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Winnie-the-Pooh: Return to the Hundred Acre Wood (Winnie-the-Pooh - Classic Editions) Hardcover – 5 Oct. 2009
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Also the text seems to view the characters of Piglet, Rabbit, Wol etc, and even Pooh himself from the outside and at a distance, rather than entering into their minds. I realize, of course, that time has moved on since we left Pooh and Piglet playing on top of the forest, and a slightly more adult view is required, both from the point of view of Christopher Robin and from the point of view of the reader. However, knowing how I view the original books and also how I view my own stuffed toys (which I still have although I am now aged 65), I still think that David Benedictus has not shot his arrow quite true. He has missed the bullseye by a fraction, but only a fraction, and not by enough to prevent me from wrapping up his offering lovingly and sending it to my granddaughter (aged 5). I shall be interested to hear her opinion.
But we thought that we would give the new stories, written by David Benedictus and illustrated on the CD cover by Mark Burgess, a fair hearing with this wonderful set of three CDs, being read by the superb voice of Bernard Cribbins.
Well the stunned silence of two children and one wife told its own story. Our hearts melted as the new stories unfolded. These Winnie the Pooh stories are still in the Hundred Acre Woods, though Christopher Robin is a little older now and rides a push bike. All the old characters are there along with a new one "Lottie" a young female otter.
We all loved the return to the original style for the illustrations, which are more in keeping with the characters being described and as E.H. Shepard originally intended. Personally these illustrations are so important to the charm of Winnie the Pooh and they filled my heart with joy.
Each chapter is split into two which works very well with young children whose attention span struggles with longer chapters. The style of writing is similar to the original stories, though the language is not quite so rich, which is a good thing in some ways.
We are certain that A.A Milne would have been thrilled with this official "Return to the Hundred Acre Wood".
I was particularly impressed by the arc of the stories, beginning with the return of Christopher Robin to the 100 Acre Wood, and the same faint sense of melancholy and growing up that was behind some of the original stories. We very much loved the story in which the bees disappear, and Pooh's songs are also as beautiful as ever! We hope that the license continues to be used, in moderation and in good faith, by this respectful duo.
9 / 10
Author of "Half Discovered Wings"
Top international reviews
The biggest shock is that Christopher Robin is much older (and I didn't particularly care for his illustration). So of course he speaks more maturely and attempts to teach his friends some things he's learned at school, for better or worse. Eeyore actually seems less gloomy now. Lottie the Otter reminds me of Kanga, bossy in that motherly way, even more worldly (re sardines, "Are they Portuguese?"). Readers must not be snobbish and close their minds against new friends. Lottie is a lesser character and fits in all right here, following in the tradition of Milne introducing new characters.
Overall, I found the book an admirable sequel to the originals, both in story and drawing. One has to allow for time passing. A boy cannot help but grow and change, but to David Benedictus' credit he manages to keep to the heart of A.A. Milne. I do hope, however, that we don't find Christopher Robin returning as a teen.
While I commend David Benedictus on his efforts to mimic the original Pooh stories, he falls short on capturing the child-like innocence that made the Milne series so endearing to generations of readers. There seems to be a subtle, darker view of the world that expresses itself in various ways. The characters are more antagonistic toward each other than I remember in the Milne series, and there are at least two instances where a character lies. Also, the new otter character is irritating and does not add much of value to the stories.
This book is a decent first attempt to continue the Pooh series, but rather than a home run it is just a base hit.
The Pooh books are one of my favorites for young children (actually anyone over the age of 2) and this new book did not disappoint. I would recommend it for Pooh lovers of all ages.
When the book finally came out, the vast majority of the reviews I read were negative, so I was hesitant about buying the book. But I finally picked it up to read myself, rather than just going ahead and sending it to my mom.
I read through the first 3 chapters today, and thoroughly enjoyed them. I suppose if I had recently read the originals, I might find, and be mildly disappointed at, some of the differences that others have pointed out. But taken on its own merit, this book is a pleasure to read. The illustrations do not seem to deviate significantly from what I remember of the originals, and the writing seems to paint the characters in the same light as did the other books.
I have not yet read the chapter where the new character is introduced, but I don't see anything wrong with introducing a new friend.
The only way I could give this review 5 stars would be if I took the opportunity to read the original books and found the sequel to be 100% as appealing as the originals. But based on what I have read so far, I am not at all disappointed, and believe the sequel will be a pleasure for both new and old Pooh fans. I will be sending my mom a copy shortly.