Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Lindsay Mattick
Illustrator: Sophie Blackall
Publisher: Little, Brown and Compansy
Finding Winnie is the true story of Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian from Canada, and his bear Winnipeg (or Winnie for short). Harry bought Winnie from a trapper while on his way to work at as a vet during WWI. He brought Winnie along with him across the Atlantic Ocean to remind him and the other Canadian soldiers of their home. Once he was called upon to join the fighting in France, he left Winnie at the London Zoo to keep her safe. There, a little boy named Christopher Robin Milne visited and befriended her and even named his own stuffed bear after her, Winnie-the-Pooh. His father, Alan Alexander Milne wrote about the boy and his friendship with the bear and that is how Winnie-the-Pooh became the most beloved bear in the world.
This story was exemplary. Mattick frames the story within a bedtime tale that she tells her young son, Cole. The language is witty and fun and very easy to follow. Blackall’s illustrations are soft and colorful; her depictions of Winnie are adorable. The story ends by stating that all of it was true as some of the best stories often are. There are lots of fun photographs of the characters at the end which reiterate the reality of this story. A touching story, or rather stories since there are two that mesh together about Captain Colebourn and the Milnes, showing that our stories in real life are memorable, beautiful, and intricately woven together.