Toad and Pooh

Ernest H. Shepard (1879 – 1976) was an English artist and book illustrator known especially for his illustrations of anthropomorphic* characters in The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne. (more)

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Christopher Robin’s braces in Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne


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Toad’s motorcar in The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

(More from the University of Oxford)


*Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human traits and emotions.

Personification is the related attribution of human form and characteristics to abstract concepts such as nations, emotions and natural forces like seasons and the weather.

Both have ancient roots as storytelling and artistic devices, and most cultures have traditional fables with anthropomorphized animals as characters. People have also routinely attributed human emotions and behavioural traits to wild as well as domestic animals. (More)


Today’s assignment:

1. Use pen and ink today. (Fine nib sharpie-type pens will do.)

2. Create an animal version of your protagonist.

3. Give him/her an interesting prop (just as Toad has his motorcar and Pooh often has his honey.)

Today is (well–it should be) an official Paddington Bear holiday!

Why? Because the Paddington movie is in theaters today.

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Michael Bond, author:

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While you’re at it–pull out that beloved copy of Winnie-the-Pooh.

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Actually, in the U.K. there is a Winnie-the-Pooh day:

Winnie the Pooh, the “Bear of Very Little Brain,” continues to be a bear with lots of fame. In fact, Pooh is honored every January 18th, otherwise known as Winnie the Pooh Day. That particular date was chosen because it’s the birthday of Alan Alexander Milne (A.A. Milne), author of Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928).

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This photo shows the real Pooh and the real Christopher Robin.

The best thing about this story is how it sounds when it is read aloud. Try it:





HERE is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the

only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it.

And then he feels that perhaps there isn’t. Anyhow, here he is at the bottom, and ready to be introduced to you. Winnie-the-Pooh.



It amazes me how these stories transcend age.

I suggest you pour yourself a fresh cup of tea and read some more.

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