Thursday, October 1, 2009

Winnie the Pooh is back!!

It's been almost 84 years since Winnie the Pooh made his debut. That fuzzy little tummy all stuffed with fluff has been the focus of A.A. Milne's and E.H. Shepard's two classic books, Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corners, and it's been featured in many more contemporary styled picture books and cartoons. But now after nearly 80 years, fans of the original classics can rejoice because on October 5th, 2009 Winnie the Pooh will be back in his first authorized sequel in over 80 years!

From the press release (found at the Penguin Group website) -

Michael Brown, for the Trustees of the Pooh Properties, who manage the affairs of the A. A. Milne and E.H. Shepard Estates said, "We have been hoping for a good many years that we might one day be able to offer the world a sequel which would do justice to the original Winnie-the-Pooh stories. The original books were one of the greatest celebrations of childhood in any language, but we believe that David Benedictus and Mark Burgess have captured the spirit and quality of those original books. We hope that the many millions of Pooh enthusiasts and readers around the world will embrace and cherish these new stories as if they had just emerged from the pen of A. A. Milne himself."

Don Weisberg, President of Penguin's Young Readers Group commented, "Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin are an integral part of so many children's reading experience. We are privileged to be part of this adventure to bring new tales to a generation of young people in the United States."

David Benedictus's manuscript was inspired by his familiarity with Winnie-the-Pooh's adventures after having worked on Audio CD adaptations of previous Winnie-the-Pooh stories. David has collaborated with illustrator Mark Burgess to create what is sure to become another treasured Winnie-the-Pooh book.

Is anyone else excited?! I know I certainly am. The original Winnie the Pooh books were timeless and I am very anxious to see what new author David Benedictus has to offer. If you're as excited as I am and can't wait until Monday for the book to hit the shelves, then be sure to visit the Penguin Group page here where you can learn more about the books and characters, and where you can download an exerpt from the first chapter of Return to the Hundred Acre Wood. Plus while you're there, don't forget to check out the video clip of award-winning narrator Jim Dale the Exposition to the book. It's no wonder he's won awards, his voice is perfection.

Get ready people because this is going to be great!

Before you go, how about a few random fun Winnie the Pooh facts?
  • Winnie the Pooh was brought to life on Christmas Eve in 1925 when the first Pooh story, written by AA Milne, was published in the London Evening News. The piece was based on a bedtime story read by AA Milne to his son, Christopher Robin.

  • The characters in AA Milne's stories are based on toys once owned by his son. The original stuffed toys are now kept in New York Public Library.

  • The inspiration for Hundred Acre Wood comes from Ashdown Forest in Sussex, which was near AA Milne's country home Cotchford Farm.

  • Winnie the Pooh is also called Pooh, or Pooh Bear, but never, ever, just Winnie.

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