Wednesday, January 16, 2019

World at War: Winnie's Great War

Winnie's Great War. Lindsay Mattick and Josh Greenhut. Illustrated by Sophie Blackall. 2018. Little, Brown. 244 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: "Do you want to hear the story of your Bear?" I asked Cole one night while sitting on his bed.

Premise/plot: Winnie The Pooh by A.A. Milne was inspired by Christopher Robin Milne's love a real bear, Winnipeg, in the London Zoo. Lindsay Mattick and Josh Greenhut offer readers an imaginative glimpse into Winnipeg's life. Her story begins in a Canadian forest and ends in a London zoo. Along the way she makes many, many friends: some animal friends (squirrels, horses, a rat) and human friends as well (Harry Colebourn and others in the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps, zoo keepers and visitors). This one focuses on the war years--1914 to 1918.

My thoughts: I loved, loved, LOVED this one. It does have a sad chapter when Bear's mother is killed by a trapper. But. It also has plenty of wonderful moments.

I love that is based on a true story. Lindsay Mattick's great-grandfather was Harry Colebourn. He purchased a bear cub for $20 at a railway station in 1914. This bear became a mascot of sorts in his unit. Readers get a glimpse of what life was like for soldiers as they prepare for war. It was Harry's love for Winnipeg that led him to loan/give her to the London Zoo before being shipped overseas to Europe.

This one also celebrates storytelling. The framework is a mother telling her son bedtime stories.

Original audience born circa 2009 to 2012.

© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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