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Winnie The Pooh to make a comeback (2009)

Story by Jack Foley

WINNIE The Pooh, the beloved character created by the late AA Milne, is to make a comeback in 2009 – 80 years since his first literary appearance.

The celebrated children’s character (of Very Little Brain) is to appear in Return To The Hundred Acre Wood, which is the first authorised sequel to Milne’s original 1920s stories.

Written by David Benedictus with illustrations by Mark Burgess, the eagerly anticipated book won’t be available in the UK or the US until October 5, 2009 – but it comes with the blessing of AA Milne’s and EH Shepard’s Estates.

Shepard, who died in 1976, drew the famous illustrations for Milne’s 1926 book Winnie-the-Pooh and its 1928 follow-up, The House at Pooh Corner.

Winnie The Pooh is an enduring character who has continued to charm readers of every age, across generations. Evidence of his continued popularity was on display last year when, in December, a collection of Shepard’s original drawings reached £1.26 million at a London auction.

Commenting on the forthcoming book, Michael Brown, of the Trustees of the Pooh Properties, told the BBC: WWe have been hoping for a good many years that we might one day be able to offer the world a sequel which would do justice to the original Winnie-the-Pooh stories.

“The original books were one of the greatest celebrations of childhood in any language, but we believe that David Benedictus and Mark Burgess have captured the spirit and quality of those original books.”

Benedictus himself has described it as an honour to have his book approved and expressed the hope that his work would “complement and maintain” Milne’s idea that “whatever happens, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing”.

Return To The Hundred Acre Wood will be published by Egmont Publishing in the UK.