The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Chasing rainbows: Kids do a Pooh

“There is a little boy called Christopher Robin. He has a stuffed toy, a teddy bear, called Winnie the Pooh. Pooh Bear loves honey, and has adventures with his friends.”

That was all it took to get a bunch of around 20 hyper-active kids to sit quietly, be as good as gold and generally spend a Sunday afternoon in ‘intellectual pursuits’ of the likes of story-telling, singing and drawing, at a Winnie the Pooh afternoon at Oxford Bookstore.

Good ol’ Pooh Bear, Tigger, Piglet and Roo reigned supreme, as the toddlers under 10 soon forgot their initial hesitance and stopped looking for reassurance from parents and older siblings as they sang “Silly, willy, nilly bear”, hands in the air, smiles on their faces.

One little four-year-old used his hands as batons, mimicking the ‘Pooh Orchestra’ from the story he had just heard, as he enthusiastically waved them about, chanting the only words he knew — “Winnie the Pooh”. Another child ignored the fact that his older sister had disappeared, and listened to the story of Pooh and his friends chasing rainbows with rapt attention.

While most of the kids had, at some point, either seen Winnie the Pooh cartoons, read the books, or, in the case of the more tech savvy, had fun with interactive versions on CD-ROMs, it did not take long for the novices to fit in. And although the ‘know-it-alls’ did sometimes hog the limelight, the others just joined in.

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