5 fun facts about Winnie-the-Pooh

Here are some fun facts to celebrate the birthday of A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh's creator.

Here are some fun facts to celebrate the birthday of A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh’s creator.

Today would be A. A. Milne’s 135th birthday. And, if you’re unfamiliar with Milne’s name, you certainly know his stories.

He is the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit, and the other denizens of Hundred Acre Wood (except for Gopher—Disney animators sketched him into existence.)

So in celebration of Milne’s birthday and his timeless tales, here are five fun facts about Winnie-the-Pooh.

1. Most young readers are familiar with with Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh and House on Pooh Corner, but neither book features Pooh’s first appearance.

You can find that in When We Were Very Young, a collection of Milne’s poetry for children. However, he was named Mr. Edward Bear, not Winnie, at the time.

The stuffed bear would acquire the Winnie moniker later, borrowed from a black bear at the London Zoo.

2. Almost all of Pooh’s neighbors are based upon toys owned by Milne’s son, whose name is—you guessed it—Christopher Robin.

Tigger, Eeyore, Kanga, Piglet, and Pooh are still around today. In fact, kids can visit Pooh at the Main Branch of New York Public Library. Meanwhile, Roo was lost in Ashdown Forest, the real-life inspiration for the Hundred-Acre Wood, a long time ago.

Milne created Rabbit and Owl wholesale without a stuffed muse.

3. We’re all accustomed to Disney’s The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh as a single film, but that’s not how it was originally made.

Walt Disney was concerned that American audiences weren’t familiar enough with Pooh and friends; so, instead of making a feature-length film, the studio made three shorts—Winnie the Pooh and the Honey TreeWinnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too.

The three shorts (along with some interstitial animation) were cobbled together later to make the film we all know and love.

4. It’s difficult to imagine someone disliking Winnie-the-Pooh, but the books were not universally beloved on publication.

Dorothy Parker—under her nom de plume, Constant Reader—found the books overly cute and saccharine, though she didn’t phrase it so politely. Instead, she said The House at Pooh Corner made her want to “[fwow] up.”

5. Speaking of critics, Christopher Robin—the real one, Milne’s sons—didn’t care for the Pooh books either.

His classmates would tease him by quoting a poem from When We Were Very Young.

They’d mock him with “Hush! Hush! Whisper who dares! Christopher Robin is saying his prayers,” until he came to resent the books.

Here’s hoping Christopher Robin will forgive us if we disagree with him. We can’t get enough of the silly old bear, and you can always come to us if you want to borrow one of Winnie-the-Pooh’s books or films.

 

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Make your own puzzle at the library

Kids can craft their own puzzles on Monday, Jan. 30, at our Lake Branch.

Kids can craft their own puzzles on Monday, Jan. 30, at our Lake Branch.

Puzzles—be they crossword, sudoku, or jigsaw—are a fun way to exercise your brain.

National Puzzle Day is coming up. (Yes, that’s a real thing.) And you can create your own puzzle to celebrate!

Make your own craft stick puzzle with us on at 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 30, at our Lake Branch.

The program is free and open to all kids six and older. However, we do ask that you sign up beforehand. You can register on our website or call us at 440-257-2512.

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Martin Luther King Jr.: 11 books, documentaries and audiobooks for the King

Learn about Martin Luther King Jr. with a dozen different books, documentaries and audiobooks.

Learn about Martin Luther King Jr. with a dozen different books, documentaries and audiobooks.

We celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. today; but, frankly, any day is a good one to learn about the man.

We’ve compiled a list of 11 books, documentaries, and audiobooks about King—all of which are free to borrow, watch, or stream with your Mentor Public Library card.

1. The King Years by Taylor Branch

Branch wrote an exhaustive and definitive trio of King biographies, Parting the WatersPillar of Fire, and At Canaan’s EdgeThe King Years condenses the trilogy to its highlights.

2. Martin Luther King Jr.: The Essential Set

The man in his own words. Here all of King’s landmark speeches—more than 15 hours’ worth—including”I Have a Dream,” “Give Us the Ballot,” “A Call to Conscience.” You start streaming them right now via Hoopla.

3. The Concise King

If 15 hours sounds overwhelming, listen to the The Concise Kingthree hours of King’s best-known speeches and sermons.

4. I Have a Dream

King’s most famous speech, illustrated by Caldecott Honor-winner Kadir Nelson. This picture book is a lovely way to introduce King’s ideals to children. You can borrow the ebook now via OverDrive.

5. Strength to Love

Strength to Love compiles 15 of King’s sermons and highlights how his faith and The Bible informed his politics.

6. Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.: His Life and Crusade in Pictures by Charles Johnson and Bob Adelman

The photographers of Life magazine capture King in public and candid moments during his journeys to Montgomery, Birmingham, Selma, and more.

7. King: A Filmed Record… Montgomery to Memphis

King uses archival footage to follow King from 1955 to 1968. See film of King’s speeches, protests, and arrests, interspersed with interactions from his supporters and opponents. You can watch the documentary right now on Hoopla.

8. The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr.

King wrote a lotspeeches, sermons, letters, and so forthbut he never deliberately scribed an autobiography. So what you have here, instead, are King’s myriad writings edited by Clayborne Carson to tell the story of his life in his own words.

9. A Picture Book of Martin Luther King Jr. by David Adler

We have dozens of biographies about King in our collection, both for kids and adults. This brief illustrated book is one of the best introductions for children.

10. A Call to Conscience

A Call to Conscience collects King’s best and best-known speeches in a single book.

11. The Best of the Speeches

Take the words of Martin Luther King Jr. with you anywhere. This album, which you can download or stream for free from Freegal, includes famous speeches like “The American Dream,” “The Dilemma and the Challenge,” and “We Shall Overcome.”

 

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Thanks for the ‘can’-do spirit

Thanks to everyone who donated to our annual Can Your Fines food drive.

Thanks to everyone who donated to our annual Can Your Fines food drive.

We want to thank everyone who donated to our Can Your Fines food drive, and that’s a lot of people.

Thanks to you, we delivered more than two dozen boxes of food to pantries at St. John Vianney and St. Bede in Mentor and St. Gabriel in Concord Township.

That’s a lot of food. And that food will help a lot of families.

A good deed is its own reward, but we also waived nearly $500 in library fines for those who donated.

Thanks again for your kindheartedness and generosity. You keep our community great.

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Preschoolers, put on your dancing shoes!

Join the Preschool Dance Party on Monday, Jan. 23, at our Main Branch.

Join the Preschool Dance Party on Monday, Jan. 23, at our Main Branch.

The snow outside can’t cool our heels.

We’re throwing a preschool dance party at 1 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 23, where kids can move, groove, and put some of that surplus energy to use.

The party is free and open to all kids from two to six years old (along with their parents.)

We do ask that you register for the program beforehand. You can sign up online or by calling us at (440) 255-8811 ext. 221.

Bring your dancing shoes!

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