Sunday, 3 June 2012

Why Choose Winnie the Pooh Books and Toys?

Who is Winnie the Pooh?

 Original Winnie the Pooh Toys - Wikimedia Commons Public Domain
Original Winnie The Pooh Toys

Winnie the Pooh is probably the most famous stuffed bear that the world has ever known.  Along with his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood, these lovable characters have been firm favourites with generations of children.  So how did the worldwide phenomenon that is Winnie the Pooh come about? It all started back in the First World War, when some Canadian soldiers were travelling across Canada on their way to Europe and the Western Front.  During a train stop, Lieutenant Harry Colebourn bought a small black female bear cub for $20 from a hunter who had just shot her mother. Lieutenant Colebourn took the tiny bear cub to Europe with him and she became the Brigade mascot.  He called her after his home town of Winnipeg, and she became known as ‘Winnie’.  Lieutenant Colebourn could not take Winnie to the battlefields with the Brigade, so he arranged for her to stay at London Zoo and when the war was over in 1919, Winnie became a permanent London Zoo resident. 

She lived until 1934 and was a very popular attraction at the zoo.  One of her particular admirers was a young gentleman called Christopher Robin, who was the young son of the author A.A Milne. Winnie the bear and Christopher Robin became firm friends, and Christopher Robin even spent time in her cage with her.  He was also so taken with Winnie, that he changed the name of his teddy bear from Edward Bear to Winnie the Pooh. The friendship between Winnie and Christopher Robin inspired A.A Milne to start writing stories about his son Christopher Robin,  a teddy bear called Winnie the Pooh and their adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood.  Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh were joined in their adventures by other friends such as Piglet, Owl, Eeyore, Rabbit, Tigger, Kanga and Roo, again all inspired by other stuffed animals owned by Christopher Robin.  You can still see the original stuffed toys that belonged to Christopher Robin in the Children’s Centre in the New York Public Library.  The original stories were published by Methuen, with ‘Winnie the Pooh’ appearing in 1926, ‘Now We Are Six’ in 1927, and ‘The House at Pooh Corner’ in 1928.  One of the things that made these books so special was the enchanting illustrations of lovable stuffed bear and his friends that were drawn by E.H Shepard.  These books, including ‘When We Were Young’, became worldwide bestsellers and sold millions of copies.

Winnie the Pooh DVDs

Winnie the Pooh then went on to catch the eye of the great Walt Disney.  The books had been firm favourites with his young daughters and so he brought the magic of Winnie the Pooh to the silver screen in 1966.  The first feature-length animated film starring Winnie the Pooh was ‘The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh’ released in 1977 and was followed twenty years later in 1997 by ‘Pooh’s Grand Adventure’.  The Bear of Little Brain had become a worldwide movie star, and Disney acknowledged that he had probably came second only to Mickey Mouse as their most loved animated character. His animated adventures have also now been released on DVD, so you can catch up on all of the stories from the Hundred Acre Wood in the comfort of your own home.  His friends also get to star in their own movies and there is a Tigger movie and a Piglet movie that you can find on DVD. There are also quite a few other Winnie the Pooh DVDs now that you can get both in the shops and  online, including new stories and adventures and Disney has a series of Pooh learning DVDs that introduce numbers, words and shapes and sizes.

Winnie the Pooh Books

You can still buy the original books by A.A Milne, ‘Winnie the Pooh’, ‘The House at Pooh Corner’ and ‘Now We Are Six’, with the original E. H. Shepard illustrations.  The stories are such classics that I think that they should form an integral part of every child’s book collection.  You can also get some very beautiful compilations of the original Winnie the Pooh stories and also boxed sets of all the books.  Of course, there have also now been many other stories telling of the adventures in The Hundred Acre Wood published which range from colourful picture books and pop-up books for very young children to longer stories for older children.  If the child you are buying for is creative, you can also get colouring books and sticker books that will provide hours of interest and fun. You can also find the Winnie the Pooh Books on audio CD, so your children can listen to the adventures of the stuffed animals of the Hundred Acre Woods at home or in the car.

Winnie the Pooh Stuffed Bears

Of course, we must not forget that Winnie the Pooh is a teddy bear, and a famous one at that, so it is only right that there is a huge range of cuddly Winnie the Pooh stuffed bears for you to choose from.  There are stuffed bears in all sizes and in lots of different outfits, although most of them are made of soft golden plush and are wearing his signature red shirt.  There are cuddly toys especially designed for new babies and for older children, so your baby’s very first teddy bear could be the one and only Winnie the Pooh.  You can also get ones that can be programmed to know your name and say around 1,000 phrases.
Winnie the Pooh Toys

If your children are big fans of Winnie the Pooh, there are so many toys that you can choose for them today.  Play is a very important way of learning for children and there is a wide range of Winnie the Pooh learning toys available. The toy company Vtech produce a good selection of learning toys, including Pooh’s Picture Computer, Winnie the Pooh Sort ‘n Learn Cart and Winnie the Pooh Teach ‘n Lights Phone. You can also get play sets of figurines, lot of different games and stacker toys for very young children.  In fact, our favourite bear of little brain is fairly ubiquitous, so he appears on everything from nursery bed linen, to balloons, picnic cups and napkins.

He has become so popular that you can now find a huge range of Winnie the Pooh books, stuffed bears, toys, nursery furniture, clocks, games and clothes, which can all easily be bought either in ths shop or online.  Winnie the Pooh toys and books make great gifts for kids at Christmas and birthdays, and there are ranges of books and toys that are suitable for all ages. It also doesn’t matter what your budget is, because there is Winnie the Pooh merchandise out there that can be bought with pocket money all the way through to unique collectibles that cost that little bit more.


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