83 years ago today the world was introduced to the whimsical world of author A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh. Milne only created two books centered around the Bear of Very Little Brain, Winnie-the-Pooh and The House At Pooh Corner, but Pooh and friends continue to have many an adventure as Disney has owned the rights to Winnie the Pooh, sans hyphens, since 1961. While Pooh, Christopher Robin, Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit and the rest have since become a sad travesty (in my opinion) of what Milne and illustrator Ernest H. Shepard had created, one just has to open a book to be reminded of how enchanting the original characters of the Hundred Acre Wood were.
Now, for the first time ever, the estate of Milne and Shepard has authorized a sequel to The House At Pooh Corner titled Return to the Hundred Acre Wood. The book has been met with mixed reviews, both good and bad, but it is clear that author David Benedictus and illustrator Mark Burgess are talented and worked hard to keep with the Milne/Shepard style. Unfortunately, since the book was only published last week, the Library does not yet own any copies, but you can read an extract here. I picked up a copy at the bookstore and while I appreciate the negative reviews, I couldn’t help but be pleased with this imaginative addition to the Winnie-the-Pooh collection. But I hate to see what Disney will do with it.