Now We Are Six by A A Milne and E H Shepard

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Now We Are Six by A A Milne and E H Shepard

Category: Children's Rhymes and Verse
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The second of A A Milne's classic books of children's poetry and verse does not disappoint. It's a book to treasure and pass down the generations. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 112 Date: February 2016
Publisher: Egmont
ISBN: 978-1405280860

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We can see the signs in The House at Pooh Corner that Christopher Robin is growing up and now he has school work to do. But he's a lucky little boy as he has Winnie the Pooh to help him. Or is he lucky, given that Winnie is also known as 'the Bear of very little brain'? Actually, Pooh has a message for us in the introduction: he says that he walked through the book one day, looking for his friend Piglet, and sat down on some of the pages by mistake. He hopes that we won't mind.

A A Milne has something to say to us in the introduction too, apart from some excellent advice about always going Er-h'r'm before we start reciting so that we have everyone's attention, and that is that the book has been three years in the writing and not all the poems are about when we are six. Some must have been when we were three and might seem a little babyish now. If there are, I haven't spotted them!

It's many years since I last read King John's Christmas, the story of the king who wasn't good, but whose Christmas was very lonely. He vacillates about what he really wants (crackers? candy? chocolates? a pocket knife that really cuts?) but deep down there's just one present for him and it's a big, red, india-rubber ball. The rhythm of the verse makes it a delight to read aloud, although the temptation to stop and study E H Shepard's 'decorations' was almost overwhelming - particularly the one where the king climbs up to the chimney pot (in the snow, apparently in his nightshirt) to leave a message for 'F.CHRISTMAS'.

Winnie-the-Pooh 'sat on' eleven of the poems. You can see him there in The Charcoal Burner, but my favourite is Us Two, where Pooh does his best to help Christopher Robin with his homework (mainly be agreeing with the conclusions at which Christopher Robin has already arrived) but I do love Shepard's full-colour picture of Pooh trying to climb the stairs behind the boy. It's essentially the same picture which features on the cover, but doesn't your heart go out to the bear?

There are more 'well-known' poems in When We Were Very Young and I did wonder if I mind find Now We Are Six something of a disappointment in comparison, but it didn't work out quite that way. When you know a poem you tend to read more quickly, searching for familiar phrases and rhythms, but where you're less familiar your reading is slower as you savour the words and images. It took me rather longer to read Now We Are Six than When We Were Very Young, but it was no less enjoyable.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag. My copy is a rather lovely hardback, of the type which gets passed down the generations and is complete with a silk bookmark and it would make a gorgeous present. You could combine it with Winnie-the-Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner and When We Were Very Young to make a splendid present which shelves together beautifully.

Buy Now We Are Six by A A Milne and E H Shepard at Amazon You could get a free audio download of Now We Are Six by A A Milne and E H Shepard with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Now We Are Six by A A Milne and E H Shepard at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Now We Are Six by A A Milne and E H Shepard at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Now We Are Six by A A Milne and E H Shepard at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Now We Are Six by A A Milne and E H Shepard at Amazon.com.


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