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The Best Bear in All the World: A Collection of Winnie-the-Pooh Stories    by Jeanne Willis, Kate Saunders & et al order for
Best Bear in All the World
by Jeanne Willis
Order:  USA  Can
Dutton, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

For the 90th anniversary of Winnie-the-Pooh, authors Jeanne Willis, Kate Saunders, Brian Sibley and Paul Bright were commissioned by the Trustees of the Pooh Properties to write four new adventures for Christopher Robin, Pooh, Piglet and friends - Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer. They're charmingly illustrated in the original style by Mark Burgess.

In Autumn, 'Pooh and Piglet prepare to meet a dragon', with some trepidation! The notion is seeded by Christopher Robin, who's going to be St. George in the village play. Eeyore gets involved as does Owl (who defines ex-stinkt and mithickle for them), and Rabbit who digs, Tigger who bounces, and Kanga with Roo. Next, as Winter snows on the forest, a 'very shy and very proper' Penguin joins the crowd, but insists on introductions according to etiquette. Christopher Robin is needed but has 'GON TO BOGANIN'. They join him there.

Spring's in the air and 'Eeyore suspects Another Donkey is after his thistles'. Pooh decides to help his Friend in Need. He enlists others to help, but it's Owl who reveals the other donkey to them all. Finally, in Summer, 'Pooh dreams of the Sauce of the Nile' (the idea came from a book read by Christopher Robin to him). So he and Piglet set out (well supplied of course and careful to avoid Heffalumps) to find the Sauce of the river in their forest. Their journey ends in a special treat.

I grew up with Winnie the Pooh, as did my two sons, so I was delighted to read this sequel. And don't miss the four authors' Afterwords that explain what Pooh meant in their own lives. Like the original, this is a volume to treasure.

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