” ‘Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?’
‘ Supposing it didn’t,’ said Pooh after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.”
Milne expressed such wisdom, wit and whimsy in his cast of anthropomorphized characters! Some he invented, but most he named after the toys of his son, Christopher Robin Milne, who of course, inspired the character of Christopher Robin.
Consider the archetypal sad victim, Eyore (“It’ll probably rain”) and enthusiastic Tigger (“Tiggers are very bouncy!”) Piglet, who needs reassurance and connection, Kanga, who loves her baby Roo, and Pooh, the intrepid EveryBear who loves his honey and somehow stumbles into wisdom despite, or perhaps because he doesn’t overtax his brain.
“When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.”
The sweetness, whimsy, and compassion for human foibles Milne expressed still stuns me after all these years. I’m happy that my father often read me to sleep from this beautiful book and I hope that parents still continue to read to their kids from real books that you can hold in your hand and smell and look at for generations to come.
Books are a magical place where art, ideas and inspiration come together. Children’s books remain my favorite books of all, for the same reason that I facilitate guided meditation, creative expression and other peak experiences for adults. We learn best when we are that state of wonder and joy that is natural for children and adults who are open to it.
May we all claim our trust, compassion, positivity, and bounciness!
-quotes from A.A. Milne, fom “Winnie the Pooh”
illustration by E.H. Shepherd.