After Becky posted about this great calendar on her blog, I ordered my copy, and was thrilled to receive it last week. In addition to features such as tools for developing monthly and yearly goals, a submission tracker, and a listing of great writing-related books and websites, the calendar also lists "literary" holidays and famous writers' birthdays. The writers' birthdays feature has turned out to be one of my favorite things about the calendar, and I thought I would try focusing on one or two of the authors listed each week here on the blog.
Today is the birthday of A.A. Milne, who was born on January 18, 1882. As Winnie The Pooh was one of my favorite childhood friends, and I love the Pooh stories to this day, I couldn't resist selecting Mr. Milne as my first birthday celebration post.
I was quite an Anglophile as a child, as my favorite books were Winnie The Pooh, Paddington Bear, and the Beatrice Potter stories, such as Peter Rabbit. I adored them all, but none as much as Winnie The Pooh and his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. One of my most cherished possessions was a stuffed Pooh Bear that I still have wrapped gingerly in my storage closet, and I was also thrilled to have his friends Piglet, Tigger, and Eeyore in my collection.
I so admire Mr. Milne for creating a world that was so enchanting to children all over the world. When reading the Pooh books, children everywhere could feel as if they too were in England's Ashdown Forest, where Milne used to take his son Christopher Robin to play, and which was the inspiration for the Hundred Acre Wood.
Milne wrote about Ashdown, "In that enchanted place on the top of the forest a little boy and his bear will always be playing."
I was delighted to discover that Christopher Robin Milne donated his original stuffed animals to the New York Public Library before his death in 1996. I love this photo of the inspirations for Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Kanga, and little Roo on display:
Finally, as anyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows, I love quotes. While preparing for this post, I came upon this quote from Mr. Milne that I found so touching and bittersweet I couldn't resist sharing.
"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." ~ A.A. Milne
I was lucky that my childhood was enhanced by the charming world of Mr. Milne's Hundred Acre Wood. So it's my pleasure to have the opportunity to celebrate how much this author's work brought to children everywhere. Even now, 56 years after his death, children and their bears are still playing in his enchanted forest, just as he predicted.