There’s a silly old bear of very little brain (but great wisdom) that goes by the name of Pooh.
And at the ripe old age of 91, we get to cherish a new story starring his rumbly tummy and loyal friend Piglet. Giles Andreae, Picture book veteran and award-winning author of ‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’, brings us a new tale from The Hundred Acre Wood – ‘Winnie-the-Pooh The Great Heffalump Hunt’.
I’ve such a soft spot for Winnie the Pooh, yet growing up as a little Aussie nipper, Pooh’s adventures seemed a world away from my childhood.
Where Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin trampled through the Hundred Acre Wood on their many grand adventures, I knew only of hectares of dry old bush.
Where they went Poohstick racing along a babbling stream, I knew only of a murky brown river (and if it looked like a stick, it was probably a croc).
When it was time for a little smackerel of something for morning tea, rather than a beautifully laid feast in a forest clearing, our smoko was a soggy clingfilmed lamington.
Although the idyllic scenes in Winnie the Pooh were unlike anything “real” in my world, they sparked my imagination. My soggy lamington was suddenly a honey and condensed milk sandwich and I was no longer staring glumly into my lunchbox, but was huddled around the table at Rabbit’s House.
Just as AA Milne explored themes of acceptance, problem solving and great friendships, Giles Andreae has done the same for a whole new generation of readers. And he does it all in effortless rhyme!
“Piglet trotted happily
Beside his best friend Pooh,
Talking about nothing much,
As best friends often do.”
Pooh has the bright idea to try and catch a Heffalump – a feared forest beast that apparently likes to roast Fresh Piglets. Yikes! That’s clinched it… Pooh’s going to dig a hole and use a “yumptious” jar of honey to lure the Heffalump in. With the trap set, the two go to bed…
“But neither was prepared
For the fact that Pooh was hungry
And that Piglet was, well…
Angela Rozelaar’s portrayal of Winnie the Pooh would, I’m sure, make Pooh’s original illustrator EH Shepard very proud. She hints at that classic Winnie the Pooh feel, without straying down the Disney franchise path. Pooh Bear is born again with spreads that beautifully capture the fondness between these two old friends. The cover is particularly enchanting – all shimmery with a mystic midnight feel.