Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear
By : Lindsay Mattick
Illustrated by: Sophie Blackall
Before heading to the theatres to watch Christopher Robin and his beloved bear, Winnie-the-Pooh, first, there was a real bear named Winnie.
Winnie’s story spans for over a hundred years when Captain Harry Colebourn, a Canadian veterinarian, rescued a special bear from a trapper and bought him for $20 at the train station on his way to fight in Europe during the World War I. He named the bear Winnie, short for Winnipeg, after his hometown.
Harry brought Winnie to England and she became the mascot of the Second Canadian Infantry Brigade and became close friends with the soldiers situated at the camp. As the war broke out, knowing Winnie couldn’t follow him to France, he decided to find Winnie a new home at the London Zoo, where she befriended a boy named Christopher Robin, and inspired the story of the legendary children’s book, Winnie-the-Pooh.
Towards the end of the story, as it is framed in a bedtime story format, Lindsay Mattick as the storyteller, tells her son, Cole, that she is the great-great-granddaughter of Harry Colebourn, making Winnie a real bear.
Apart from the fact that the book was penned by Harry Colebourn’s, great-great-granddaughter, Lindsay Mattick, the book flourishes with beautiful illustrations, imaginative writing, elegant art, and complemented by the pictures of Colebourn’s family archives and the real Winnie, which makes the book an instant classic and a story that children will love for a lifetime. Here is the remarkable true story of the bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh.