Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick

Finding Winnie 61+jut2htwL__SY498_BO1,204,203,200_

Lindsay Mattick, Author

Sophie Blackall, Illustrator

Little, Brown and Company, Oct. 20, 2015

Suitable for Ages: 4-8

Themes: Bear, True Story, Canadian Soldier, Mascot, London Zoo, Christopher Robbins

Opening: “Could you tell me a story?” asked Cole. “It’s awfully late.” It was long past dark, and a time to be asleep. “What kind of story?” “You know. A true story. One about a Bear.” 

Book Synopsis: Before Winnie-the-Pooh, there was a real bear named Winnie.

In 1914, Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian on his way to tend horses in World War I, followed his heart and rescued a baby bear. He named her Winnie, after his hometown of Winnipeg, and he took the bear to war.

Harry Colebourn’s real-life great-granddaughter tells the true story of a remarkable friendship and an even more remarkable journey — from the fields of Canada to a convoy across the ocean to an army base in England…

And finally to the London Zoo, where Winnie made another new friend: a real boy named Christopher Robin. Here is the remarkable true story of the bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh.

Why I like this book:

This is an inspiring true story by Lindsay Mattick about the origins of the most famous bear ever — Winnie-the-Pooh. It will rekindle memories of adults who loved this bear and appeal to their children and grandchildren. It is a heartwarming story for the entire family.

It is a revelation for me to learn that there is a family connection to the endearing story about this globally well-loved bear. The author is the great-granddaughter of Harry Colebourn, the soldier-veterinarian who found the little bear and named him Winnie. Her storytelling is warm and friendly and filled with little-known details about the bear.  It was a special treat to see the album of pictures of Winnie with Colebourn, the platoon members, at the London Zoo and with the original Christopher Robbins Milne. Children who love Milne’s classic Winnie-the-Pooh stories, will be captivated by the bear’s history. Sophie Blackall’s watercolor illustrations are warm and beautifully expressive. They compliment and add charm to this lovely story.

Resources/Activities:  Read your favorite Winnie-the-Pooh book, whether Milne’s original stories or the Disney series. Encourage kids to draw a picture of Winnie and pick out a favorite quote. Check out the teacher’s guide for using Finding Winnie with students.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

18 thoughts on “Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick

  1. I also featured this book on my blog today! I really enjoyed this — there’s so much to learn from about writing non-fiction that pulls in the reader, and just so interesting to see the impact of this story across generations.

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  2. I have always loved the fact that Winnie the Pooh was named after Winnipeg. This is a wonderful story and even more special as it is written by the great granddaughter of the real bear´s owner. Thanks for featuring it.

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  3. Great review of a much-loved book. I loved the family connection, too, and learning that Winnie really did live – and not just in the hearts and minds of Winnie-the-Pooh lovers.

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  4. Thank you for this one Pat, definitely one for me! All of my children were brought up with Winnie the Pooh, in books and on film and he was a particular favourite of my second son, named Christopher, (now 34). Aged about 2 he appropriated my Pooh teddy bear, taking him everywhere, dragging the poor thing around by his arm. I still have the bear, elongated arms and all!

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    • I’m pleased you enjoyed the true story. Thank you for sharing the story about your son loving your Pooh teddy bear. Glad you still have him. You probably read the original books to your children.

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