Our Favorite Children’s Stories

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I take Ryan to Aroma Joes twice a week before daycare for a chocolate glazed sprinkle donut. Though he usually asks daily, “Is it time for Aroma Joe’s house?” One morning, as we pulled up to the window, the young lady saw Ryan sitting in his car seat in the back and said, “Hi honey, you’re so cute!” Ryan looked up at her and said matter-of-factly, “I just farted in my seat.” She said, “Well that’s good I guess!”
I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday! I got an Ipad for Christmas! This is going to speed up my research and writing. I can easily pick it up at any point during the night in bed, as that is usually when I’m struck with ideas and thoughts. I won’t have to try to remember in the morning or start up the desktop computer downstairs. This is amazing and I’m so grateful. I was also lucky enough to get a scanner from my parents for my illustrations so I can not only upload them for publishing through CreateSpace but also to share them with you. I’m in the works on finishing some more books and have decided to not only continue with self-publishing Ryan’s Moon, but to try all avenues available too. So I will be submitting to an agent to try the traditional route and also send out to traditional publishers without an agent as I have done in the past. I have decided to pursue all types of publishing in order to test the waters. It is highly advised in the writing world now. So my main focus will still be to self-publish Ryan’s Moon but I will send out query letters and manuscripts also. I think this is going to be a great experiment so that I can share it with all of you.
Growing up, some of my favorite books included Alice in Wonderland, choose your own adventures, Little Critter and all the little golden books. Some I remembered, but I also searched 80’s children’s books and the past came rushing back to me.
We all remember our favorite stories as children. They were such an important part of our lives. Some of them taught us lessons, some taught us feelings and some just made us laugh. While researching I found a special site dedicated to helping young readers. It has a page with video interviews of tons of children’s book authors from some of our classic stories and from our new loved stories. They give helpful advice and tell their personal stories of how they got to where they are today. They also tell the background of how the stories were created. I listened to all of them. Some are Julia Andrews (Mary Poppins), Judy Blume, Eric Carle (The very Hungry Caterpillar) and Katherine Patterson (Bridge to Terabithia). Here is the link to the author’s interview page if you would like to see them too;
http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/
I went on from there to actually research further into some of these stories and found some amazing things. I’d like to share some of them with you. In this blog I will share the story behind Winnie-the-Pooh.

Ryan’s favorite teddy is Winnie-the-Pooh. Given to him by his Nammy (my mom). He takes him everywhere. Pooh is now part of the family. Second favorite is his stuffed animal Eeyore (he calls Ogey). He calls them his “babies”.
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Winnie-the-Pooh is one of the most recognizable characters in children’s literature, along with: Christopher Robin, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo, and Owl. But how did it all begin? Here is what I have learned:
Alan Alexander Milne had already achieved success as a writer for a magazine and as a playwright and mystery author. He might never have written for children had it not been for the birth of his son, Christopher Robin Milne, in 1920.
Back in 1921, a small stuffed bear, bought from Harrods department store, was given to Christopher Robin (called Billy), from his mom. This bear was called Edward at first, and sometimes Big Bear, or Teddy Bear. The story of how Christopher’s toy became known as Winnie-the-Pooh has two parts—Winnie and Pooh.
A real bear named Winnie was a popular attraction at the London Zoo. At the outbreak of World War I, a Canadian veterinary surgeon was on his way from Winnipeg to join the second Canadian Infantry Brigade when he bought a bear cub from the hunter who’d shot the cub’s mother. The young officer named the cub Winnie (for Winnipeg), and the bear accompanied him to England and became the company’s unofficial mascot. When the soldiers left for France, Winnie was left in the care of the London Zoo, and it was there that Christopher Robin discovered her. Winnie was incredibly tame, and on one occasion Christopher was allowed into Winnie’s cage to feed her. Although the real Winnie did not like honey, she did have a sweet tooth and preferred condensed milk to raw meat.
The name “Pooh,” rather surprisingly, came not from a bear but a swan. In the introduction to When We Were Very Young, A. A. Milne referred to the swan in the poem “The Mirror”: He says, “Christopher Robin, who feeds this swan in the mornings, has given him the name of ‘Pooh.’ This is a very fine name for a swan, because, if you call him and he doesn’t come (which is a thing swans are good at), then you can pretend that you were just saying ‘Pooh!’ to show him how little you wanted him.”
Other stuffed animals joined Winnie-the-Pooh in Christopher Robin’s nursery, including Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, and Tigger. Christopher and his mother played with them together, and Christopher invented voices and personalities for the animals that inspired his dad.
A. A. Milne called Owl and Rabbit “my own unaided work.” They were the only two characters drawn not from Christopher’s toys but from the natural world near Cotchford Farm, the Milnes’ property in Sussex. Winnie-the-Pooh had adventures with Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Owl, Rabbit, and Tigger in the 100 Aker (Acre) Wood (based on the Ashdown Forest in southern England, located near the Milne family home).
In 2008, the dolls were moved to the newly created Children’s Room at the main New York Public library where they can be seen today.
I hope you enjoyed this blog. Thank you for joining me. Happy 2014 everyone!

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