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Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh
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Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh

4.3  ·  Rating details ·  2,106 Ratings  ·  430 Reviews
Who could care for a bear? When Harry Colebourn saw a baby bear for sale at the train station, he knew he could care for it. Harry was a veterinarian. But he was also a soldier in training for World War I. Harry named the bear Winnie, short for Winnipeg, his company’s home town, and he brought her along to the training camp in England. Winnie followed Harry everywhere and ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 20th 2015 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Kids; Parents
Winnie's favorite game was hide-and-seek-biscuits.

Using her long claws, she pulled hidden biscuits from Harry's pockets.

"Good girl!" Harry praised when she succeeded.

I was fascinated to read about the real bear that Winnie-the-Pooh was based on. She was a black bear who Harry Colebourn, a Canadian military veterinarian, bought at a railway station for 20 dollars when she was six months old. Her mother was shot by a hunter and the old man couldn't bring himself to kill the cub.

Winnie quickly beca
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I worked in close proximity to the real Winnie-the-Pooh for five years. From 2006 to 2011 he was a daily delight. To clarify, I was working alongside the original Winnie-the-Pooh toys owned by the real Christopher Robin, son of A.A. Milne in New York Public Library's Central Children's Room. We had Piglet, Tigger, Kanga (no Roo), Eeyore, and Winnie himself. Though ironically I never read his books as a child, in my time as a children’s librarian working in the Children’s Center at 42nd Street I ...more
While there is indeed very much to love and appreciate with regard to Sally M. Walker's Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh (and I do absolutely love the combination of authentic photographs and Jonathan D. Voss' expressive accompanying illustrations, which while perhaps a tad too cartoon like at times, always manage to capture especially Winnie the bear in all of her many guises and emotions), considering that Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-th ...more
Nov 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Most children (and adults, alike) don’t realize that the famous character Winnie the Pooh was based on a real-life bear named Winnipeg (Winnie for short). Winnie was cared for by a veterinarian and soldier during WWI, Harry Colebourn. Colebourn, being relocated to France, had to give Winnie to the London Zoo for caring which is where author A.A. Milne’s son Christopher Robin fell in love with the bear, inspired bed time stories, and the rest is history. Sally Walker brings this inspiration to li ...more
David Schaafsma
The whole family will read all these Goodreads Children's Illustrated book nominees for 2015 and rate all of them.

I never knew that Winnie the Pooh was based on Christopher Robin's encounter with a real live bear at the London Zoo! My family loved this book, and it was hands down their favorite of the six (of fifteen) nominees for the award we have in the house at the moment.

I was on my way to the library to get it and heard Sally Walker on NPR being interviewed about it, and it really got me
Dec 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Source: Library

I'm torn...
I grew up on Winnie and was very much obsessed with Winnie the Pooh and friends! However, I felt like this book didn't really do Winnie and how he came to be any justice o.O.
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
I loved this book, but I love Winnie the Pooh. What a wonderful children's book on how Winnie the black bear inspired the Winnie the Pooh books. It is a very short and simple read. This is what makes it so good for kids and a nice companion to the Winnie the Pooh books. Short, simple and to the point written in story form but in the non fiction section. There are actual pictures of the actual Winnie bear and his owner on the inside and backside cover flap.
Barb Middleton
I have read this to at least 8 classes grades 1-3 and they absolutely love it and are engaged asking terrific questions. This bears journey during WWI to England is pretty amazing. Toss in the emotional appeal of a man leaving behind his pet and they are hooked. One of my favorites so far this year.
Saleh MoonWalker
داستان اصلی پشت نام گذاری خرس وینی-پو :)
اسم اصلیش وینی پِگ بوده و توسط یه سرباز به سرپرستی قبول شده. داستان زمان جنگ جهانی اول هستش. در نهایت هم به شناخت چاپ اصلی وینی پو در سال 1926 کمک جالبی میکنه. انتهای کتاب هم یادداشت هایی از نویسنده داره و چند تا عکس اصلی از خود وینی و افرادی که توی این راه باهاش بودن.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
I don't know how to rate this book! It is a nonfiction children's book about a bear that is well-known and loved by many. I never knew that Winnie was a real bear. I thought the stories just came from Christopher's stuffed bear. I had heard bits and pieces, but never knew the whole story. My daughter loved Winnie-the-Pooh when she was little, so this is very sentimental to me. I loved getting to know the story of the real bear.
I grew up a fan of the Winnie-the-Pooh books before Disney ruined it. My daughter loves the films and the books based on them which I hope to eventually change.
I was excited to get this book for her so that she could be introduced to the story of the real Winnie. I did not read it first like I try to do before reading anything to her and I wished I had.
The story was not bad it has a mom telling her son the story of a man named Harry who rescues a bear cub, they become friends, and go off to war
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Grab a cup of tea and a fireside chair, this is a "comfort " book. Do children remember A.A. Milnes' stories and poems about Christopher Robin and his forever friend, Winnie-the-Pooh? Sally Walker's book completes the legend of everyone's favorite bear. This is one you will always remember.
Hats off to the illustrator, Jonathan Voss for his ablility to capture the essence of the characters personalities. The photos, biographies and websites at the end complete the book. Whether private library o
Kristine Hansen
I never knew that Winnie-the-Pooh was based on a real bear. That real bear is so fascinating I'm even more amazed that I hadn't heard of him. Wow, children RODE on him? (I take it zoos didn't worry about insurance back then...eek...)

