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When We Were Very Young (Winnie-the-Pooh #3)

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4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  14,545 ratings  ·  245 reviews
Verses full of bubbling nonsense and rhythm, written for the author's son, Christopher Robin. It is for "very small children (and for their elders who get a surreptitious joy from what is meant for their little ones)."" -- Sunday Review, 1924
Hardcover, 100 pages
Published October 31st 1988 by E.P. Dutton (first published 1924)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nandakishore Varma
Childhood is a beautiful country, one which I was loath to leave but had to, all the same. It is the inevitable tragedy of the human condition. But writers have the magic in their pens, using which they can take us back to that hallowed place. This is one thing that A. A. Milne does wonderfully well. No wonder his books for children have outlived his more "serious" works.

Reading these poems, I could visit Christopher Robin's pre-school world of late mornings, drowsy afternoons and exciting days
...more
Manny
For people who missed Private Eye's obituary poem a couple of decades ago:
Seventy-seven, shorn of his locks
Christopher Robin beds down in a box
No need to whisper, we've got past that stage
Christopher Robin has died of old age
K.D. Absolutely
When We Were Young by A. A. Milne is composed of endearing 44 poems for children. Some of these poems I thought I heard when I was a young boy in the Pacific island. But at that time, I neither had knowledge of who A. A. Milne was nor I did have any interest on English poems. What I and my friends were singing were local poems like the very funny ”Tong-tong-tong paketong-ketong/ Alimango sa dagat…” or the funnier ”Lumakad sya sa tubig, ang paa ay nabasa… Nguni’t ang kanyang *beep-beep* ay hindi ...more
Qt
Apr 06, 2009 Qt rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
Utterly charming and lovely--delightful rhythm, fun rhymes, and illustrations that fit it perfectly! This was my first introduction to A.A. Milne.
Devina
Jan 11, 2013 Devina rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Children, young and old.
What a delightful little poetry book! I came across this by chance in the school’s old library a few days ago. I grew up with Winnie The Pooh, though I don’t see Disney rerunning any of the old episodes except only the occasional full length movie, it’s sad really.

Until lately I was unaware that the tales were originally written for Milne’s son, Christopher Robin, who had inspired them. Now if a father who had devoted writing little books of bouncing tigers and bossy rabbits and the likes for hi
...more
Susan Howson
Also know this one by heart. My poor future kids are going to have A. A. Milne rammed down their throats. "Can I please have some dinner?" "REPEAT 'JAMES JAMES MORRISON MORRISON'!!!"
Chloe
I’m not sure if any other writer quite captures the lyrical simplicity and self-seriousness of a child like A.A. Milne. His use of language is beyond that which most “adult” writers possess, utilizing sparse, elegant verse and paying close attention to the subtle nuances of sound. His subjects are perfect, as well! He clearly remembered being and child and was sympathetic to children. He did not don a pair of rose-colored glasses or talk down to his little readers, but rather he expressed all of ...more
Allycks
A top notch book of children's poetry with excellent illustrations. Milne perfectly grasped the child's point-of-view, and "When We Were Very Young" delivers exactly the right tone of simplicity and wonder. My kids love it and ask for it again and again. It works without ever getting too syrupy sweet, and without the hidden messages that become so painfully obvious in other children's books. I think the reason that children and adults and nostalgic twenty-somethings love these poems is that they ...more
Sarah
LOVE LOVE LOVE this book! I used to love reading this book with my Mum and Dad. Inside is one of my favorite poems of all time...

'Halfway Down'


Halfway down the stairs
is a stair
where i sit.
there isn't any
other stair
quite like
it.
i'm not at the bottom,
i'm not at the top;
so this is the stair
where
I always
stop.

