come on an Epotition
to find the North Pole.

Lessons and Philosophy from the Bear of Very Little Brain

In Winnie-the-Pooh's life the best parts of childhood and adulthood join together from the child's point of view. Winnie-the-Pooh is a happy-going bachelor who does not have a family to burden or to delight him. Pooh also has time for lots of things he likes to do, without any obligations. This is an ideal situation which fascinates all people irrespective of age.

Milne's play with words also appeals to readers of all ages. For example, in the episode in which Christopher Robin leads an Expotition to the North Pole, the exciting thing is that the characters don't know what they are looking for, but they still keep looking.

For far too many young people the classics of children's literature are largely usurped by television. Sam Torode describes the epithany of discovering Edward Bear during his college years. He recalls how afternoons spent listening to his professors and fellow students read A. A. Milne were among his fondest memories of college.

Perhaps the most striking thing about Torode's article is his description of how the A. A. Milne society was formed and how "weary students, joined by a smattering of faculty members, reclined on the floor, sitting or lying on plush carpet squares" and listened as people took turn reading about the bear of very little brain.

Recently I sat my Year 7 class down on the carpet to tell them a story and we will repeat this exercise regularly. There is absolutely no doubt that the classroom dynamics change when we all sit together on the floor.


1. Recall your favourite childhood story and write down as much of the storyline as you can can remember without looking at the text. After you have finished locate a copy of the story and check to see what you have remembered and what you have ommitted.

2. Make a cubby house, fill it with lots of cushions, make a cup of tea and sit reading a favourite childhood book.

3. Set out on an expotition!

4. Try running through the sprinklers.