Finding Winnie

Finding Winnie

The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear

by Lindsay Mattick, Sophie Blackall (Illustrator)
First Edition, ©2015, ISBN: 9780316324908
Hardcover, 56 pages
List Price: $19.99 Sale Price: $16.99

There are some picture books that are eminently readable. This is one that is just fun to read aloud, a heartwarming and gorgeously illustrated tale. It's told from the perspective of Lindsay Mattick, telling a story to her son Cole, about a famous bear and little boy from long ago.

Captain Harry Colebourn, a kind-hearted veterinarian from Winnipeg, sees a trapper at a train station with a young bear, separated from his mother. He buys the bear off the man for $20 and raises her as the army mascot. But when the war takes him to France, he must leave Winnie in the London Zoo—where a young boy named Christopher Robin will grow to love her as well.

This gorgeously illustrated Caldecott medal winner is ostensibly the story of Winnie, the bear that inspired Christopher Robin's Winnie-the-Pooh. But the true story belongs to Winnie's owner, Captain Harry Colebourn—who was author Lindsay Mattick's great-grandfather. Sophie Blackall's soft ink and watercolor drawings definitely deserved the medal. They are lush and give the story a fairy-tale air, from the train speeding down the Canadian countryside full of sleeping soldiers, to the wind blowing through Winnie's fur on a car ride to London. As far as gentle, feel good read-alouds go, this is one with a lot of heart (thanks to Mattick's close connection) that shouldn't be missed.

Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.
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Exodus Rating: 
Summary: When Captain Harry Colebourn buys a small bear cub, he makes a lifelong friend.

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