Orchard Books will this autumn publish a picture book about the real-life bear that inspired A A Milne’s Winnie the Pooh.
Winnie was a real bear rescued from a train station by Harry Colebourn, a vetenarian on his way to fight in the First World War. He sent Winnie to London Zoo, where she inspired Milne to write his beloved children’s book.
Colebourn’s great-granddaughter Lindsay Mattick has now written a picture book based on the true story entitled Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear. It is illustrated by Sophie Blackall and contains primary documents such as photos and diary entries.
Orchard Books picture, gift and novelty publisher Kate Burns has acquired the UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Kristin Dulaney at Little, Brown US.
“Winnie-the-Pooh is a true British classic, one of the most beloved children’s storybook characters of all time,” said Burns. “What makes the book even more exceptional is that the author has such a strong family connection to the story.”
Orchard will publish simultaneously with Little, Brown US in hardback in November and in paperback in summer 2016.