Silly Old Bear Redux

Cries of “Welcome back, Winnie!” are echoing throughout the press, as Return to the Hundred Acre Wood, the first authorized sequel to A.A. Milne’s House at Pooh Corner and Winnie-the-Pooh, arrives on Monday.

Return to the Hundred Acre Wood
David Benedictus
Retail Price: $19.99
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile – (2009-10-05)
ISBN / EAN: 0525421602 / 9780525421603

The book was not made available for review prior to release, but, based on just one chapter (available here), children’s lit professor Philip Nel tells NPR’s Morning Edition that the book feels like an imitation,

It’s almost like reading someone else’s memory of A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard. It’s a pleasant memory, but why wouldn’t you read the original? It’s not like they’ve disappeared.

Although some might prefer direct imitation to Disneyfication.

Winnie Disney

The original books were inspired by A.A. Milne’s son Christopher’s own stuffed animal collection, which is now displayed at the New York Public Library.  On Monday, Penguin Young Readers Group, publishers of Return to the Hundred Acre Wood, will unveil a new mural they are presenting to the library, based on those animals.

Also releasing on Monday, is an audio version, read by Jim Dale, well-known as the narrator for the Harry Potter audios. You can watch him here as he narrates the book, displaying his ability to create a range of believable voices.

Return to the Hundred Acre Wood
David Benedictus; Jim Dale
Audio CD: $19.95
Publisher: Penguin Audio – (2009-10-05)
ISBN / EAN: 014314507X / 9780143145073

Benedictus, an author and screenplay writer has not written childrens books before, but adapted and produced an audio verison of  the original Winnie-the-Pooh books.

Illustrator Mark Burgess has had experience with bears, having adapted Peggy Fortnum’s original illustrations for the 50th anniversary edition of A Bear Called Paddington. He also wrote (but did not illustrate) Where Teddy Bears Come From.

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