The children’s book I wish I’d written? It has to be Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne.
I first read the original A. A. Milne books and the poetry collections when I was about six years old, and was inspired to create imaginary adventures with my own over-sized teddy. I rediscovered the books by reading them to my two boys and twin girls when they were babies.
The stories of Pooh and his friends are true to the tips of his honey-dipped paws. So wise, witty and whimsical, from pretending to be a cloud with a blue balloon, to improvising a boat from an upturned umbrella. I love how the world grows from Christopher Robin’s nursery to the Hundred Acre Wood, how Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Owl have their own friendships and flaws and fights. It is exactly how I wrapped stories around the toys in my bedroom. It is what my four children do now.
Winnie-the-Pooh reminds me what it is to be a child, to be always curious, sometimes cross and full of wonder about the everyday. It reminds me that we are never alone as long as we have our extraordinary imaginations. It reminds me of the forever nature of friendship. My favourite Pooh line is from one of Milne’s poems, when Pooh and Piglet are hunting dragons. “I wasn’t afraid”, said Pooh, said he/ “I’m never afraid with you.”
Roopa Farooki’s new book, The Cure for A Crime, (978-0192773593) the first book in the Double Detectives Medical Mysteries, is published by Oxford University Press, £6.99 pbk.
Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne, illus E. H. Shepard, is published by Egmont, 978-1405280839, £14.99 hbk.