Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Year of the Book #40 A A Milne

“If the person you are talking to doesn't appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.” Eeyore

“Children’s Literature”, is according to me, a very tricky categorization because more often than not, much of what is considered as fitting into this category is read as much by adults as it is by children. The examples are many – Lewis Carroll, Roald Dahl, Beatrix Potter, Kenneth Grahame and more recently J K Rowling.

And certainly, much of Alan Alexander Milne’s writing that he was most famous for would be also be thus labelled, especially the Winne the Pooh books. (It didn’t help things when Milne’s widow sold the rights to the Pooh characters to Disney and poor Winnie became the cutesy Pooh-Bear, a fate he shared with the rest of his friends.)

But as Milne himself apparently said, “A children's book' must be written, not for children, but for the author himself.” So, Winnie the Pooh is as much a book for children as it is for adults and I think we read these books not only to escape to our own childhoods but also to recapture and refresh things which we once connected to but lost touch in the tiresome business of becoming “grown-ups”


“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”


What I didn’t know about A.A Milne

That he was also an accomplished playwright , writing over 25 plays and adapting The Wind in the Willows for stage as The Toad in the Hall

That his father owned a school where H.G.Wells was a teacher

That he was Punch’s assistant editor



When I was one, I had just begun.

When I was two, I was nearly new.

When I was three, I was hardly me.

When I was four, I was not much more.

When I was five, I was just alive.

But now I am six, I’m as clever as clever.

So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever

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