lived at the London Zoo, and Pooh, the name Christopher had given a swan.

Winnie’s loyal pal Piglet, woe-is-me Eeyore, the irrepressibly joyful Tigger, plus motherly Kanga and her baby Roo were inspired by Christopher’s toys.

I saw four of these stuffed animals when I visited the New York Public Library a few years ago. Sadly, Christopher lost little Roo when he was still a child. My photos of the toys, which are kept in a glass display case in the children’s section of the library, didn’t turn out well. Thankfully, I found one online to share with you.

Milne stopped writing children’s books because his son had been exposed to too much fame. He is quoted as saying that “I feel that the legal Christopher Robin has already had more publicity than I want for him. I do not want CR Milne to ever wish that his name were Charles Robert.”

Despite that effort, Winnie-the-Pooh’s immense popularity—the stories have been translated into more than fifty languages—led to the estrangement of Christopher and his parents. He resented the connection to the fictional Christopher Robin and the merciless teasing he endured throughout his childhood. 

While Cambridge’s Trinity College Library is home to the original manuscripts for Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, the vast majority of Milne’s papers are archived here in the United States.

The University of Texas at Austin’s Harry Ransom Center houses the collection which consists of drafts and fragments of over 150 of the author’s works plus his correspondence and other records. Several books that once belonged to Milne and his wife are also kept at the library.

A final word from A.A. Milne:
“I suppose that every one of us hopes secretly for immortality; to leave, I mean, a name behind him which will live forever in this world, whatever he may be doing, himself, in the next.”

Johnnie writes award-winning stories in multiple genres. A fan of classic movies, stacks of books, and road trips, she shares a life of quiet adventure with Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, her raccoon-treeing papillon. Visit her at

Photo Credits ~ Though all photos are in the public domain, the illustration includes this citation: Illustration: E. H. Shepard – Milne, A. A. (1926). "X. In Which Christopher Robin Gives A Pooh Party, And We Say Goodbye". Winnie-the-Pooh. New York: E.P. Dutton. pp. 152–153.

Sources ~ A.A. Milne’s quotes are from the article, “AA Milne and the curse of Pooh bear” written by Amanda Ruggeri (written 1/28/16 and retrieved 1/9/2023).

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting today, and Happy New Year! I love Winnie the Pooh and was glad to know more about the author. And I am happy there is a Winnie the Pooh Day!!!