The biography of the world’s most beloved bear finds a whole new audience in this winsome new work about Winnie.
As readers of Finding Winnie know, before she was Winnie-the-Pooh, the inspiration for the famous literary character was a cub living with her mother in the forests of Canada. Billed as a version of Winnie’s origin story for a more mature reader, Mattick and Greenhut’s thoughtful narrative tackles difficult subjects such as the death of a parent and the fear of being different with grace and humor. Besides its length, what most distinguishes this work from the Caldecott Award–winning picture book dealing with the same subject matter is tone. Winnie’s journey demonstrates that new and unexpected life paths emerge from tragedy. In the authors’ capable hands, Winnie becomes a strong and sympathetic character in her own right well before her fateful meeting with Lt. Harry Colebourn, the soldier who takes her to war with him. Narration that shifts between Winnie’s life in the past and contemporary times, when Mattick tells the tale to her son, Cole, is an excellent framing device providing context for the larger historical events that shape Winnie’s future. Blackall’s spread-spanning illustrations, which serve as section breaks, are sublime as always and will make readers wish that there were more of them.
A charming addition to Pooh lore that will send readers happily back to the Hundred-Acre Wood. (Historical fiction. 8-12)