Winnie-the-Pooh's New Friend Penguin Is Making His Adorable Debut
Sep 21 2016 by Francis Osborne
Winnie-the-Pooh's story expands next month with the release of official sequel, Winnie-the Pooh, The Best Bear in All the World, written by author and broadcaster Brian Sibley to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the publication of Winnie-the-Pooh.
The inspiration for the character came from an old photograph of original Winnie-the-Pooh author AA Milne and his son Christopher playing with a toy penguin. To mark the 90th anniversary of Aa Milne's beloved creation Winnie-the-Pooh, a penguin will be joining his band of friends in a new wintertime adventure.
It is believed that the actual toy, along with numerous other characters, came from the Harrods toy department where Christopher's mother Daphne Milne bought all his toys. The animals were put on display at New York Public Library in early August. The toy penguin is believed to be Squeak from the comic strip Pip, Squeak and Wilfred. Now there's a new Pooh friend to fall in love with. It appeared in Harrods' 1922 catalogue, according to Harrods archivist Sebastian Wormell.
"The thought of Pooh encountering a penguin seemed no more outlandish than his meeting a kangaroo and a tiger in a Sussex wood". She added: "The humorous stories in Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner have captivated generations of children and adults alike, with their skilful characterisation, exquisite use of language, enchanted forest setting, and Shepard's charming illustrations".
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Sibley found that Milne was also in possession of a stuffed penguin who never became a part of the Hundred Acre Wood - perhaps for reasons of environmental validity.
As Sibley tells the BBC, Milne himself often introduced new characters to the Pooh universe.
Sibley's story is called "Winter: In Which Penguin Arrives in the Forest", and is illustrated by Mark Burgess, who spoke of feeling especially liberated in getting to design this new character, while also attempting to capture the "spirit" of original illustrator EH Shepherd.
Winnie-the Pooh, The Best Bear in All the World will be available in Australia on October 1.