It’s Winnie the Pooh Day! Here are Ten Things You Might Not Know About the Famous Bear

Happy Winnie the Pooh Day!

Didn’t know that was today? Oh, bother.

Don’t despair. We silly old bears are in this together.

Winne the Pooh Day is celebrated on January 18 in honor of A. A. Milne, who first wrote about the honey-loving bear in 1926’s “Winnie-the-Pooh” book. 

In honor of Pooh, his friends and all the joy they’ve brought to families around the world, we’ve put together a list of 10 bits of trivia you might not know, plus 10 quotes you already love.

Illustration by Ernest H. Shepard from ‘The House at Pooh Corner’ (Photo: E.P. Dutton & Co.)

10 things you didn’t know about Winnie the Pooh

1. Winnie the Pooh author A. A. Milne named the boy in his stories after his son, Christopher Robin Milne.

2. The original Pooh bear was purchased at Harrods department store in London and given by A. A. Milne to Christopher Robin on his first birthday. At first, the toy was named Edward (proper form of Teddy) Bear.

3. Later, Christopher Robin changed the name of the toy to Winnie, after a real-life bear he saw at the London Zoo.

4. Real-life Winnie was a female black bear that belonged to Harry Colebourn, who was from Winnipeg, Canada. He brought her to England, where he served during World War I. Winnie’s permanent residence became the London Zoo. That’s much different from the fictional Winnie the Pooh, who is golden, male and British.

5. The fictional Hundred Acre Wood was based on the real Five Hundred Acre Wood in Ashdown Forest in Southeast England. Milne lived on the edge of the forest and took his son there.

6. The original manuscripts for “Winnie the Pooh” and “The House at Pooh Corner” are held at The Wren Library at Trinity College at the University of Cambridge in England, A. A. Milne’s alma mater.

7. You can visit some of the real stuffed animals that inspired beloved Pooh characters. Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga and Tigger are on display at The New York Public Library in New York City.

Winnie-the-Pooh and friends original stuffed toy animals after restoration and return to New York Public Library. (Photo: Pete Riesett and Steven Cross, NYPL via AP)

8. Jim Cummings, an American voice actor, has been voicing Pooh since 1988, when the animated series “The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” began. He is the current voice of Tigger, too.

9. Pooh got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006, joining other Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Snow White and Donald Duck.

10. The most recent Pooh movie was the live-action “Christopher Robin,” released in August 2018. It starred Ewan McGregor and grossed more than $197 million in worldwide box office sales, according to Box Office Mojo.

“I’m getting very sleepy and that looks like a bed,” Pooh remarks after spotting a bench in “Christopher Robin.” He appreciates the simple things in life. (Photo: LAURIE SPARHAM/DISNEY VIA AP)

Best Winnie the Pooh quotes:

“I’m so rumbly in my tumbly.” – Winnie the Pooh

“We’ll be friends forever, won’t we, Pooh?” asked Piglet. “Even longer,” Pooh answered.

“The things that make me different are the things that make me.” – Piglet

“You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” – Christopher Robin

“A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.” – Eeyore

“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” – Winnie the Pooh

“She knew at once that however big Tigger seemed to be, he wanted as much kindness as Roo.” – A.A. Milne

“If you live to be a hundred, I hope I live to be a hundred minus one day, so that I never have to live a day without you.” – Winnie the Pooh

“Could be worse. Not sure how, but it could be.” – Eeyore

And, of course, the classic: “Oh, bother.”

SOURCE: USA Today, by Jennifer McClellan