Award Winning Children's Literature
Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear. By Lindsay Mattick. Illustrated by Sophie Blackall. Little, Brown and Company, 2015. 56 pages. $18.00
Finding Winnie is like reading three stories in one. This historical realistic fiction eloquently chronicles the story of the legendary bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh. The reader first learns, through a mothers tale, how the real Winnie was adopted by her great-grandfather, Harry Colebourn, a World War I captain. Winnie became the soldiers mascot until one day they had to ship out to France. After much angst Harry decided to put Winnie in the London Zoo. Later in the story Alan Alexander Milne takes his son Christopher Robin Milne to the London Zoo. Christopher is immediately taken by Winnie and was able to play with her in her zoo enclosure. This time spent with the bear was the basis for A.A. Milne's famous stories of Winnie-the-Pooh. In the final portion of this book there are photographs of Harry and Winnie during WWI.
Finding Winnie is beautifully illustrated with soft tones. The characters are expressive and add to the feeling of the story. There are lined drawings of the mother reading to her son on the sides of each page to remind the reader this is a story being told at bedtime.
This is a fascinating almost unheard of story about such a famous bear. Readers will be delighted when they learn the story was written by Colebourn's great-great-granddaughter. This story will be loved by all readers, but will especially be cherished by children from ages 5 - 8. This story will make a great addition to any classroom library.