I have always loved books. I don't really know if my parents read me a lot of books when I was very young, but I do remember being in about the fourth grade, and browsing my classroom bookcase - while waiting in line to leave - for something to read on the hour-long bus ride home. I read constantly and I loved re-reading books. I still do!
I am also a bit of a purist. I was devastated when I discovered that Heidi Grows Up and Heidi's Children were not written by the same person who wrote Heidi - somehow, it didn't feel right and those books didn't have the same charm they had for me previously.
In a similar vein, I really wish that Disney would have left Winnie the Pooh alone. His pictures aren't as good as the originals, neither are the stories, and what is up with those Heffalumps, anyway? Hello, they are supposed to exist only in Piglet's imagination!!!!
So when I learned that a new Winnie the Pooh book, obviously NOT written by A.A. Milne, was being published, I experienced emotions ranging from horror to extreme skepticism. However, I happened to see a copy in a store one day and took a gander at it, and immediately went home and added it to my Christmas Wish List. My generous granddaughter (via her generous parents - she is less than a year old, after all) gave it to me, and I have been reading it for the past two days. It is called Return to the Hundred-Acre Wood and was written by David Benedictus.
It could almost make you think A.A. Milne has come back to life, it's that good. The illustrations are just like Ernest Shepard's, the animals talk and think like they did 80 years ago, and even the addition of Lottie the Otter feels like it belongs in the story.
For once, I was wrong - and I'm happy I was! (thanks, Abigail!)
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