Dear When We Were Very Young,
Thank you for the reminder of the delight to be a child. I am reminded to take time out to step back from life and take joy in what surrounds me. Be more perceptive of the small details that make life beautiful.
P.S. Book Details
Author: A. A. Milne
Illustrator: Ernest H. Shepard
Book Length: 100 pages
Book Genre: Children’s Poetry
Publication Date: November 1924
Synopsis: A classic celebration of childhood, A. A. Milne’s When We Were Very Young is a collection of poems that have touched the hearts of readers for more than 90 years. His verses sing with a playful innocence, weaving together the worlds of reality and enchanting make-believe. Published two years before Winnie-the-Pooh, careful readers will also discover the very first appearance of the Best Bear in All the World. These treasured poems are perfectly matched by Ernest Shepard’s whimsical illustrations, which have delighted countless readers.
Delight and whimsy. What is it like to be a child? Do you remember? Milne is here for us, sparking the memories of (not so) long ago.
The stories of Winnie the Pooh are quite near and dear to me. While I grew up watching the Winnie the Pooh, I enjoyed the stories most when I encountered them in high school. It was a wintery day and I was sitting in the cafeteria enjoying my book. Some boys in my grade thought it was dorky and immature to be reading Winnie-the-Pooh. So, for the next couple weeks I got “teased” about my reading choices. Which turned into being “teased” for enjoying to read. For me, this was a decision point in my reading life. I decided I loved to read and would continue on, but I would hide what I was reading a little better. I know it sounds silly to attribute my love for reading in adulthood which a children’s book, yet A.A. Milne’s story with Pooh Bear is at the center of the love I have for literature today.
With the long tangent aside, reading When We Were Very Young feels exactly like the summary says, “a celebration of childhood”. The way A.A. Milne wrote poetry beings out so much delight for readers. I was smiling throughout the whole book. We are not solely following Christopher Robin, although this is considered a part of the Winnie-the-Pooh collection. Milne writes about the life of a child. I enjoy his rhyming. He wrote in a way that felt like skipping and jumping along. Some poems were so sticky, they got stuck in my head and I walked to the beat while humming the words.
I understand Milne wrote this book for children and to celebrate his own son. Yet, as an adult I cannot help but feel a strong connection. I feel as though Milne is writing to the adults as well, encouraging all of us to pause and remember what it was like to skip and hop and giggle at funny words. I recommend this book to everyone looking for some whimsy. I’m not sure there are many people who will read the collection of poems without smiling at one or two poems, and maybe giggle too.