Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Finding Winnie: the true story of the world's most famous bear

Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick and illustrated by Sophie Blackall is the HDSB Reads selection for 2016.  Last week, during the week of Remembrance Day, our Grade 1 to 6 students had the chance to hear this very timely story.  Finding Winnie is essentially two stories in one. The first is the story of Captain Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Harry enlists in the army to look after horses that are fighting in World War One.  On his was to the front, Harry’s train stops in White River, Ontario where he meets and purchases an adorable bear cub whom he subsequently names Winnie.  Winnie becomes the mascot for the Second Canadian Infantry Brigade. Eventually Harry realizes that the trenches are no place for Winnie and the London Zoo becomes Winnie’s adoptive home. The second story is the story of Christopher Robin Milne.  He meets Winnie for the first time at the London Zoo.  Christopher and Winnie develop a special relationship and it’s this relationship that is the inspiration for Christopher's father (A. A. Milne) to go on and write the Winnie the Pooh books. One of the most amazing parts of Finding Winnie is the photo album at the end of the story.  Pictures include Captain Harry Colebourn and his fellow soldiers, the Winnipeg statue of Harry and Winnie and even Christopher Robin in Winnie’s enclosure at the London Zoo feeding and hanging out with Winnie. Finding Winnie is the truly amazing true story behind Winnie the Pooh and is sure to be a favourite with young and old readers alike.