The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Poohby Published 01 Oct 1996
|The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh.pdf|
|Publisher||Dutton Books for Young Readers|
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In 1926, "Winnie-the-Pooh, " a collection of stories about a rather stout, somewhat confused bear, was published in England and America. The enchanting tales of Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Christopher Robin, and the others were an immediate success, and firmly established A.A. Milne, already an acclaimed dramatist, as a major author of children's books. "Winnie-the-Pooh" was followed in 1928 by a second collection, "The House At Pooh Corner, " which continued the adventures from the Hundred Acre Wood and introduced bouncy, lovable Tigger.
The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh Reviews
This review is for the Celebrity Death Match Tournament - Winnie-the-Pooh versus Hamlet.
One day when the weather was especially fine, Pooh and his friends were playing Pooh sticks. Pooh was thinking how nice it would be to have a playing-Pooh-sticks-with-your-friends-on-an-especially-nice-day sort of hum when...
"Hey nonny nonny..."
"Was that me?" Pooh asked Christopher Robin. "You see, I was just thinking..."
"Silly old bear," said Christopher Robin fondly. "That wasn't you. It was her."
Everyone looked over the side of the bridge where Christopher Robin was pointing and saw a young woman floating in the river, clutching a ragged bouquet of wildflowers and stringing together nonsense words in a sort of song.
"Hey nonny nonny tiddly pom..."
"I shall have to remember that one," thought Pooh.
As she floated out of sight, Christopher Robin said, "Let's go on an expedition to find out where she came from."
So they did.
Following the river, they reached the edge of the Hundred Acre Wood at about half-past teatime and were surprised to find out they were in Denmark.
"Oh d-d-dear," worried Piglet, "Are there any horrible creatures in D-d-d-enmark?"
"Let's go ask at that castle," said Christopher Robin.
So they did.
The path to the castle took them through a graveyard. Clods of earth were being flung furiously out of a new hole being dug. Suddenly, they all heard a whistling sort of voice ask,
"Sssay, hasss anybody ssseen a ssskull around here?"
Up popped a gopher from the grave. He pawed in the pile of dirt a bit, found the skull he was looking for, and held it up.
"Sssee thisss ssskull?" he asked. "It'sss..."
"Oh hush," said Christopher Robin. "You aren't in the books at all. You were just an attempt to pander to American audiences and we shan't bother with you."
So they didn't.
Arriving at the castle, the first person they met was practicing with a sword, which was very exciting, and muttering, "If it be now, 'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come," which wasn't.
This muttering swordsman noticed them and extended his hand.
"The name's Hamlet, title character in the greatest work in all of literature. Oh, and a prince."
Christopher Robin shook his hand and asked politely, "Excuse me, but why is it the greatest work of literature?"
"Because the play embodies Shakespeare's profound knowledge of human nature in all its complexity. I myself am a striking portrait of melancholia. Why I was just wondering the other day, 'To be or not to be...' "
"Better not," said Eeyore melancholically. "It never works out."
"And Polonius," Hamlet continued, "whom I, umm, killed a little while ago...he was all 'You should do this and don't do that, time and place for everything...' "
"Sounds like an excellent sort of chap," said Rabbit, "Nothing like plans and rules and explanations to know what's what, I always say!"
Hamlet frowned, his brow furrowed in thought. "But I am also a skillful portrait of mania. I'm especially proud of my antic disposition."
"Antic disposition?" Tigger said bouncily, "That's what tiggers do best!"
Realizing that his human nature argument was, perhaps, not quite as strong as he thought, Hamlet brought out his final devastating argument, one he saved for last because of its embarrassing nature.
"Ummm, Mummy issues?" he offered, blushing a little.
Just then, Kanga's pouch roiled alarmingly and a fully grown Roo popped his head out.
"What did he say, Mama?"
"Nothing dear, no need to interupt your nap."
Dejectedly, Hamlet stalked out of the room with sword in hand, muttering about taking action.
