Pupils from Brighton school visit Winnie-the-Pooh house ahead of prequel release

A GROUP of school children met with author of the new Winnie-the Pooh book in the forest which inspired the Hundred Acre Wood.

Pupils from St Martin’s Church of England School in Brighton visited the Winnie-the-Pooh inspired house in Ashdown Forest – the original inspiration for AA Milne’s tales.

The children met writer Jane Riordan – the author of the new prequel Winnie-the-Pooh: Once There Was a Bear.

The book is set to be published on Thursday, September 30 – the 95th anniversary of Winnie-the-Pooh.

The pupils enjoyed an afternoon of storytelling, den building and following in the footsteps of Christopher Robin, Pooh and friends.

The Argus: A Winnie-the-Pooh inspired house in Ashdown ForestA Winnie-the-Pooh inspired house in Ashdown Forest

Ashdown Forest CEO James Adler said they wanted to mark the anniversary in a “special way”.

“We were delighted to welcome the children to take part in what is a very exciting time for us,” he said.

“Obviously Winnie the Pooh is very close to our hearts here at Ashdown Forest.

“We were pleased that Jane also joined us. She has produced an excellent new book which I am sure will prove extremely popular.”

The new book, written in the style of AA Milne, takes readers back to when Pooh was brought from Harrods for Christopher Robbin.

It follows Pooh and friends on a number of outings, including one to London Zoo, while the second half of the book focuses on Ashdown Forest.

The Argus: Jane Riordan – the author of the new prequel Winnie-the-Pooh: Once There Was a Bear Jane Riordan – the author of the new prequel Winnie-the-Pooh: Once There Was a Bear

The author Jane says she cannot think of a time when she didn’t remember the Winnie-the-Pooh stories.

“The poetry has also been in my head for as long as I can remember,” she said.

“I was lucky enough to grow up in the countryside, with a river at the bottom of the garden and nearby there is a bridge which we still call the Poohsticks bridge.”

Speaking about the inspiration of the prequel, Jane added: “I loved the idea of seeing Pooh and Eeyore and Piglet in London, in the nursery that is written about so much in the poetry and also out and about in London as well.”

The Argus: The new prequel Winnie-the-Pooh: Once There Was a BearThe new prequel Winnie-the-Pooh: Once There Was a Bear

The book is also illustrated by Mark Burgess in the style of E.H. Shepard.

The Winnie-the-Pooh inspired house in Ashdown Forest was curated by Disney-appointed illustrator Kim Raymond and was listed on Airbnb.

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