Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally M. Walker

My Friend Alyson Beecher at Kid Lit Frenzy hosts weekly link up to share Nonfiction Picture Books. Please visit her amazing website.

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh 
by Sally M. Walker
Illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss
Published 2015
Henry Holt and Co.
40 Pages
Review copy obtained from library

Goodreads Summary
Who could care for a bear? When Harry Colebourn saw a baby bear for sale at the train station, he knew he could care for it. Harry was a veterinarian. But he was also a soldier in training for World War I. Harry named the bear Winnie, short for Winnipeg, his company’s home town, and he brought her along to the training camp in England. Winnie followed Harry everywhere and slept under his cot every night. Before long, she became the regiment’s much-loved mascot. But who could care for the bear when Harry had to go to the battleground in France? Harry found just the right place for Winnie while he was away — the London Zoo. There a little boy named Christopher Robin came along and played with Winnie — he could care for this bear too! Sally Walker’s heartwarming story, paired with Jonathan Voss’s evocative illustrations, brings to life the story of the real bear who inspired Winnie the Pooh.

My Thoughts
Who would have thought that two wonderful nonfiction books about the history of Winnie-the-Pooh would be released in the same year? I read Finding Winnie earlier in the year and loved that as well. I find the story of Winnie-the-Pooh to be very interesting and I know children will too. Walker tells the story in sparse text giving young readers bite-sized bits of information at a time. The illustrations in this book have a pleasant "older" feel almost as though you are reading a book published in the mid 20th century.  I would recommend this book for grades K-5. 

A video about the real Winnie.

Possible Companion Texts

See what others have to say about this book:
School Library Journal
Publishers Weekly
New York Times


  1. Funny, this has definitely been the year of Winnie the Pooh! Growing up I was a massive fan of the original books, so I was delighted to see these two come out this year. Also - Winnie was named after Winnipeg, loving the Canadian connection there. :)

  2. I love when two publishers bring out books on the same topic in the same year, even if it's probably bad, bad news for the authors! It's so interesting to see the different choices each author and artist makes.

  3. I didn't know about The Real Winnie but read the more recent picture books. Pooh bear is celebrating a big anniversary year this year!

  4. So interesting that both of these Winnie titles were released in the same year. I have read and enjoyed both! Interesting how they have such a different feel.

  5. I would be featuring this book soonest - along with Finding Winnie - both beautifully done nonfiction books.

  6. You're right, Gigi. Both books are worth finding and reading. They are special!