Halfway up the stairs
Isn't up
And it isn't down.
It isn't in the nursery,
It isn't in town.
And all sorts of funny thoughts
Run round my head.
It isn't really
Anywhere!
It's somewhere else
Instead!
Book Concierge
Illustrated by Ernest H Shepard

This was Milne’s first book for children, originally published in 1924. He was inspired by his young son, Christopher Robin, and the verses are sometimes silly, sometimes touching, and always enjoyable. Shepard’s illustrations are a perfect accompaniment, chronicling Christopher’s interactions with shopkeepers, nanny, horses, rabbits, and one particularly stout bear.

I was particularly delighted to read this poem on a snowy March day …
DAFFODOWNDILLY
She wore her yell
...more
Chris
Milne, A.A. When We Were Very Young (1924)
As books begin to show their age, some are best weeded and forgotten, but others are meant to be preserved and cherished. When We Were VeryYoung is one of those books to be cherished. It was originally published in 1924 and is still popular today. It contains childhood poems of a bygone age and culture (after all, what child now-a days has a nurse or goes to the market square with a six pence to buy a rabbit) and, like Mother Goose, the poems don’t alway
...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
There are some poems in here that I enjoyed. Admittedly one of them, "Disobedience," is mainly because of its association with Pamela Dean's Secret Country trilogy. But "Politeness" and "Daffydowndillies" are excellent. "Vespers" I have a soft spot for, but mainly because of its association with The Last Hot Time. (Having identified something as the probable source of a reference in something else always gives me a pleased-with-myself feeling.) "The Wrong House" is not without its charms. "The F ...more
Sidharth Vardhan
Childish - and I mean it as a compliment. The poems can draw you into children's world - in which imagination is in full spring, the time slow, and everything is interesting.

P.S. You just can't tear yourself away from those illustrations.
Jesse Whitehead
My experience with A. A. Milne is somewhat backward from most people, I think. I first encountered him with his poem “The Knight Who’s Armor Didn’t Squeak”. Years later I learned about Winnie the Pooh.

His understanding of the way little children think and behave makes it obvious that he spent a great deal of time with his own child, observing his behavior.

This is a collection of his poetry about being young and experiencing the world and it is absolutely brilliant. It will only take about half a
...more
Emilysa
This book has been in the house my entire life. Now it is read.
Phillip
These time tested and enchanting poems revolve around the world of a very young Christopher Robin as he meditates on the nature of, among other things, chairs and stairs and squares and prayers. They also brush up against some of the adventures of Edward Bear (aka Winnie the Pooh) Then there are those poems that take pause to consider the world around said boy and bear, sometimes waxing whimsical and other times moving towards the meditative. This collection provides a fine mix of verse to graze ...more
Kristīne
Absolūti fantastiski apburoša grāmata!
Mīļi, smieklīgi, jauki un asprātīgi dzejoļi bērniem un pieaugušajiem.
Piemēram, šis ideāli sanāktu Golluma balsī:
The Three Foxes
Once upon a time there were three little foxes
Who didn’t wear stockings, and they didn’t wear sockses,
But they all had handkerchiefs to blow their noses,
And they kept their handkerchiefs in cardboard boxes.

And they lived in forest in three little houses,
And they didn’t wear coats, and they didn’t wear trousies.
They ran through the wo
...more
Michael Jones
I just can't overstate how great this is to be read on a routine basis! Children under 10 (at least my kids) will enjoy listening to the same poems 1000 times! I get better and better at reading them in a meter that's humorous.

I really think this is some of the best poetry EVER for young children! Read it to them with a good sense of rhythm and meter and you just can't beat it. Funny, edifying and bonding with your children.
Mike Jensen
Enjoyable trifles by A. A. Milne. The Milne cult will be offended that these brief and mostly pointless poems receive just three stars, but honestly, they have little to offer besides a certain charm of expression, and that charm is repeated throughout until by the end it seems less charming than it did before. To compensate, the better poems, better as poetry, are at the end.
Chanita Zimmerman
I enjoy reading this book. It flowed as if the poems told stories. I like the choice of pictures.

Line and Squares

Whenever I walk in a London street,
I'm ever so careful to watch my feet;
And I keep in the squares,
And the masses of bears,
Who wait at the corners all ready to eat
The sillies who tread on the lines of the street
Go back to their lairs,
And I say to them, "Bears,
Just look how I'm walking in all the squares!"

