Winnie-the-Pooh in comeback after 83 years

Fri Jan 9, 2009 7:07pm EST
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - The first official sequel to the original Winnie-the-Pooh books will appear in October, its publishers said on Saturday, more than 80 years after the honey-loving bear first appeared in print.

"Return to the Hundred Acre Wood" is the follow up to A.A. Milne's "Winnie-the-Pooh" and "The House At Pooh Corner," which were famously illustrated by E.H. Shepard.

The new book, published by Egmont Publishing in Britain and Pengiun imprint Dutton Children's Books in the United States, will be written by David Benedictus, who produced an audio adaptation of Winnie-the-Pooh starring actress Judi Dench.

Mark Burgess, who has already drawn classic children's characters including Paddington Bear and Winnie-the-Pooh, is to provide the illustrations. Return to the Hundred Acre Wood will hit the shelves on October 5.

"We have been hoping for a good many years that we might one day be able to offer the world a sequel which would do justice to the original Winnie-the-Pooh stories," said Michael Brown on behalf of the trustees of Pooh Properties, which manages the affairs of the Milne and Shepard estates.

"The original books were one of the greatest celebrations of childhood in any language, but we believe that David Benedictus and Mark Burgess have captured the spirit and quality of those original books."

The story of Winnie-the-Pooh and the original illustrations are still popular today.

A collection of Shepard's drawings for the Pooh books fetched around $2 million at auction in London last month.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)

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