Book details

Macmillan Children's Book


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

Author: Sally M. Walker; Illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss





About This Book

The true story of the real bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh
Page Count
On Sale
Age Range

Book Details

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 slept under his cot every night. Before long, she became the regiment's much-loved mascot.

But who could care for the bear when Harry had to go to the battleground in France? Harry found just the right place for Winnie while he was away -- the London Zoo. There a little boy named Christopher Robin came along and played with Winnie -- he could care for this bear too!

Sally Walker's heartwarming story, paired with Jonathan Voss's evocative illustrations, brings to life the story of the real bear who inspired Winnie the Pooh.

Imprint Publisher

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)



In The News

“Beautifully illustrated with humanistic, old-fashioned washes, Walker's true tale is a low-key heart warmer about an unexpected interspecies bond.” —Booklist

“Readers will be captivated by the fictionalized picture book account of the bear that eventually became the inspiration for A.A. Milne's acclaimed "Winnie-the-Pooh" series.” —School Library Journal

“Ideal for Winnie the Pooh fans, this clear, straightforward biography reveals the bear behind the tale.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Walker's short, descriptive text provides the essentials of the story, and Voss's watercolor illustrations portray the unusual situation with a mix of realism and humor.” —The Horn Book

“This is an intriguing and well-written look at a different era....Voss' watercolor and pen and ink illustrations paint a casual and affectionate portrait of man and bear.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (BCCB)

About the Creators