Winnie-the Pooh by A.A. Milne

Throwback-Thursday

Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

Narrated by Peter Dennis

winnie_the_pooh_audioBook Description: Come with us to an Enchanted Place, a forest where Winnie-the-Pooh lived with Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Eeyore, Kanga, and Little Roo. The stories are about Christopher Robin and these good companions having wonderful times getting in and out of trouble. It is all very exciting and, really, quite thrilling no matter how young or old you may be. It is painful to try and imagine what the world would be like without them.

Blackstone Audiobooks presents, from the unabridged collection A.A. Milne‘s Pooh Classics, the 10 stories of Winnie-the-Pooh performed by Peter Dennis. This is the only reading of these immortal stories authorized by A.A. Milne’s son, Christopher Robin, who wrote, “Peter Dennis has made himself Pooh’s Ambassador Extraordinare and no bear has ever had a more devoted friend. So if you want to meet the real Pooh, the bear I knew, the bear my father wrote about, listen to Peter.”

This collection includes the chapters:
In Which We Are Introduced to Winnie-the-Pooh and Some Bees, and the Stories Begin
In Which Pooh Goes Visiting and Gets Into a Tight Place
In Which Pooh and Piglet Go Hunting and Nearly Catch a Woozle
In Which Eeyore Loses a Tail and Pooh Finds One
In Which Piglet Meets a Heffalump
In Which Eeyore Has a Birthday and Gets Two Presents
In Which Kanga and Baby Roo Come to the Forest, and Piglet Has a Bath
In Which Christopher Robin Leads an Expotition to the North Pole
In Which Piglet is Entirely Surrounded by Water
In Which Christopher Robin Gives a Pooh Party, and We Say Goodbye

 

What I think: I recently listened to this audiobook for the very first time and I’m sad that I waited so long. Peter Dennis is Pooh. If I find Peter-Dennis-head-shot.jpgthat if I’ve had an unpleasant day, I can listen to this audiobook and instantly feel better. Peter Dennis completely transports me to my new (old) friends. I’ve never listened to any other version of these stories but I can’t imagine anyone else narrating them. Peter Dennis is now, and forever will be, Pooh Bear for me.

I’m sure that my mother read at least one of the Pooh stories to me as a child but I don’t have any lasting memories of them. Maybe she didn’t do the voices. I would have remembered the stories if she had done an imitation of Peter Dennis being Pooh.

I’m sort of glad that I wasn’t attached to the original look of the characters. My childhood memories of Pooh are the cartoons. The Pooh in the red shirt. I’m not sure that, as a child, I would have been able to love the red shirt if I had known there was an alternative. Wikipedia tells me that Stephen Slesinger was the first to draw him with the red shirt in 1932. There isn’t an explanation given for why other than it was the first time the Winnie-the-Pooh gang had been drawn in color. I guess that’s as good of an explanation as any.  We have Stephen Slesinger’s widow Pooh-bear-clip-art-winniepooh_1_800_800Shirley Slesinger Lasswell and A. A. Milne’s widow Daphne Milne to thank for the cartoons and movies from Disney. Shirley Slesinger Lasswell continued to work on Pooh after Slesinger’s death. She licensed the rights to Disney in the 196o’s along with Daphne Milne who owned the motion picture rights.

As an adult, I am appreciative of original Pooh. E.H. Shepard’s illustrations are a true thing of beauty. As a child I would have said something like pretty bear and moved on. Now I can understand the quiet elegance complete-winnie-poohand simplicity of the illustrations. Simple yet sophisticated. E. H. Shepard didn’t just illustrate Winnie-the-Pooh. You should go to his Wiki page here for the long list of all the wonderful illustrations that he did for books like The Secret Garden and The Wind In The Willows. He also drew cartoons for Punch magazine. There is a lovely Telegraph article by Max Davidson from 2012 (the house Shepard owned was for sale) that tells a little about Shepard’s life. It also tells about the model for Pooh.

A.A. Milne was a true author. He was diverse, writing for adults as well. It’s his children’s stories of Pooh and his friends, however, that have become larger than life. I think they tell us all we need to know about Alan Alexander Milne. He loved imagination.

Listen to A.A. Milne read In Which Pooh and Piglet Go Hunting and Nearly Catch a Woozle

“Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.”  ~ A.A. Milne

This audiobook was the deal of the day from Audible recently. If you picked it up for the children in your life you should consider listening with them. Peter Dennis is fantastic. It’s a wonderful way to spend two hours and forty-six minutes with the children in your life or with the child inside of you.

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Fun Fact: A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard had more than a Pooh connection. In 1929 A.A. Milne adapted The Wind in the Willows for the stage.  In 1931 & 1969 E.H. Shepard illustrated an edition of Wind in the Willows.

Original Background Image: Glade In The Woods by Larisa Koshkina

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