Thursday, January 28, 2016

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick- ESSENTIAL

Mattick, Lindsay. Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, PICTURE BOOK. Little, Brown and Company, 2015. $18.00. This picture book relates the true story of veterinarian Harry Colebourn and how he acquired a bear at a train station during World War I. Harry takes the bear back to his regiment and she becomes a mascot for the group of soldiers. Winnie lives with Harry in his tent and the rest of the men come to adore her. Harry took Winnie with him overseas to London while he took care of horses during the war. Harry had to leave Winnie at the London Zoo when he was shipped over to France to fight and he couldn’t take Winnie with him. When Harry visited Winnie at the zoo, he saw how happy she was and she stayed there for the remainder of her life. While she was there, Christopher Robin Milne and his father visited the zoo and that is where the origins of the Winnie the Pooh stories began. This book is the Caldecott Award winner for 2016. For that reason it is a definite purchase for school libraries. That being said, there were aspects of the presentation that I found somewhat unappealing. I didn’t like how often the young boy who is being told the story interrupts the dialogue. The pictures had to grow on me a bit, but I did end up liking them. There is a photo album at the back of the book that I really enjoyed that displays pictures of Harry Colebourn, Winnie, as well as Christopher Robin, that really add to the authenticity of the story. But, I was definitely not on the Caldecott nominating committee, so you should absolutely buy this book. K-3, EL- ESSENTIAL. Reviewed by: Shay, School Librarian

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