This is another literary pilgrimage book: something to add to the altar of Pooh-worship. However, the last third of the book actually lives up to its title, and is worth the whole rest of adoring Pooh-repeating pages beforehand. As others have remarked, we can all re-read Pooh for ourselves, so the bulk of the first 2/3 of the book is most likely fluff Aalto's editor made her add to make the book fatter. The natural history section, especially from an American perspective on British cultural relationships with the environment, is fascinating. Aalto, in very american-fashion, can't get over the fact that Ashdown Forest has very few trees in it, and is, in fact regularly weeded of its trees. This book goes far into answering the question "Why do Americans find Britain so Cute?" (Hint: Perspective is everything.)
The author is too fascinated by her own prose, I fear. Two to three pages at a time are just retellings of the Pooh stories, in her own words, with plucky adjectives deposited here and there, presumably to add flavor. But if I wanted to read Pooh, wouldn't I rather read Milne himself? The pictures are lovely, but the book itself is too breezy, making hugely general claims about children and locations, and it thinks its assumptions are gold. The book also fizzles out at the end, lacking a solid conclusion. Flip through a library copy to see the pictures (big, huge, full color ones for the most part, some of which are gorgeous full page spreads), and skim the paragraphs here and there (I find the most valuable ones to be the historical chapters early on), but don't add it to a personal collection unless you addicted to all things Milne and Pooh.
An excellent choice if you're in the mood to reminisce about Winnie the Pooh. It's filled with original illustrations, excerpts from the books, and lovely photographs of the landscapes that inspired the stories.
You have to know when to just skip some of the text but the pictures and most of the writing is delightful.
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