Thursday, March 10, 2016

Finding Winnie

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear. Lindsay Mattick. Illustrated by Sophie Blackall. 2015. Little, Brown. 56 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: "Could you tell me a story?" asked Cole.

Premise/plot: Cole, the author's young son, asks for a story--a TRUE story; he wants a true story about a BEAR. What the author shares with her son--in the story--and with readers--in the book--is indeed a true story. The story of how a young soldier on his way to war--the author's great-great grandfather finds a bear at a train station, buys it, and takes it with him. The bear's name is WINNIE. And when Harry Colebourn goes to the front, he leaves Winnie in the London Zoo. Many people loved going to see Winnie, but, the best known perhaps is A.A. Milne's young son.

My thoughts: I love several things about this one. I love the personal connection. The author is sharing her own family history with readers. Older readers may enjoy looking at the album at the back of the book. Many photos and captions are included. This grounds the book very well as being a TRUE story. It brings the story to life.

But I also enjoy the framework of this one. It is a book that celebrates storytelling and families. I believe it is a bedtime story he's asking for. I love the idea of parents sharing their own stories with children, and true stories at that! Throughout the story, readers hear the mother and son chatting. It works.

I also just genuinely love the writing of this one!

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 10 out of 10

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

2 comments:

Kailana 7:53 PM  

Oh, this would be good!

Joy Weese Moll 12:02 PM  

I've been listening to a radio drama on BBC called Home Front about WWI. They talked about this bear. Interesting story!

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
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  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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