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Don’t miss the Jan. 14 Winnie the Pooh Birthday Party at the library

Enjoy the Winnie the Pooh Birthday Party at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14 at the J. Joel Edwards Public Library. The celebration is free and open to the public and will include a special story time, arts and crafts and a visit from Pooh himself. The library has many Winnie the Pooh books available for check out and visitors can also enjoy a photo op with Pooh in the Hundred Acre Wood.

Everyone’s favorite honey-loving bear in a red crop top has been around since 1926, when A.A. Milne released his first collection of short stories. The origin of Winnie the Pooh’s name starts with a Canadian veterinarian named Lt. Harry Colebourn who bought a bear for $20 while serving in WWI. He named his new pet Winnie, after his native Winnipeg, and the cub ended up serving as a mascot for the regiment while he was stationed in England. However, when the soldier left for France, he left Winnie behind where it was safer at the London Zoo. Milne and his son – Christopher Robin – saw the bear at the London Zoo and the boy named his plush toy after it. He also had other characters from Milne’s books in his toy collection, including Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga and Tigger. The rest of the characters – Owl, Rabbit, and Gopher – were added later for variety.

According to Lindsay Mattick in Finding Winnie, some sources say the Milne family met a swan named Pooh on vacation, and Milne also refers to a swan named “Pooh” in his poem called “The Mirror.”  “Christopher Robin, who feeds this swan in the mornings, has given him the name of ‘Pooh,’” Milne wrote. “This is a very fine name for a swan, because, if you call him and he doesn’t come (which is a thing swans are good at), then you can pretend that you were just saying ‘Pooh!’ to show him how little you wanted him.”

Don’t miss the party Jan. 14 as the library celebrates Winnie the Pooh characters and helps younger generations make memories of the soft-spoken bear and his adventures with friends.

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