My love for books began at a young age. My favorite book was, and is still, Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne. It was a gift from a neighborhood friend on my 6th birthday. I read it over and over again and could recite many of the verses from memory. I enjoyed Christopher Robin and Winnie The Pooh TV shows and movies, but that book was always my favorite. When I had children of my own, we read it together and the well-worn paperback still has a prominent place on a bookshelf in my living room.
I’ve let my imagination run wild in the Hundred Acre Wood countless times, but hadn’t really thought about the actual boy in the stories and the father who wrote them.
Goodbye Christopher Robin is the story behind the stories. It examines family relationships and the impact that publishing these stories had on Christopher and it puts it all in historical context. A.A. Milne had been deeply scarred by his own experiences during WW1, the “war to end all wars.” As he worked through these issues, he developed a unique relationship with his son and began to write about their adventures. The sweet and innocent fantasies were just what the world was looking for after the horrors of war. Unfortunately, the fame that came along with the success came at great cost to the family and that first World War did not end all wars.
I loved the movie and have since re-read my Now We Are Six book. Now that I have this new insight, I appreciate the writings of A.A. Milne and Christopher Robin in a new way. The imaginary tales are full of hope and there are still good lessons to be learned, especially in light of the current state of our world.