The House at Pooh Corner
A. A. Milne
Illustrated by E. H. Shepherd
Ages 4 and up
Penguin, 1988, 0-5254-4444-0
It seems as if we have only just begun to get to know Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends and yet here we are having to prepare ourselves to say goodbye already. And yet there are still a few more stories that need to be told before we leave. Stories, among others, about a Heffalump, about the search for Small, and about how Tigger came to the forest.
Indeed Tigger features quite prominently in this collection. He seems to arrive in the middle of the night, full of enthusiasm and bounces. He tells Pooh that Tiggers like to eat everything but they soon find out that this is not quite true. Tiggers do not like honey, nor do they care for haycorns. And as for thistles, well they are far too hot and have “too many spikes.” It becomes clear that it is going to be no easy task to find out what Tiggers do like to eat.
Then, once Tigger has found out what his favorite food is and after he has gone to live with Kanga and Roo, he and Roo get into a spot of bother when Tigger discovers that Tiggers are very good at getting up trees but they are not very skilled at getting down.
There can be no doubt that this book will appeal to readers of all ages. Children will love to hear about the simple adventures that Pooh and his friends have. Older readers will discover that Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood world is not that different from the one that we live in. The mistakes that are made and the confusions that are occur may sound familiar and as for the characters, well they are so like real people that we almost expect to see Rabbit living next door. After all we all know people who like to be admired – like Rabbit – and others who like to pretend that they know more than they actually do – like Owl. There are those quiet and shy little folks who dream of being a hero one day – like Piglet, and finally there are those who don’t realize that they have a lot more to offer the world than they think they do – like Pooh himself.
Gentle times, ridiculous and funny situations, wonderful Pooh Hums, and E.H. Shepherd’s timeless back and white drawings combine to create a book about friendships – new and old – about growing up, and about the inevitability of change.
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