Parents' Guide to

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Moving story of bear that inspired Winnie-the-Pooh.

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Winner of the 2016 Caldecott Medal, this artful tale covers a lot of ground, but readers are carried along by the transporting detail in the art. The bear cub, rescued at a desolate whistle stop in Canada, is adorable, cuddly as a kitten. And the scenes of the soldiers give a graphic sense of the scope and daily detail of the war. Author Lindsay Mattick skillfully handles some difficult subjects -- what trappers do, the fate of soldiers at war -- and uses lyrical language. For example, when Harry's on the train, he watches "the land scroll by."

Illustrator Sophie Blackall cleverly orients the reader and aids the instruction. On a page about the family tree, she draws an actual tree, with each generation perched on a branch. Later, an "album" she pictures in the story segues into actual photos and diary entries from the time. This is a rich book that begs for repeated readings.

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