"Heard that one before," one of the guards by the throne room door chuckled.
"Let's go watch the swordfight," said Christopher Robin.
So they did.
When it was all over, Christopher Robin was cowering in a corner shaking, the room was littered with highborn corpses, and Hamlet lay dying in Horatio's arms.
"The rest is silence..."
Horatio, who until that moment no one had noticed was a llama, said,
"That's what forgiveness sounds like, screaming and then silence."* Then he bent down and began eating Hamlet's hands.**
Christopher Robin whimpered and covered his eyes.
Just then, one of the room's tapestries billowed and out stepped Edna St. Vincent Millay. She crossed the room, pausing at the bloody tableau to intone,
"Your candle burned at both ends,
It gave a lovely light,
But for a lack of lithium,
You've gone and lost the fight."***
She knelt gently beside Christopher Robin, handed him his stuffed bear, and said, "Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies..."
A couple of survivors chipped in,
"What about Old Yeller?"
"And Charlotte the spider? Cried myself silly over that one!"
Edna St. Vincent Millay quelled them with a look. "As I was saying, childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies. Look around you Christopher Robin. What do you see?"
"I see dead people."****
"Precisely. And here are all your friends around you safe and sound."
Pooh gave Christopher Robin an especially reassuring squeeze with his paw. Standing up a little shakily, Christopher Robin said, "I don't like it here! Let's go back to the Hundred Acre Wood."
So they did.
Shortly after entering the wood, just as dusk was stretching shadows into hephalumpine and woozly shapes, they came to a fork in the path which they had never noticed before. It was marked by a signpost. One arrow pointed down one path, reading HELL. Another arrow pointed down the other path, reading ROOM 101.
Robert Frost popped up from behind the sign.
"Two roads divgered in a yellow wood..."
"Get lost, Robert," growled Edna St. Vincent Millay. "I'm the only poet ex machina in this review!"
They continued up one of the paths, Pooh humming happily,
"The more I win, tiddly pom...
Winner: Winnie-the-Pooh (Seriously, have you seen Hamlet? He's dead! And are you going to tell Christopher Robin his teddy bear isn't really alive? Well, are you?)
*Check out Llamas with Hats, especially 1 and 2, on Youtube.
**Seriously, Llamas with Hats.
***Hamlet is obviously bipolar. Lithium could have helped immensely. Of course one of the common side effects of lithium is tremors, so he probably still wouldn't have won the fight.
****An oldie but a goodie. I couldn't resist.
As part of a children's book readathon on my blog in August 2018, voters chose Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne as one of our award-winning books to read this week. I was very excited to pick up this classic again as I haven't read it in over thirty years. I've seen several shows and cartoons with nieces, nephews, and cousins, but reading the wonderfully illustrated picture books was a fresh experience. I adore the world Milne has created with all the amazing characters in the woods. It's a bit of fantasy and magic combined with reality and lessons. I'd forgotten how 'mischievous' Pooh and his friends could be.
When we picked this classic, I never specified which of the books to read -- silly of me, actually, as Pooh might think or say! I left it up to each reader. I borrowed the book from the library, and it seems to be books 1 and 2, so I read more than I'd planned. At about 150 pages, it has some illustrations but way more text than I remembered. It was still adorable to read. There were ~10 stories introducing different characters and scenarios ranging from an encounter with bumble bees (where Pooh classically steals the honey -- or tries to!) to poor Eeyore losing his tail.
If you've never sampled Winnie the Pooh, get to the library now and read one of the stories. At the very least, tempt yourself by watching a cartoon version. At least now I know where Christopher Robin comes from... who the bear family is and what a pooh actually means! I definitely want to check out the movie that came out earlier this year (last year?) on Christopher Robin!
I may be the only person on the planet not automatically delighted with Pooh. Or rather, I know I'm not the only one, because of my daughter.
She complained about being bored no less than a dozen times and fell asleep sitting up 5 times.
