Monday, 22 April 2013

Book Review - Return to the Hundred Acre Wood

Title: Return to the Hundred Acre Wood
Author: David Benedictus
Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd
Release Date: 5 Oct 2009
ISBN-13: 978-1405247443

It was eighty years ago, on the publication of "The House at Pooh Corner," when Christopher Robin said good-bye to Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. Now they are all back in new adventures, for the first time approved by the Trustees of the Pooh Properties. This is a companion volume that truly captures the style of A. A. Milne-a worthy sequel to "The House at Pooh Corner" and "Winnie-the-Pooh."

My Review
I have always loved Winnie the Pooh, the books are full of charm and humour and so sweet. We held a WtP event at our library last weekend and when I was requesting books to promote it, I saw this listed and immediately requested it. i was curious what it would be like and whether it would live up to the original.
This book does carry a certain amount of charm, the illustrations are fabulous and really quite faithful to the original style. The writing was very close, at times it didn't quite read right and I didn't chuckle as much as I wanted to but I did laugh out loud at some points. 
David Benedictus did a very good job with what must have been a very hard task. He had a lot to live up to. A.A Milne has been treasured for so many years, they're some big shoes to fill. 
The actual outline is quite sad for someone like me who has grown up with WtP. The idea is that Christoper Robin has come back for the summer holidays. He's gone away to school and left WtP and friends behind. He enjoys a summer with them, but the closeness and freedom of fun is missing. He is growing up and growing apart from his childhood friends. You can tell he still cares for them and enjoys seeing them, but you can tell he is starting to drift away, and that loss of innocence and fun is quite sad. I know we all go through it but there's just something about reading it, especially between such an iconic pair as Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin. That's the sort of magic and pairing you expect to last forever. I think that is the spark missing from this book, which of course doesn't reflect badly on the author at all, it is just the way of life and David handled it brilliantly.

This collection of stories are all sweet and funny, Eeyore is my favourite character to read still, his gloomy pessimism is done just right and makes me laugh. Piglet is still shy and nervous but proves that small can be mighty. And Pooh Bear is his usual charming self, he makes me laugh so much, his little honey addiction is so sweet.

Overall this is a charming collection, done well by the author but just wasn't quite as magical as I expected. 

My Rating

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