Lindsay Mattick’s great-grandfather purchased a baby bear on his way from Canada to Europe during WWI. She tells the story of their friendship and parting in her Caldecott winning story.
Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian from Winnipeg, encounters the bear and its owner during his train ride across North America. In spite of protests from his superior officer, Harry takes the bear, which he names Winnie, on the boat across the Atlantic to England. She quickly becomes the mascot of the Second Canadian Infantry Brigade, beloved by her “fellow soldiers”.
Before heading to France, Harry leaves Winnie at the London Zoo. She is soon discovered by a young Christopher Robin whose father wrote many stories about the bear and the boy.
True stories have a special appeal, particularly when the reader can feel a connection with the characters. For any child who loves A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh books, Mattick’s is a must read. They will be amazed at the photo of Christopher Robin Milne playing with the real bear as his father watches.
A former teacher, Jennifer Minicus is currently a full-time wife and mother.