Ah, well, not every book is a winner for every person. Alas.
For me, I personally liked The Tao of Pooh much, much better. :) I guess I get kinda annoyed with Bears of Little Brain. :)
For the Celebrity Death Match Review Tournament, Heart of Darkness (25) versus The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh (24)
In which the animals go on a Second Expotition, and Pooh discovers that Not Everyone Likes Hums
There was a corner of the Hundred Acre Wood that the animals rarely visited. Even Eeyore found it too Sad and Gloomy, and it had more than its fair share of annoying insects. Owl, in his grand way, sometimes called it the Forest's Heart of Darkness, and that always made Piglet shiver and say, thank goodness, he wasn't going to go there soon, no thank you! So as you can imagine, not all the animals were pleased when Christopher Robin told them they would undertake a Second Expotition to find out what was in the Dark Patch.
"I'm not going there, no thank you!" said Piglet, trying to sound as firm as possible. "I'm very busy, any number of things to do, like, like..." But Christopher Robin just laughed.
"Don't worry, Piglet!" he said. "We'll all look after you. Just stay next to Pooh and you'll be quite safe." And before Piglet knew what had happened, they were all walking towards the Dark Patch in a long line, with Christopher Robin and Pooh and him at the front, Rabbit's Friends and Relations at the end, and the other animals in the middle.
The Dark Patch was even Darker and Gloomier than they remembered, and strange noises came from the trees. The further in they got, the worse it became. The ground turned wet and marshy, and one Friend and Relation had to be pulled out when he started to sink. Piglet clutched Pooh's hand as tightly as he could and tried not to look around.
"I'm scared, Pooh," he whispered. "You don't think there are Heffalumps here?"
"What I think," said Christoper Robin, who had overheard, "is that Pooh should give us one of his Hums." And Pooh, who had been thinking the very same thing but had been too shy to say so, cleared his throat and began:
On Monday, when the jungle's hotPiglet released his grip on Pooh's hand a tiny fraction, so he continued.
I wonder to myself a lot
Now is it true or is it not
That what is which or which is what?
On Tuesday, when there's gnats and fleas"There aren't really any Pythons?" asked Piglet in a terrified voice.
And pythons slither through the trees
Then very readily one sees
That these are whose - but whose are these?
"Well," said Pooh, "I only put them in because they Came To Me. I'm going to take them right out again." And he continued
On Wednesday...But the animals never found out what happened on Wednesday, because at that moment a loud, groaning voice came from the forest right in front of them.
"The Hummer! The Hummer!" it said.
"Oh Pooh!" said Piglet. "It is a Python! Or a Heffalump! Oh, what shall we do!"
"I don't know," said Pooh. "Whatever it is, it Doesn't Like My Hums." He wondered if he should feel offended, but before he could decide they suddenly came out in a remarkably pleasant clearing. The sun was shining brightly, there was soft grass to sit on, butterflies were flitting between the flowers, and a charming little lake just seemed to call out to the animals to paddle their tired feet in it.
"What a lovely place!" said Kanga in surprise. "Who could have imagined it would be right in the middle of the Dark Patch?"
"I shall call it Pooh's Pond," said Christopher Robin firmly. "And now I think it's time for lunch."
So they all unpacked their food and had a perfectly wonderful picnic. And from that day on, no one was ever again scared of the Dark Part of the Forest.
“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
So I made myself a large cup of tea with honey, got under blankets and read this favorite of mine (well, a favorite might a an understatement). I might have molded into the Pooh Bear himself, and I'm oh so okay with it.
“Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's the problem.”
There are kids books, and then there are books for all ages. Books that are not only adorable, but profound that they make you laugh out loud whether you're 9, 19 or 29 (and beyond of course).
“Pooh," said Rabbit kindly, "you haven't any brain."
"I know," said Pooh humbly.”
*The edition I read wasn't this one. I found incredibly cute and antique one in a local charity book store, but Goodreads didn't even have that edition in its archives (tut tut).
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