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I promised Lea an in-depth review of Return to the Hundred Acre Wood, and I intend to deliver, but I just want to express my thoughts on what was a big area of concern for me, namely the dedication.

So, I think Milne's dedications (both to his wife) are one of the most beautiful parts of the Pooh books. Witness this, from House at Pooh Corner:

You gave me Christopher Robin, and then
You breathed new life into Pooh.
Whatever of each has left my pen
Goes homing back to you.
My book is ready, and comes to greet
The mother it longs to see--
It would be my present to you, my sweet,
If it weren't your gift to me.

I mean, that last pair gets me every time. Seriously! Don't mock me.

Anyway, so one thing that I thought might be a tipoff that Benedictus (the author of the new book) and I are generally on the same page was the dedication. I really, really hoped it would be poetry.

On that front, at least, I was not disappointed:

You gave us Christopher Robin and Pooh
And a forest of shadows and streams,
And the whole world smiled with you, as you
Offered us your dreams.
I took up the offer and page upon page
And line upon fanciful lines,
I tried to show in a different age
Your dreams are mine.

I kinda like that it's clearly a homage to HaPC, but at the same time, there isn't the same..depth of feeling I guess. It's not terrible, but it's not that great either.

I started the first chapter, an this guy is no Milne but he does okay, and he DOES remember Piget's hum. It's sorta like good Winnie the Pooh fanfic, where the author is doing a good job imitating the style of the original, but it wouldn't fool you or anything. I may change my mind as I read on, assuming I should ever find some spare time, but for now, those are my thoughts.

The illustrations, though? Gorgeous. If you stare and stare and stare, you see that it's not quite identical, but at anything less of scrutiny, you could thing Sheppard did them.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 7th, 2009 12:51 am (UTC)
oh man that's, not surprising but a little disappointing?

I'm glad the art is good though.
Oct. 7th, 2009 01:10 am (UTC)
I'm only a little disappointed-- realistically I knew that it would not be Milne back from the grave, and it's not bad. I am reserving judgment until I read more.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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