Book Review


The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh


Sally M. Walker
Illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss
Henry Holt & CO.
40 p.



When Harry Colebourn saw a baby bear at a train station, he knew he could care for it. Harry was a veterinarian who took care of the horses in WWI. Harry named the bear Winnie, short for Winnipeg, his military company’s home town, and he brought her along to the military camp in England. Winnie followed Harry everywhere and slept under his cot every night. Before long, she became the regiment’s much-loved mascot. When Colebourn was sent into battle, he took Winnie to the London Zoo, where she was so gentle and tame that zookeepers sometimes let children ride on her back. There, a young boy named Christopher Robin met Winnie and fell in love with her.  This motivated Christopher Robin’s father, A. A. Milne to write the “Winnie-the-Pooh” books.

This is a fun book for readers grade 1-2.  It has beautiful water color illustrations but also actual photographs of Winnie, Colebourn, Christopher Robin and his father. Children will enjoy the real story behind Winnie the Pooh.


Lisa Thurston
Education Resource Center
University of Delaware