Friday, January 18, 2013

an old friend.

Today marks the 131st anniversary of the birth of AA Milne, creator of the Winnie the Pooh characters. I grew up poring over a small but prized collection (which I still have in storage somewhere) of both the Pooh stories and his volumes of poetry making friends with beetles named Alexander, feeling very sorry for poor King John, dreaming of a visit to Buckingham Palace and of course, bonding with Christopher Robin and Pooh Bear.

I fell in love with Ernest Shepard's deceptively simple sketchy pencil illustrations and played games of Pooh sticks every time I came to a bridge or gutter filled with water.

This might be a bit blasphemous but I love the Disney incarnations almost as much as the originals. The first animated episode so brilliantly incorporated the book format; Pooh climbing through the paragraphs, the letters washing away in the rain, the narrator interacting with the characters. Amazing stuff.

A year or so ago when I was in NYC I made a trip to the public library where the stuffed animals that were the inspiration are now housed. And it was an experience I won't forget, taking me back to my childhood in an instant, yet looking at their worn and shabby appearances made me feel older than my years.

Happy birthday to a literary genius and the shaper of many a childhood.

Let's finish things off with a clip of the catchy theme song to get stuck in your head. You're welcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment