Return to the Hundred Acre Wood
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there's little to be concerned with here: a mention of drinking whiskey, a bike brand, and an ear-boxing by an annoyed Owl.
What's the story?
Christopher Robin returns to the Wood, a bit older and more grown-up, to spend a summer with his old friends Pooh, Piglet, Owl, Rabbit, Kanga, Tigger, and Roo, as well as a new friend, an otter named Lottie. Together they play cricket, set up a school, search for missing bees, and have other gentle adventures.
Is it any good?
For reasons that pass understanding, someone decided a sequel was needed to Milne's original books, and Milne's estate gave its permission -- a big mistake. Author David Benedictus and artist Mark Burgess do their best to imitate the style of the original, and do a decent job of it. But, predictably, the one-of-a-kind magic that imbued the original, born of a father's love for his son in a time long past, is gone.
What's left here is not terrible. Were it not attempting to follow in the footsteps of a classic, it might even be considered a pleasant enough set of bedtime stories. For children who have read the originals and clamor for more, this is passable. But if your children haven't read the originals, and especially if the Disney movie versions have convinced them it's for babies, go there first. Milne's works are timeless, enchanting, and a more challenging read than most kids might suspect. They should be a part of everyone's childhood.
Burgess does a decent job of imitating Ernest H. Shepard. Though PIglet looks wrong, and Christopher Robin looks like he has aged much more than a year since the last book, the illustrations are pleasant and occasionally amusing.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about sequels to classics. Have you read the original books? How does this compare? In what ways is the writing similar and different? The pictures?
Why do publishers have authors write sequels to deceased authors' books? Why are authors willing to do it? Why would Milne's estate allow it?
If you were an author, would you want to write a sequel to a book you loved? Would you be happy if someone wrote a sequel to one of your books after you died?