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Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear



by
Lindsay Mattick
illustrated by
Sophie Blackall

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Hachette Book Group
Imprint
Little, Brown
ISBN
9780316324908

Awards and Honors
2016 Caldecott Medal Winner
Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books of 2015, Picture Books
Horn Book Fanfare List: Best Books of 2015, Nonfiction
The New York Times Notable Children’s Books of 2015, Picture Books
Booklist Best Picture Books of 2015
Booklist Lasting Connections, 2015
ALA Notable Books for Children 2016, Younger Readers
New York Public Library’s 100 Notable Titles for Reading and Sharing 2015, Children’s Books
2016 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, K–2
2016 CCBC Choices–Historical People, Places, and Events
Charlotte Zolotow, 2016 Honor
Children’s Book Committee Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of 2016, Historical Fiction
2016 Cybils Finalist, Elementary/Juvenile Nonfiction
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
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QTY
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2016 Caldecott Medal Winner
Heading off to war, the author’s great-grandfather unexpectedly adopted a baby bear at a Canada train station. The bear eventually became the inspiration for Winnie-the-Pooh. Black-and-white and full-color photographs. Full-color illustrations done in Chinese ink and watercolor.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

56

AR

3.4: points 0.5

Lexile

AD590L

Genre

Nonfic

Scholastic Reading Counts

3

JLG Release

Mar 2016

Book Genres


Topics

Harry Colebourn (1887-1947). Winnie-the-Pooh. A. A. (Alan Alexander) Milne (1882-1956). Winnipeg the bear. Bears. Soldiers. London Zoo. Family history.

Standard MARC Records

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine*, The Horn Book Guide^, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
This sweet tale of the black bear that inspired the legendary children’s book character Winnie-the-Pooh will resonate with readers. In the framing story, a mother tells her son, Cole, a bedtime tale about how veterinarian Harry Colebourn, a young Canadian soldier on his way to train and fight in Europe during World War I, stumbled upon a baby black bear that he bought off a trapper at a train depot. Colebourn named the bear Winnie, short for Winnipeg, a gentle reminder of his hometown, and took the bear with him to England. Winnie quickly became the mascot of the unit. But when the time came to ship out to France for combat, Colebourn left his beloved pet in the capable hands of the London Zoo. Later, Milne and his son, Christopher Robin, visited the London Zoo and Christopher Robin took an immediate shine to Winnie, developing an unusually strong bond with the animal and even playing with her in her enclosure. The boy imagined all sorts of adventures for Winnie, which became the basis for the now-famous stories written by Milne. Washes of muted colors convey a cozy cheeriness that imbues the book with warmth and comfort, while occasional interjections from young Cole add to the fun. Blackall’s characters are rosy-cheeked and expressive, while Winnie is curious and whimsical. A perfect melding of beautiful art with soulful, imaginative writing, this lovely story, penned by Colebourn’s great-great granddaughter, is ideal for sharing aloud or poring over individually. VERDICT Children everywhere will enjoy this tale for years. A must-have.—Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA

Horn Book

[STARRED REVIEW]
A little boy named Cole curls in the crook of his mother’s arm and asks for a story; she spins him two. The first one tells of a veterinarian, Harry Colebourn, who buys a baby bear at a train station on his way from Winnipeg to the WWI European Theater. He calls her Winnie, and the two become deeply attached, until Harry ships out to France, regretfully depositing Winnie at the London Zoo. There the second story begins, wherein a little boy named Christopher Robin Milne befriends Winnie, playing with her in her enclosure and inspiring his father to write some most beloved children’s tales. The end of the second story closes the loop by bringing us back to the little boy in his bedroom: Harry Colebourn was Cole’s great-great-grandfather, for whom he is named, and our stories are true. Mattick, who’s the storytelling mother in this book, embellishes her family’s tale with especially evocative and playful language (“The train rolled right through dinner and over the sunset and around ten o’clock and into a nap and out the next day”), matched by the period warmth of Blackall’s still, balanced, and carefully composed images. The sum total is as captivating as it is informative, transforming a personal family story into something universally resonant. A facsimile photo album at the back features photos and records documenting both stories’ landmark events. thom barthelmess

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
This sweet tale of the black bear that inspired the legendary children’s book character Winnie-the-Pooh will resonate with readers. In the framing story, a mother tells her son, Cole, a bedtime tale about how veterinarian Harry Colebourn, a young Canadian soldier on his way to train and fight in Europe during World War I, stumbled upon a baby black bear that he bought off a trapper at a train depot. Colebourn named the bear Winnie, short for Winnipeg, a gentle reminder of his hometown, and took the bear with him to England. Winnie quickly became the mascot of the unit. But when the time came to ship out to France for combat, Colebourn left his beloved pet in the capable hands of the London Zoo. Later, Milne and his son, Christopher Robin, visited the London Zoo and Christopher Robin took an immediate shine to Winnie, developing an unusually strong bond with the animal and even playing with her in her enclosure. The boy imagined all sorts of adventures for Winnie, which became the basis for the now-famous stories written by Milne. Washes of muted colors convey a cozy cheeriness that imbues the book with warmth and comfort, while occasional interjections from young Cole add to the fun. Blackall’s characters are rosy-cheeked and expressive, while Winnie is curious and whimsical. A perfect melding of beautiful art with soulful, imaginative writing, this lovely story, penned by Colebourn’s great-great granddaughter, is ideal for sharing aloud or poring over individually. VERDICT Children everywhere will enjoy this tale for years. A must-have.—Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA

Horn Book

[STARRED REVIEW]
A little boy named Cole curls in the crook of his mother’s arm and asks for a story; she spins him two. The first one tells of a veterinarian, Harry Colebourn, who buys a baby bear at a train station on his way from Winnipeg to the WWI European Theater. He calls her Winnie, and the two become deeply attached, until Harry ships out to France, regretfully depositing Winnie at the London Zoo. There the second story begins, wherein a little boy named Christopher Robin Milne befriends Winnie, playing with her in her enclosure and inspiring his father to write some most beloved children’s tales. The end of the second story closes the loop by bringing us back to the little boy in his bedroom: Harry Colebourn was Cole’s great-great-grandfather, for whom he is named, and our stories are true. Mattick, who’s the storytelling mother in this book, embellishes her family’s tale with especially evocative and playful language (“The train rolled right through dinner and over the sunset and around ten o’clock and into a nap and out the next day”), matched by the period warmth of Blackall’s still, balanced, and carefully composed images. The sum total is as captivating as it is informative, transforming a personal family story into something universally resonant. A facsimile photo album at the back features photos and records documenting both stories’ landmark events. thom barthelmess

Grades K-2
Nonfiction Early Elementary Plus
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Great nonfiction is in high demand, so we've added 12 more fantastic selections to our NEK Category. Children will gain valuable knowledge of history, science, and more with these selections.

14 books per Year
$245.70 per Year
Interests
Animals,Beginning Readers,Nonfiction,Picture Books,Science/STEAM,Storytime/Read Alouds
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Grades K-2
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