Winnie the cub found by a soldier - this should be a much longer book because all these adventures before he even got to the zoo should be written down (perhaps they are somewhere?) I'm astonished and very glad I found this book today.
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
I always knew that Winnie-the-Pooh was inspired by a bear from the London zoo, but I didn't know the bear had traveled there from Canada as part of a WWI troop movement. Delightful story, but what makes this book truly special are the pictures on the end papers and the author's note that makes the story come to life. Not to mention the website and video of the real Winnie!
Winter Sophia Rose
Historical, Charming, Touching, Enlightening & Sweet! A Wonderfully Fascinating Read! I Loved It!
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I never knew there was a real bear named Winnie the Pooh or a boy named Christopher Robin. A wonderful and informative kids book with amazing pictures. A treasure for sure!
Gabriela Silva
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
To tell the truth I didn't expect such a short book (never looked to the no. of pages) but I was delighted with the pictures and the heartmelting story! I definitely think it is a book parents NEED to read to their children - I am sure I will.
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you are thinking that this book is of interest only for Winnie-the-Pooh lovers, let me tell you that this is a story absolutely worth of reading by itself. None of us here is really a fan of Winnie-the-Pooh, but we enjoyed knowing the story of the real Winnie, that will engage any animal lover.

Winnie (short for Winnipeg) was an American black bear who had her mom shot when she was around 7 months old. The shooter only realized about the cub after he shot the mom. He didn't want to let her by
Susan  Dunn
Apr 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
What a fun book! This is the story of the real bear that inspired the A.A. Milne stories of Winnie the Pooh. The real Winnie was adopted by a Canadian soldier named Harry Colebourn in the early 1900s. His regiment was on its way to a training camp in Quebec and when their train stopped at a station a man was offering the orphaned baby bear up for adoption. Harry paid $20 for her and took her along to came with him. He named her Winnipeg after his company's home town. This was quickly shortened t ...more
When Harry Colebourn looked out of the train window, he couldn't believe what he saw: a bear at the station!

Veternarian Harry Colebourn was on his way to train as a soldier when he saw a bear cub for sale at a train station. Buying the bear, he named her Winnipeg for his hometown in Canada and she became the mascot of his regiment. Arriving in England, Colebourn knew she needed a more permanent home and placed her in the London Zoo. She had many visitors including a little boy named Christophe
Age: Kindergarten-2nd grade
Animals: Black Bear

Because Winnie-the-Pooh is a perfect read-aloud for this age, fans of the adorable stuffed bear will love his real-life inspiration. On his way to military training, Harry the veterinarian picks up an orphan bear from a hunter and decides to bring him along to training. Harry soon is called to the battlefield to care for the horses and he must makre the difficult decision to leave Winnie in the care of the London Zoo. Although war is mentioned as a p
Ms. Yingling
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting book, although certainly points out how much things have changed in the last 100 years. Don't think you could buy a bear at a train station anywhere, much less pop him on a military vessel and take him back to England, then just donate him to the zoo. I did like the illustrations, and wanted to know more about Harry Colebourn and the role of military vets. Both my grandfather and great uncle were in the military during WWI, and there's not a lot about the use of horses, a ...more
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
More concise and friendly, for younger children than Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear. I think I prefer this, though that is worth reading, too, especially for older children, and also especially because it is written by a descendant of Harry.
Lauren Waters
Jul 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved the history and primary sources in this picture book. Although I prefer Finding Winnie, this story is perfect and better for younger children.
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
I had no idea. And it makes me want a bear for a pet.
Brittany Van
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Henry Holt and Co., 2015, 40 pgs., Genre: Non-fiction, Grade level: 1-3, GR level: S, Lexile level: 540L
Winnie is one of my favorite picture books due to its inspiring story and vivid illustrations. This books reveals the true story as to how the character Winnie-the-Pooh came to be. In addition, it helps the reader become aware of the various forms of relationships that can be formed in life. With this, the main character Harry shows the reader that even in times of hardship, it is always impor
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A WWI veterinary soldier encounters a man selling a BEAR cub at a train station and purchases the BEAR cub for $20. He names it Winnipeg and takes it to training with him, the BEAR cub sleeps under his cot.

The end up going to Europe due to the war and he takes the BEAR cub along, he eventually leaves it at the London zoo where a boy and his author father see the BEAR and the father writes some stories about the Bear and the boy's adventures, Winnie the Pooh. Beautifully illustrated.
Gulshan Naqvee
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the best realties..
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018-books
Blah compared to the other book about Winnie I recently read. ('Finding Winnie')
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Sally M. Walker has written science books for children, including Earthquakes, an NSTA/CBC Best Science Trade Book of 1997. She lives in DeKalb, IL.
More about Sally M. Walker

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