On a blustery winter’s night near the Hundred Acre Wood, a father and his two sons nestled in a cozy bed just before it was time for sleep.  The wind outside the boy’s bedroom kept knocking up against the window, causing the boys to scurry under their covers each time they heard it.  A warm light cast shadows on the wall, reminding the two boys of the heffalumps and woozles they had run across in their book.  It was getting late.  “One more story,” they beseeched their father.  With a wry smile, knowing he would give into their request, the father cracked open A.A. Milne’s wonderfully written and imaginatively created, “Winnie-the-Pooh.”  Delightfully warm and at peace, they read one more story.

For several years, when the boys were young this routine played out each night.  Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo, Owl, and Eeyore would join Christopher Robin for one adventure after another in the Hundred Acre Wood.  Pooh and his friends were reading staples for my boys.  A.A. Milne’s characters filled their minds and hearts with simple adventures, unending kindness, remarkable decency, and honey pots full of love.  There were no greater influential fictional characters for my small children than these simple personalities portraying foundational human attributes.

My heart is bursting today, because I just learned that a new Winnie-the-Pooh book is being released on October 25, 2016.  There have only been two sequels sanctioned by Pooh Properties, the first released in 2009 called “Return to the Hundred Acre Wood.”  Now, this new publication, “The Best Bear in All the World,” is conceding with the bear’s 90th birthday.  A new chapter will be introduced.  Penguin will make an appearance during the winter setting.  Brian Sibley, who wrote the story, said he was inspired by seeing a photograph of Milne and his son, Christopher, playing with a bear and toy penguin (Shea, New York Times, 10/14/2016).  

I am thrilled at the idea that this winter parents will be snuggling up with children at night and cracking open this new adventure staring Pooh and his friends.  Parents, if you wish to raise kind and compassionate children, buy this book and read it to them as often as you can.  Pooh Bear is back!  I, for one, am thrilled!  Where’s my hot chocolate?  Where’s my blanket?  Where’s my book?  It’s time to return to the Hundred Acre Wood.

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