"A new friend for Winnie the Pooh and seven brand new delightfully humorous stories to enjoy"
November 2023 Book of the Month
A sumptuously produced collection of new authorised stories from the highly successful partnership of Jane Riordan and illustrator Mark Burgess, which really celebrates The Hundred Acre Wood, the Ashdown Forest home of the Bear with Very Little Brain and where Jane grew up playing Pooh Sticks in the River Itchen.
There are Ashdown Forest facts at the end of the book too and a new map showing the location of The Slippery Slide where Tigger lands them all in the river, the Prickly Place where the Bramblebeast apparently lurks and helpfully signposts the way to London where Christopher Robin can pursue his interest in Ancient Egyptians at the British Museum.
This author/illustrator partnership first came together for the 95th anniversary of Winnie the Pooh creating Once There Was a Bear. You could immediately tell that this was a labour of love for everyone concerned. Both writer and artist capture the tone and spirit of the original books perfectly and seamlessly extend the stories of these much beloved characters. But in this collection, they have also taken the bold step of creating a completely new character too. Carmen is an irrepressible little dog who is not a Bramblebeast at all, but who believes she is a lion and undoubtedly adds to the fun and occasional chaos.
At the back of the book the author explains the origins of Carmen in a story told by A. A. Milne’s wife in an interview. Apparently, he took a small toy dog, called Carmen, as a mascot when he went off to fight in World War 1. Carmen obviously earned her place in this reassuring and safe world, and I am sure she will soon have her own legions of fans. A delightful collection to add to the cherished and timeless tales.