“A vivid guide to the 6,000 acres of Ashdown Forest in England, a landscape celebrated by A. A. Milne and illustrator E. H. Shepard as the make-believe Hundred Acre Wood where Christopher Robin and friends had their adventures. The volume includes original illustrations along with photographs.” —The New York Times
“Aalto’s lovely book provides two great pleasures: a visit to the actual wild spots that inform the fictional Pooh world and a chance to slip into our memories of the books themselves.” — The Washington Post
“Lavishly illustrated with superb photographs as well as reproductions of the delightfully familiar Shepard illustrations. . . . an affectionate book written with enthusiasm.” — The Wall Street Journal
Winnie-the-Pooh (1924) and The House at Pooh Corner (1926) are arguably the most beloved books in children’s literature. Written by A. A. Milne and illustrated by E. H. Shepard, they were inspired by Ashdown Forest where Milne lived with his wife and son, Christopher Robin. Ashdown Forest remains a historically-rich and atmospheric wildlife haven spanning more than 6,000 acres in southeast England. Milne lived on the edge of the forest with his wife Daphne and son, Christopher Robin. In The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh, Kathryn Aalto takes readers on a personal journey into the places, plants, and people that inspired Milne to write the stories beloved around the world. In a delightful narrative — combined with Shepard’s original illustrations, historic ephemera, story excerpts, and colour photographs — readers learn about the making of a classic book, the artistic collaboration between Milne and Shepard, and the natural and cultural history of the forest.
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“Beautifully written and thoroughly researched, The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh provides an intimate look into the magic and inspirations behind Milne’s stories, while reminding us of the joy children experience through nature.” — Richard Louv, author, The Nature Principle and Last Child in the Woods
“The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh reminds us that the Hundred Acre Wood is quite real and very much alive. Everyone who loves Pooh and Piglet and Christopher Robin will cherish this behind-the-scenes exploration of A. A Milne’s world.” —Amy Stewart, author, The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks
“This book is like a gorgeous and serene walk through the beloved Hundred Acre Wood. . . . Such a vast depth of knowledge to be found here. . . . A lovely addition to any library.” — Children’s Book Review
“An intimate guide to the forest’s history, geology, animals, colours and textures. Tantalising descriptions and photographs invite us to slow our pace, look and listen.” — BBC Wildlife Magazine
“A nostalgic read that explores the magical reality behind the fictitious world of Winnie-the-Pooh and the Hundred Acre Wood.” — Gardens Illustrated
“For anyone who has read and reread Milne’s stories, Aalto furnishes a delightful addition to these classic tales, reawakening the childlike wonder and amusement first experienced when reading the books inspired by these locations.” — Shelf Awareness Reader
“Nature enthusiasts will find much to enjoy in landscape designer and historian Kathryn Aalto’s The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh, where she discusses the Ashdown Forest, the real woodland setting where Milne’s son often wandered with his stuffed animals in tow. Parents nostalgic for a bygone era when children lost track of time playing outdoors might consider Aalto’s book a companion guide to the Pooh tales, a gentle reminder that so much of childhood is founded on magic and secret hideaway places.” — Fine Books Magazine
“This is a beautifully produced book with an unusual premise that will delight the knowledgeable landscape designer and lay reader alike. . . . Aalto’s book enriches our understanding of the world of this iconic children’s story.” — Landscape Architecture Magazine
“Kathryn Aalto has skillfully woven together the geology, geography, history and natural history of the Forest. . . . providing a travelogue, a guide, a nature spotting manual, and a nostalgic glimpse of the past, all rolled into a delightful and eminently readable book, profusely illustrated with photographs and drawings.” — The Garden Window