Winnie the Pooh – Handmade Book

So, following the workshops of the last few weeks involving storytelling and book-making, we were asked to bring a story to our tutorial; one that we enjoyed, and one that we could easily translate into a handmade book. Initially we began by picking out important information from the story and then very quickly illustrate this using bold, thick pens in order to quickly and efficiently communicate the meaning of the story.

I chose one of my childhood favourites (the Winnie the Pooh stories) and brought in a book that I have always treasured. As these are typically children’s stories, the ‘collection’ of stories in my book are organised into several small stories. This was beneficial as it meant that I could more easily condense this into a series of quick illustrations.

I chose the first story in the book, ‘In which we are introduced to Winnie-the-Pooh’, which I absolutely love! (Also, when asked what demographic I’m aiming at I think Paul, my lecturer, expected me to say small children…).

It is the story of Winnie-the-Pooh, who lived in the Hundred Acre Forest all by himself under the name Sanders. One day, whilst walking in the forest, he heard a buzzing noise from a large oak tree, at the top of which were many buzzing bees. Pooh had had an idea, and decided to climb this tree to get to the honey, for the only reason that Pooh could think of for bees buzzing was to make honey. Honey for him to eat. So he climbed and he climbed and he climbed, but then the branch he was holding on to cracked, and he tumbled back down to the ground. Once he had bumped onto the ground, he had a thought, and as he usually does, he thought of Christopher Robin. Winnie-the-Pooh wandered to Christopher Robin’s house. Pooh bear wanted to know if Christopher Robin happened to have a balloon, so that he could hold on to this balloon and float up into the sky and get closer to the honey. In case of emergency, Pooh suggested that Christopher Robin brought his gun, just in case.

On the way to the big oak tree, Pooh stopped at a very muddy place that he knew of, and he rolled around and made himself black as black. Christopher Robin wondered why Pooh bear was doing this, and Pooh explained that if he looked like a little black rain cloud, the bees would be far less suspicious than if he weren’t to disguise himself. So back they went to the large oak tree with the buzzing, and up Pooh went underneath the big blue balloon. The bees suspected something. Pooh’s disguise wasn’t working, and the bees knew that he was up to something. Winnie-the-Pooh explained to Christopher Robin that the bees were growing increasingly suspicious of the little black rain cloud, and he thought it would be wise if Christopher Robin was to shoot the balloon down in order for Pooh to escape the bees. Christopher Robin missed the ballon the first time, but not Pooh bear. The second shot hit the balloon, and down floated Winnie-the-Pooh.

Winnie-the-pooh’s arms were so stiff from holding onto the ballon that they stayed straight up in the air for a whole week after. Whenever a fly would land on Pooh’s nose, he would blow it off, and that is (some say) why he is called Winnie-the-Pooh.

There are so many elements to the story, and so many things that I could capitalise upon to create real meaning and something truly engaging.  There are several wonderful motifs that would translate easily to a small book such as the balloon, the bear, and of course the bees.  As with most of these smaller briefs, time is not on our side so the emphasis is placed on editing information into a succinct pile of text but without losing any of the key information.  We’ll see how that goes…

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