Having grown up with the classic poems in this book, and its slightly lesser known companion volume "Now We Are Six", and knowing that it's of my oldest posessions, it's hard to describe how it feels to now be revisiting its battered pages and reading them to my own children, but I rarely read them out loud without an enormous lump in my throat. It's a testimony to the timelessness of Milne's work that its as universally loved by them as it was by me at their age. There's something about his style that paints such a vivid picture of childhood that the reader is irresistably swept up by the imaginative and colourful landscape of Milne's writing. Some of these poems have become famous in their own right - 'Buckingham Palace' , 'Halfway Down' 'The King's Breakfast' to name but a few. Among my personal favourites though, are 'Sand Between The Toes', 'The Island, 'Before Tea' and, the haunting closing 'Vespers' but in all of them, the author conveys the child's view of the world in a way that has been much imitated but in my opinion never equalled. Immersing yourself in the lines of these poems, somehow you are really there, peeping through a crack in the door as Christopher Robin kneels muttering by his bed, or watching him as he sits halfway up the stairs, or walking with him, coin tucked tightly in hand on a windswept beach. Such is the evocative power of the text.
Of course, all this is only enhanced by the illustrations of E.H Shepherd who "helpd" make the visual aspect so memorable, and who created the pre-Disney Winnie-The-Pooh that we all know and love. No bookshelf of child adult or anywhere in between can be complete without a copy of this unforgettable work!