Books Giveaways

Meet the Real Life Winnie-the-Pooh

When I was a little girl, my father would read to me at bedtime from A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner. Pooh and Christopher Robin, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Owl, Rabbit, and Kanga and Roo grew to be comfortable old friends. When hubs and I began dreaming about starting a family, I picked up my own copies to read to my future children.

My father told me a long time ago that Winnie-the-Pooh was based on a real live bear, but I had forgotten the details. Now that story has been made into this beautiful hardcover book, perfect for sharing with young Pooh fans.

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh tells the story of the original Winnie, a black bear cub picked up at a train station in Ontario in 1914 by Lt. Harry Colebourn of The Fort Garry Horse, a Canadian cavalry regiment. Colebourn, the regiment’s veterinarian, named her Winnipeg after his adopted home city.

Winnie became the regiment’s unofficial mascot and travelled to England with them, but when the unit was ordered to the front in France, Lt. Colebourn decided to leave her with the London Zoo. It was there that Christopher Robin met her for the first time, and literary history was made!

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh

This delightful book is filled with charming watercolour illustrations, and the endpapers feature vintage photos of Harry Colebourn, Winnie, A.A. Milne, and Christopher Robin. I found these glimpses into the past especially fascinating.

The story is set in an army regiment in World War I, so the illustrations do feature soldiers in uniform. In one scene, soldiers are marching in formation with rifles over their shoulders. Use your judgment about reading this to younger children who may have questions about these topics.

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh

I really enjoyed this intersection of Canadian history and classic children’s literature – perfect for Winnie-the-Pooh fans everywhere! Buy your copy at,, or wherever books are sold.

Win a Winnie!

Raincoast Books is generously offering one This West Coast Mommy reader their own hardcover copy of Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh. This giveaway is open to residents of Canada only, 18 +. All entries will be verified.

Disclosure: I received a sample item for review. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ. This post contains affiliate links. This West Coast Mommy is a participant in the, Inc. Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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  • I use to read Winnie The Pooh books all the time to my children when they were younger. They also liked all the VHS tapes that we use to have too

  • I have always loved Winnie The Pooh and have passed onto my girls and now my granddaughters, Winnie will always be a favourite in my home!!

  • My little boy has autism and he LOVES Winnie the Pooh. Some of his first words were singing “Pooh” in the Winnie the Pooh song, and if he is unhappy with us or in distress, he yells “CHRISTOPHER ROBIN!!!”. He is the happiest boy on the planet (and he’s doing great) and he lights up our lives. I did not love Winnie the Pooh until I had a little boy of my own, but to me, Winnie the Pooh will always remind me of my son’s childhood, and make me shed a tear or two.

  • I loved reading Winnie the Pooh as a child. There was something very comforting about it. Escaping to the 100 acre woods…

  • The actual bear cub was bought in my hometown of White River, ON 🙂
    They have a Winnie’s Hometown Festival every August!

  • What a charming story. Like the Canadian aspect.
    Enjoyed reading the book Winnie the Pooh to our two boys.
    Was one of their favourites.

  • I remember reading Winnie the Pooh books to our children when they were little. They were perfect bedtime stories. Charming.

  • I’ve always loved Pooh Bear. One of the first sets of books that I bought when I became a Mom were some Pooh Bear ones. I still have them (my oldest son is now 20)

  • We have quite a few winnie the pooh books, my daughter just loves all the characters. This would be a great addition to her book collection and a wonderful story to read to her.

  • I I I read ‘Winnie the Pooh’ many years ago. I remembered the animals and how Christopher Robin would say: “Silly old Bear!” very lovingly whenever Pooh got into trouble-which happened quite often. It was one of my favorite books as a child and I still like it to this day.

  • I am on the second generation of reading winnie the poo i call my grandson “Roo” Kangas baby in the series

  • We drove through White River, Ontario where Lt Colebourn bought Winnie. They have a statue there right along the TransCanada so we stopped for pictures. The Winnie the Pooh in the statue is of the cartoon bear and not a black bear – and is totally recognizable as Winnie. They were pretty pleased to see that in the middle of nowhere (no offence to anyone who lives there!!)

  • I loved watching Winnie-the-Pooh TV specials as a child. I don’t remember much about them, but I still remember the Winnie-the-Pooh song!

  • My children loved it when I red Winnie-the-Pooh to them and of course they both had a Winnie-the-Pooh bear.

  • My twin girls were nicknamed Pooh & Piglet in my womb and we went with a Winnie the Pooh theme for their nursery.

  • I read Winnie the Pooh to my children. At the time, I didn’t realize that the story was based on a real bear from Winnipeg.

  • When I was quite young I remember my Mother reading Winnie the Pooh to me. I loved it very much! She gave me a Winnie the Pooh cookbook and the was my first ever cookbook. I wish I still had it!

  • my mother had a pooh bear doll growing up and got the nickname pooh bear, even years later she still has that nickname.

  • I remember reading an old paperback copy when I was a kid. I have started to collect various Winnie the Pooh books for my son to read when he gets a bit older.

  • My little sister loved the Disney version of Winnie-the-Pooh and I always think of her when I think of Winnie 🙂

  • My daughters favorite character is Tigger and when she was little i used to get a laugh when she would hop arpund the house pretending to be him!

  • Hello! I have very fond memories of watching the Winnie the Pooh specials as a child. I’m giving my age away (lol) but I remember when Tigger was introduced. He quickly became one of my new favorites. 🙂