Seriously, what was A.A. Milne thinking when he bestowed ‘Pooh’ as one of the names of a teddy bear (originally known as Edward Bear, thank you)? I, for one, spent my entire childhood giggling from behind my hands at the title of the book/bear (“Ha ha! His name is Pooh! Like a poo! Why would you name a poo Winnie? HAHA!”). Unless it was Milne’s plan all along. You see, it must be a conspiracy: A..A. Milne named the book/bear Winnie-the-Pooh so that we didn’t notice that Eeyore the donkey is, in fact, a manic-depressive. Either that, or the word ‘poo’ wasn’t used in 1926.
Considering I’m not actually that immature child anymore, whatever people may say, I had much better get to the point. I finally opened this book (a very nice one actually; a faithful reprinting of the illustrations and layout of the original, although I don’t think it’s the one in the image above), and was suitably chastised by my brain for not reading it sooner. Like, when I was actually young enough to fit into the target audience. Winnie-the-Pooh reads like a nice, elderly grandfather telling a story at his grandkid’s birthday party (before the kids all run off to play Wii). It’s cute and, more often than not, put a smile on my face.
Some parts did not. Aside from having a questionable name, Pooh bear was also frequently referred to as a Bear of Very Little Brain (and quite often in a disparaging tone by Pooh bear himself, which can only be expected if both the narrator and Pooh’s friends have such little, and vocal, regard for Pooh’s intellect). I feel like starting a People Against the Discrimination Of Pooh group (or PADOP, which actually reminds me of popsicles), because, to me, Pooh is absolutely brilliant. Check out this excerpt:
“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting to-day?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully.
“It’s the same thing,” he said.
See! Pooh is a philosopher, on top of being a poet and a songwriter. Actually, since we are having this discussion, what’s up with every single classic book having poetry and songs transcribed into them? Is it to add atmosphere? Is to entertain the masses? Because, normally, I find them oh-so-frightfully boring, but Pooh’s were quite adorable – meaning, I actually read them.
Winnie-the-Pooh took me a couple of hours to finish, because I was rather reluctant to reach the end (I want moar). But, a warning: be wary of having characters’ voices imprinted in your mind from the cartoons – every time I read over Pooh’s dialogue, it sounded like that slow, old man’s voice in the hand-drawn tv series. I guess this is further proof for the benefits of reading the book before watching the movie, although I can hardly be blamed for being exposed to the cartoon in my very impressionable youth. Anyway, this book can kick the ass of that absolutely awful computer animated remake of the original cartoon, complete with a girl instead of Christopher Robin, that dared turn up on my tv over the holidays. That is all.