Our reaction to a book sometimes depends on where we are when we read it and what the book looks like or who gave it to us. I have always loved Pooh and his friends and I'm charmed by the stories in this little book. I especially admire Eyeore, who when Pooh brings him an empty honey pot and Piglet brings him the rags of his broken baloon - makes the most of it. He is delighted to have a pot to hold things and something to put in his pot.
Like most children's books this one is didactic and I'm sure A A Milne wanted his young readers to take away some messages from these tales. But Eyeore's existential acceptance of the broken and empty birthday presents and his making the most of them makes a touching story even without the overtones of moral instruction.
I've read the book a few times over the years but my most recent reading was last week when I was in the hospital, just starting to feel pretty good, and WITHOUT A SINGLE BOOK. Just as the situation was becoming dire, my friend, Elaine, arrived to visit and she brought this book with her to lend to me. I was the a perfect book at the a perfect time. I read it slowly over the next couple of days. I looked closely at the pictures. I admired Pooh's idea to turn Christopher Robin's umbrella upside down to use as a boat to rescue Piglet. I thought Kanga showed great wisdom and restraint when Rabbit had encouraged the other animals to replace Roo with Piglet.
There are reasons some books become classics and are still being read 100 years after they are first published. Those are some of the reasons Winnie-the-Pooh will never die. Our great-grandchildren may be reading the book in hologram format or some other super technology we haven't even thought of yet. But the stories here of animals helping their friends, looking for adventures, and solving problems are truly classic.