Here’s a true story that happened to a family of my acquaintance. It’s a cautionary tale about slapping introductions and other non-essential info into children’s books to make them more adult-friendly.
Boy of 4 or 5 years of age is learning to read and loves Winnie-The-Pooh.
Boy is aware that A.A. Milne wrote the books for his son Christopher Robin.
Boy gets a fancy new Pooh collection with color pictures for his birthday.
Boy reads on either the jacket flap or the introduction a little bio of A.A. Milne that ends with “Milne died in 19xx.”
Boy wails, “Christopher Robin’s Daddy died!”
You see, to the boy Christopher Robin is still a boy, too, and A.A. Milne is (or, rather, was) a timeless, magical figure.
(Illustrators, you’ll be pleased to know that the boy was also reported to lament the loss of E.H. Shepard, whose year of death was also given.)
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