Sally Grindley chooses a book she grew up with…
When first asked to write this piece, I was sure I would choose a modern book like Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo, which is a perfect
picture book, or Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy, which is astounding in its complexity and erudition. But I’m allowing my heart to dictate and my heart chooses… Winnie-the-Pooh.
I grew up with Pooh. My mother used to read to me from what are now much-loved and battered early editions, and when I was old enough I would read them myself, curled up under the bedcovers, losing myself in the Hundred Acre Wood, wondering if there really were heffalumps about and whether the woozle was or wasn’t. My allegiance and sympathy would shift from Pooh to Piglet to Eeyore to Tigger and back again, depending upon whether Pooh was stuck in a rabbit hole, or Eeyore had lost his tail, or Piglet had fallen and burst his balloon, or Tigger had been unbounced.
The intimate world A.A. Milne created and the delightful characters he brought to populate it are utterly unforgettable. Without them, my life would certainly be impoverished and, having written this piece, I’m now going to read the books all over again!
Winnie the Pooh (978 1 4052 2398 0) by A.A. Milne, ill. E.H. Shepard is published by Egmont at £12.99 hbk.
Sally Grindley’s latest book, Paw Prints in the Snow, ill. Adam Frost (978 1 4088 1945 6) is published by Bloomsbury at £5.99 pbk.