Book Review: Finding Winnie – The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear

Who doesn’t love stories with animals? But what makes this story better…it’s a TRUE story about a really famous animal…Winnie.

Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher Robin were two of my favorite characters growing up….and they still are. What I didn’t know, until reading, Finding Winnie, was the story of how Winnie-the-Pooh came to be (apparently I’m not that big of a Winnie fan or at least never thought to find out his back story). But this book has forever changed that and left me totally surprised, yet slightly justified as to how all of our lives are somehow intertwined.

In Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, Lindsay Matlick tells the story of her great-grandfather, Harry Coleburn, to her son….Cole. Captain Coleburn, a veterinarian during World War I, found a little bear on his journey to war and named it after his hometown, Winnipeg, Canada. The bear quickly becomes the mascot of his company and a friend. Captain Coleburn brings this little bear with him as he gets stationed in different parts of the world, finally parting ways with him in London, as he goes off to battle.

As a reader your heart aches when he has to leave his little friend…until you meet Winnie’s new friend…Christopher Robin.

When I finished this book I didn’t think it could be real. How can this story be real? This can’t be the SAME bear…but the pictures of artifacts from Coleburn’s War diaries that are included in the book confirm that this tale is true. An amazing tale of friendship and kindness. A reminder of how our decisions can help to create the most amazing stories and happy endings, even when they start off uncertain.

This picture book is great for any age. With amazing illustrations and a great story children of all ages will enjoy finding out the story of the “world’s most famous bear”.


By Melissa Smith

3rd Grade Teacher

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