And the little bears growl to each other, "He's mine,
As soon as he's silly and st
...more
Sharman Wilson
I loved this book of poems, along with Now We Are Six. When I was in 5th grade my teacher often let us recite from memory our own favorites--I nearly always chose one of the poems from these two books. I especially loved (and can still mostly remember) the one that starts James James Morrison Morrison Weatherby George Dupree.
Tasia
My edition is a rather darling thing, with an adult note written in pencil on the flyleaf: "September 3, 1976 - 5 years old - From Carl LeVan." On the inside cover is a scrawled response: "Thank you Carl," with the name nicely underlined. They wrote his name once more underneath, underlined again, for effect, I suppose.

When you turn to the very back, there's another note: "Merry Christmas" with a little triangle tree. Then comes "Marcy," I think, Room 303. This name, too, is written twice, but
...more
Cindy
May 02, 2011 Cindy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone with small children.
Such an imagination. Such great poems to share, especially the one of the tubby bear. I love the devotion and love he expresses with each little poem, shows an absolute respect for his son's opinions, thoughts, and words. Really captures childhood, and how mundanely magical it be.
Simon
I have read this a number of times. I am reading to both my kids now. Their favorite is The Dormouse and the Doctor, Puppy and I like Jonathan Jo and Disobedience. I loved it as a kid and love to read it to my kids.
Squeaktooth
they're changing the guard at buckingham palace--crazy how this stuff never ever leaves your head- the king asked the queen and the queen asked the dairymaid- love love love
Lucia
Wonderfully sweet children's poetry. I like the little girl on the cover who refuses to eat her rice pudding.....I was that little girl.
Melody
My 2 and 3 year old love Winnie the Pooh, so I wanted to get some of A.A. Milne's original poems to read to them. I love his poetry.
Shauna
I read this over and over as a kid. Seeing the cover bought back so many memories. Or is it brought back? Whatever!
Lisa Asanuma
Read this this morning while I was doing laundry. Just adorable, and a lot of fun for the tongue and ear.
Tracy Terry
A big fan of the Winnie The Pooh stories, it was this along with the wonderful illustrations that initially drew me to the book rather than the poems themselves.

Comprising 44 poems for the young and young at heart. Whilst I cannot say I found the poems exceptional they did have a certain charm in that the author managed to capture perfectly the simplicity and wonder of childhood without being overly sentimental.

First published in 1924. Just as many past generations of readers have enjoyed these
...more
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81466
Alan Alexander Milne (pronounced /ˈmɪln/) was an English author, best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh and for various children's poems.
A. A. Milne was born in Kilburn, London, to parents Vince Milne and Sarah Marie Milne (née Heginbotham) and grew up at Henley House School, 6/7 Mortimer Road (now Crescent), Kilburn, a small public school run by his father. One of his teac
...more
More about A.A. Milne...

Other Books in the Series

Winnie-the-Pooh (4 books)
  • Winnie-the-Pooh (Winnie-the-Pooh, #1)
  • The House at Pooh Corner (Winnie-the-Pooh, #2)
  • Now We Are Six (Winnie-the-Pooh, #4)
Winnie-the-Pooh (Winnie-the-Pooh, #1) The House at Pooh Corner (Winnie-the-Pooh, #2) The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh (Winnie-the-Pooh, #1-4) The World of Winnie-the-Pooh (Winnie-the-Pooh, #1-2) Now We Are Six (Winnie-the-Pooh, #4)

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“She turned to the sunlight
    And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
    "Winter is dead.”
360 likes
“If people ask me,
I always tell them:
"Quite well, thank you, I'm very glad to say."
If people ask me,
I always answer,
"Quite well, thank you, how are you today?"
I always answer,
I always tell them,
If they ask me
Politely...
BUT SOMETIMES
I wish

That they wouldn't”
165 likes
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