‘If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together,
Keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.’
A.A. Milne - The House at Pooh CornerIf the above quote doesn’t make you gush slightly (with maybe a small tear in the eye), then you may just well be an unfeeling monster. Either that, or you realise that the quote is an elision of the last pages of Milne’s second book, and that it’s a well-constructed rhyme that reads magnificently on cards and the like. Well, whatever your thoughts on Winnie-the-Pooh’s view of friendship, one thing’s for sure: he’s one of the most well-loved fictional characters in the world - as well as having a name that’s surely caused a few giggles! Indeed, when several of the Pooh stories were translated into Latin by Alexander Lenard (Winnie ille Pu) in 1958, by 1960 it became the first and only Latin book to feature on the New York Times Best-Seller List. So admired is Winnie-the-Pooh, that we have even dedicated an entire day celebrating him. Winnie the Pooh Day falls on A.A. Milne’s birthday, 18th January. That’s a Wednesday in 2017. Literature buffs will also realise that this celebration is one week before Burns Night. January, it seems, is a month that celebrates the UK’s literary output. Like our dear old Rabbie Burns, Pooh Bear is highly regarded enough to be celebrated internationally, too, from Russia (where the first animated adaptation was made in 1969) to the US. So, how can you bookworms and animation fans celebrate Winnie the Pooh Day? Here are a few suggestions …
1.Follow Pooh’s FootstepsIf you’re the type who likes to go ambling in the woods and play Pooh Sticks, then why not make a trip on over to Ashdown Forest in Hartfield, East Sussex and play in the same places Winnie and Christopher Robin played in. You can visit the Pooh Corner shop for a cup of tea, too.
2.Pooh’s PhilosophyAnyone familiar with Pooh’s stories will come to realise that they tend to ask some rather interesting, deep philosophical questions like “Why do bees exist?” In fact, Winnie-the-Pooh has his own branch of philosophy, named “Poohisms”. These are the little sayings Winnie-the-Pooh and other characters have come up with - ones which many people live by. These include gems like:
“The things that make me different are the things that make me.”
Piglet: “How do you spell ‘love’?”
Pooh: “You don’t spell it … You feel it.”You can let others in on your favourite Poohisms by making them a card, sending an email or, of allowed, posting them up at work or school.