A new Winnie-the-Pooh character, ‘Penguin’, will feature in an anthology due for release next month, marking 90 years since the Winnie-the-Pooh novel was first published.
The Penguin character was created by author Brian Sibley, whose ‘Winter’ story will feature in Winnie-the Pooh, The Best Bear in All the World, which will be published by Egmont on 6th October (h/b, £14.99).
Sibley based the new character on photograph which shows Milne and his son Christopher playing with a penguin toy alongside Teddy Bear (the inspiration for Winnie-the-Pooh).
A A Milne and his son Christopher
“For someone who has loved Winnie-the Pooh from his earliest childhood, the idea of visiting 100 Aker Wood in search of a new story was wildly exciting", said Sibley. “However, having studied and written about the world of A A Milne, it was also daunting.
“While pondering what other toys Christopher Robin might have owned but which were never written about, I remembered seeing a photograph of father and son playing on the nursery for with Winnie-the-Pooh and a penguin. The thought of Pooh encountering a penguin seemed no more outlandish than his meeting a kangaroo and a tiger in a Sussex wood, so I started thinking about what might have happened if, on a rather snowy day, Penguin had found his way to Pooh corner.”
The new character was drawn by Mark Burgess, who illustrated Winnie-the-Pooh, The Best Bear in All the World in the style of original artist E H Shepard.
As well as ‘Winter’, Winnie-the-Pooh, The Best Bear in All the World also features three other stories, entitled ‘Autumn’, ‘Spring’ and ‘Summer’, written by Paul Bright, Jeanne Willis and Kate Saunders, respectively. Egmont announced it was publishing the book, alongside Pooh Properties Trust, the Shepard Trust and Stephanie Thwaites at Curtis Brown, last year.
Publisher Nicole Pearson described working with the four authors as an “absolute pleasure”. She added: “The humorous stories in Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner have captivated generations of children and adults alike, with their skilful characterisation, exquisite use of language, enchanted forest setting, and Shepard’s charming illustrations.”
Winnie-the Pooh was first published in 1926 and the eponymous bear has gone on to become one of the most popular children’s book characters of all time, topping a Reading Agency poll earlier this year.
According to Egmont, Winnie-the-Pooh has been translated into more than 50 languages, including Esperanto and Latin.
Picture of A A Milne and Christopher: © Culture Club, Getty Images, picture of Winnie-the-Pooh and Penguin: © Egmont Publishing