Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Let's Celebrate A.A.Milne's Birthday

I discovered via Adventures with Kids that today is A.A.Milne's birthday. Milne is an author I have loved since I was a child. I remember finding Winnie-the-Pooh at my cousin's house, and grabbing it because I thought it must be a rude book. Well, it wasn't rude, but it totally charmed me and I inhaled it the way kids do when they love to read.

I have many favourite Milne moments: The sign Trespassers W; the song Pooh sang to fool the bees; the time Henry Pootel Piglet had to escape from Kanga; expotitions and stoutness exercises and heffalumps and honey. I also loved Milne's poetry in When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six, in particular Forgiven ("Alexander Beetle"), The King's Breakfast ("I do like a little bit of butter to my bread") and Disobedience ("James James Morrison Morrison Weatherby George Dupree"). Pooh sticks is a game I still play whenever I cross a suitable bridge. (Am I the only one?)

Are you a Tigger or an Eyore? Truthfully, Eeyore used to bother me. I wanted him to have some oomph and look on the bright side for a change. My friends and dear ones tell me I am a Tigger; bouncing around, and rushing headlong from one joyous experience to another. It may also explain why I am currently hobbling about with a cracked rib!

Do you have a favourite Milne character? Or a marvellous Milne moment? If you don't know the books, I encourage you to seek them out to share with your children.

To celebrate the birth of this favourite Book Chook poet and author, I created a quiz for other Milnophiles. If you/your kids would like to play, leave any answers you want in comments.

1. Who had a battleaxe with great big knobs on?
2. Why did Pooh want Christopher Robin to give him a balloon?
3. Pooh was a bear of very little ____?
4. Who discovered the North Pole?
5. What little something did Pooh like to revive himself with?
6. Who had ten pink toes, two blue eyes and one red head?
7. What happens if you teazle a sneezle or wheezle?
8. What did King John want for Christmas?
9. What did Piglet give Eeyore for his birthday?
10. Who used Pooh's legs as a clothes line?

You'll find other ways to celebrate at the Penguin site in their Pooh Party pdf. Thanks to Kat at Adventures with Kids for finding it! Here is a website proclaiming itself as the largest Pooh community on the netDisney have a Winnie the Pooh movie coming out in July 2011, and the trailer is below.  

Here are some posts from other blogs in the Kidlitosphere, celebrating Milne's birthday:

Honoring AA Milne at When Kate Blogs

18th January A.A.Milne (1882 - 1956) Raymond Briggs (1934) Catherine Anholt (1958) at Kinderbookswitheverything

As for me, I'm off to celebrate Milne's birthday by listening to Melanie singing Alexander Beetle. 

Image Credit, Nemo's Great Uncle on Flickr


  1. Melissa Ann Goodwin18 January, 2011

    My favorite childhood book was The House at Pooh Corner, and it's the book that made me know I wanted to write children's books! I am neither Tigger nor Eyore - I identify most with Piglet! Tiddly Pom!

  2. The Book Chook18 January, 2011

    Welcome, Piglet!

  3. Terry Doherty18 January, 2011

    In 8th grade, a bunch of us took the nicknames of characters in Winnie the Pooh. I was "Rabbit," which, ironically is my Chinese birth year (didn't know that in 8th grade). My favorite story/song is The Blustery Day.

    Which I guess is appropriate, because by the time you get this it will be Happy Windsday! :-E

    PS - You've also reminded me that i need to get out that box of 50 different Poohs that Miss C has. Everything from Arbor Day to Sweater Day.

  4. The Book Chook18 January, 2011

    Hey there, Rabbit! With all those friends and relations, you'll never be lonely. It's almost time for Year of the Rabbit - I have a post coming up for Chinese New year, too.

    Oh I hope you get the 50 different Poohs out and post about them! I would love to see them. I had to search hard for an image for this post and loved Pooh as a bee, above.

  5. I'm a Tigger too! One of my favorites as well- did you see new movie coming out? It looks charming like the original characters.

  6. The Book Chook18 January, 2011

    Of course you're a Tigger, although you have enough energy to out-bounce him!

    I liked the look of the trailer but I don't think the movie is out in Australia yet. I'll let you know!

  7. Rebecca Newman18 January, 2011

    Funny old Bear. :-)

    I was so excited to read your post. We love AA Milne. A few years back I found a CD of When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six and we play it over and over in the car. The kids have their favourites and chant along. They've been known to quote bits of the poems at opportune moments. :-)

    The Kings Breakfast, and James James. Oh I do love those. (And Water-lilies, it's so gentle.)

    And we play Pooh Sticks but I never win ...

  8. The Book Chook18 January, 2011

    Oh, what a wonderful find! I love that kids absorb so much interesting language, rhyme and rhythm, and delight in words that way. I can hear an actor's voice in my head reciting, "Have you been a good girl, Jane, have you been a good girl?" So I must have listened to some Milne over and over at some stage.

    (Commiserations on the Pooh Sticks!)

  9. I was so busy today, I almost forgot, but thanks to your reminder all is recovered and we have read Pooh, played with balloons and eaten honey.
    Disobedience is one of my favourite poems too.

  10. The Book Chook18 January, 2011

    Sounds like a perfect celebration! Sing ho for the life of a bear!

  11. Renee Taprell18 January, 2011

    Happy Birthday to A.A Milne. The loveable characters he created have been adored by many generations.

    That funny old bear! Pooh is my favourite too. I've been collecting Pooh bears for years. I've bought them for my own children but I think they're really for me!
    My favourite scene is when Pooh visits Rabbit for lunch and eats so much honey that he becomes very stuck in Rabbit's Hole. Rabbit is not impressed.
    Kenny Logins also wrote a beautiful song called, 'Christopher Robin.'

  12. Sarah (aquafortis)19 January, 2011

    Thanks so much for the reminder of A.A. Milne's birthday! What a fun post. I used to love his poetry, too--I read and re-read those so many times as a child, and have wonderful memories of my mother reading them aloud to me, too.

    Sadly, I think I would probably be an Eeyore or maybe even a Piglet, depending on the neurosis of the day...

  13. Sarah (aquafortis)19 January, 2011

    P.S. I should also say, Hipy papy bthuthda!

  14. The Book Chook19 January, 2011

    Hi Pooh Bear! I love that scene too, and the indignity of having washing hung on his legs. I don't know the Logins song - thanks for mentioning it!

  15. The Book Chook19 January, 2011

    :-D Maybe we need neuroses to be endearing? I know a lot of the characters I love in literature are so beautifully and fascinatingly flawed!

    I think having the poems read aloud to us, either via CD or a loving parent or teacher, is such a great way to absorb all the nuances of language play. So clever of your mother, Sarah.

  16. The Book Chook19 January, 2011

    Tiddly pom!


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