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The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh: A Walk Through the Forest that Inspired the Hundred Acre Wood (Hardcover)
Loved Goodbye Christopher Robin? Learn more about the real place that inspired the beloved stories.
Delve into the home of the world’s most beloved bear! The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh explores the magical landscapes where Pooh, Christopher Robin, and their friends live and play. The Hundred Acre Wood—the setting for Winnie-the-Pooh’s adventures—was inspired by Ashdown Forest, a wildlife haven that spans more than 6,000 acres in southeast England. In the pages of this enchanting book you can visit the ancient black walnut tree on the edge of the forest that became Pooh’s house, go deep into the pine trees to find Poohsticks Bridge, and climb up to the top of the enchanted Galleons Lap, where Pooh says goodbye to Christopher Robin.
You will discover how Milne's childhood connection with nature and his role as a father influenced his famous stories, and how his close collaboration with illustrator E. H. Shepard brought those stories to life. This charming book also serves as a guide to the plants, animals, and places of the remarkable Ashdown Forest, whether you are visiting in person or from the comfort of your favorite armchair. In a delightful narrative, enriched with Shepard’s original illustrations, hundreds of color photographs, and Milne’s own words, you will rediscover your favorite characters and the magical place they called home.
About the Author
Kathryn Aalto is an American landscape designer, historian, writer, and lecturer living in Exeter, England. She has master’s degrees in garden history and creative nonfiction with a particular interest in literary landscapes. Before her expat life, she taught American Literature of Nature and Place in the Pacific Northwest. She is a member of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, and Garden Communicators International. Her website is kathrynaalto.com.
“Beautifully written and thoroughly researched, The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh provides an intimate look into the magic and inspirations behind Milne’s stories, while reminding us of the joy children experience through nature.” —Richard Louv, author, The Nature Principle and Last Child in the Woods
“The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh reminds us that the Hundred Acre Wood is quite real and very much alive. Everyone who loves Pooh and Piglet and Christopher Robin will cherish this behind-the-scenes exploration of A. A Milne’s world.” —Amy Stewart, author, The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks
“A vivid guide to the 6,000 acres of Ashdown Forest in England, a landscape celebrated by A. A. Milne and illustrator E. H. Shepard as the make-believe Hundred Acre Wood where Christopher Robin and friends had their adventures. The volume includes original illustrations along with photographs.” —The New York Times
“Aalto’s lovely book provides two great pleasures: a visit to the actual wild spots that inform the fictional Pooh world and a chance to slip into our memories of the books themselves.” —The Washington Post
“Lavishly illustrated with superb photographs as well as reproductions of the delightfully familiar Shepard illustrations. . . . an affectionate book written with enthusiasm.” —The Wall Street Journal
“This book is like a gorgeous and serene walk through the beloved Hundred Acre Wood. . . . Such a vast depth of knowledge to be found here. . . . A lovely addition to any library.” —Children’s Book Review
“An intimate guide to the forest’s history, geology, animals, colours and textures. Tantalising descriptions and photographs invite us to slow our pace, look and listen.” —BBC Wildlife Magazine
“A nostalgic read that explores the magical reality behind the fictitious world of Winnie-the-Pooh and the Hundred Acre Wood.” —Gardens Illustrated
“For anyone who has read and reread Milne’s stories, Aalto furnishes a delightful addition to these classic tales, reawakening the childlike wonder and amusement first experienced when reading the books inspired by these locations.” —Shelf Awareness Reader
“Nature enthusiasts will find much to enjoy in landscape designer and historian Kathryn Aalto’s The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh, where she discusses the Ashdown Forest, the real woodland setting where Milne’s son often wandered with his stuffed animals in tow. Parents nostalgic for a bygone era when children lost track of time playing outdoors might consider Aalto’s book a companion guide to the Pooh tales, a gentle reminder that so much of childhood is founded on magic and secret hideaway places.” —Fine Books Magazine
“This is a beautifully produced book with an unusual premise that will delight the knowledgeable landscape designer and lay reader alike. . . . Aalto’s book enriches our understanding of the world of this iconic children’s story.” —Landscape Architecture Magazine
“Kathryn Aalto has skillfully woven together the geology, geography, history and natural history of the Forest. . . . providing a travelogue, a guide, a nature spotting manual, and a nostalgic glimpse of the past, all rolled into a delightful and eminently readable book, profusely illustrated with photographs and drawings.” —The Garden Window
“A sweet and nostalgic walkabout.” —Guilford Courier