The Hundred Acre Wood

“Happy may be all very well, Eeyore, but it doesn’t butter any parsnips.” ~ Rabbit

Mark Burgess has previously illustrated Winnie-the-Pooh and other classic children’s characters, including Paddington Bear.

Everyone should have their own hundred acre wood. It would be wonderful to own the woods, but that’s a bit much for all of us to own. At least, you should have a hundred acre wood that you can easily visit and walk and really get to know.

I have such a woods. It’s a 15 minute walk from my front door.  It actually 157.19 acres. There’s a reservoir on one side that can pass for a lake, a road alongside the edge of a cliff and a small mountainside park.

It was a gifted acreage with the stipulation being that it be preserved in its natural state. So, all that’s changed is a small parking area and some trails that were actually part of a minimal design by the Olmsted Brothers.

I like to walk to the Quarry Point scenic lookout. Now is actually a pretty good time to watch migratory hawks.

What got me thinking about those woods was when I was browsing at a bookstore during the week and I came across Return to the Hundred Acre Wood in the Pooh section.  I didn’t recognize that title as part of the the Pooh books. That’s because it was written by David Benedictus as the first official post-Milne Pooh book written with the full backing of A. A. Milne’s estate.

Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore (and one new character, Lottie the Otter) return to Christopher Robin’s natural playground.

It has nice illustrations by Mark Burgess who also worked new versions of another famous bear named Paddington.

It has been more than 80 years since Christopher Robin said good-bye to Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood and now he returns from boarding school.

It similar to the originals but not the same thing. It has ten stories, like the originals, but I don’t think I like this older Christopher. Would A.A. Milne have wanted them to ever grow any older?

Alan Alexander Milne was born in London in 1882. He graduated from Cambridge in 1903 and in a few years became Assistant Editor at Punch, a classic British humor magazine.

He got married, enlisted when World War I began, started writing and had his first play produced in London in 1917 and in a few years became a witty and fashionable London playwright.

In 1920, his son, Christopher Robin Milne was born. And when Christopher was three, during a rainy holiday in Wales, Milne began work on a collection of verses for children which was published as When We Were Very Young in 1924.

Milne named the character Winnie-the-Pooh after a teddy bear owned by his son. His toys also lent their names to most of the other characters, except for Owl and Rabbit. Christopher Robin’s toy bear is now on display at the Main Branch of the New York Public Library in New York.

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A lifelong educator on and off the Internet. Random by design and predictably irrational. It's turtles all the way down. Dolce far niente.

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