Happy Birthday, Winnie-the-Pooh!

By NYPL Staff
August 21, 2022
Piglet, Tigger, Winnie-the-Pooh, Eeyore and Kanga

Piglet, Tigger, Winnie-the-Pooh, Eeyore and Kanga. Image from NYPL Digital Collections, ID: 56597640

Before he was charming young readers around the world, Winnie-the-Pooh, the teddy bear, was a gift for a beloved child—author A.A. Milne's son, Christopher Robin Milne, on his first birthday, August 21, 1921. Over the years, Pooh was joined by other stuffed animals and this merry band of toys served as inspiration for numerous short stories by Milne collected in Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928), both illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard. With simple plot lines and earnest, whimsical characters, the adventures and antics of these animals in the Hundred Acre Wood are still read around the world and have earned a permanent place in the literary canon.

The real Winnie-the-Pooh, and his friends Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga, and Tigger (Roo was unfortunately lost in an apple orchard) took up residence at The New York Public Library in 1987 and are visited by thousands of people each year. They are currently part of the Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures where you can see them for yourself (and wish Pooh a happy birthday!) as well as see many other remarkable objects in the Library's world-renowned research collections. Learn more about this permanent exhibition and reserve your free, timed tickets. Can't make it to New York? Here's Winnie's digital exhibition page including an audio description and you can find a video below talking about how Winnie came to live at NYPL.

In honor of Winnie-the-Pooh's 101st birthday, we've put together a book list of stories and history about Pooh and his creator. We also invite you to learn more fun facts about Pooh and explore a historical timeline

Come See Winnie and Friends Yourself!

The Winnie-the-Pooh toys are on display at The Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library's Treasures, a free permanent exhibition highlighting our world-renowned research collections. Learn more about visiting the exhibition.

Not in New York? Below, listen to expert Library staff discuss some of the extraordinary items in the permanent Polonsky Exhibition and the collections that house them. Charles Cuykendall Carter, assistant curator in the Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle, shares how the original Winnie-the-Pooh toys ended up at the Library alongside other beloved pieces of children's literature.

Summaries provided via NYPL’s catalog, which draws from multiple sources. Click through to each book’s title for more.