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Dog named Carmen is latest to join Winnie the Pooh in the Hundred Acre Wood

Christopher Robin meets Carmen in Winnie The Pooh: Tales From The Forest (Mark Burgess/Trustees of The Pooh Properties/Trustees of The Shepard Trust/PA)
Christopher Robin meets Carmen in Winnie The Pooh: Tales From The Forest (Mark Burgess/Trustees of The Pooh Properties/Trustees of The Shepard Trust/PA)

A dog called Carmen is the latest animal character based on a toy to join Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin in the book series based on AA Milne’s work.

Author Jane Riordan was inspired to introduce the animal to the Hundred Acre Wood after discovering that the author of the children’s classics, Milne, had taken a toy dog mascot called Carmen with him when he served in the First World War.

She said the wife of the creator of the fictional teddy bear, Dorothy “Daphne” Milne, wrote in the Sunday Express in 1966 that: “(Alan Alexander) was saved from the (Battle of the) Somme by trench fever. He wrote to say that Carmen had found a French germ in the trench and blown it on to him.

“Four years after that (our son) Christopher Robin was born.”

Rabbit, Carmen, Christopher Robin, Pooh and Piglet eat blackberries
Illustrations by Mark Burgess of Rabbit, Carmen, Christopher Robin, Pooh and Piglet (Trustees of The Pooh Properties/Trustees of The Shepard Trust/PA)

The new collection Winnie The Pooh: Tales From The Forest sees the character Christopher, who was inspired by Milne’s son, go on adventures in seven new stories set after 1926’s Winnie The Pooh and 1928’s The House At Pooh Corner.

Riordan said: “It was fascinating to discover the little-known story told by Daphne Milne about AA Milne taking a small toy dog called Carmen with him when he served in the First World War.

“AA Milne even attributed his survival of the First World War to Carmen, so it felt appropriate to give this brave little dog a place alongside Christopher Robin and friends in our new story collection, Winnie The Pooh: Tales From The Forest.

“We feel she’s earned her right to enjoy the peace of the forest just like all the readers who have been delighted by the Winnie the Pooh stories over the years.”

The characters will have adventures in places such as Poohsticks Bridge and Eeyore’s Gloomy Place, as well as real-world locations including the British Museum and the Tower of London.

Riordan has previously been involved in Winnie The Pooh: Once There Was A Bear – Timeless Tales Inspired By Milne’s Classic Stories About The Nation’s Favourite Bear, as well as Winnie The Pooh Meets the Queen, and the recently published Winnie The Pooh Meets The King, celebrating the coronation.

Carmen sleeping. (Illustrations by Mark Burgess copyright © 2023 The Trustees of The Pooh Properties and The Trustees of The Shepard Trust)
An illustration by Mark Burgess of Carmen sleeping (Trustees of The Pooh Properties/Trustees of The Shepard Trust/PA)

Beloved literary character Winnie the Pooh appeared during the Coronation Concert festivities at Windsor Castle earlier this year.

Illustrator Mark Burgess – who has previously been involved in other Pooh books – has drawn Carmen in the style of artist EH Shepard’s original depictions.

Cally Poplak, executive publisher at Farshore, said: “Pooh and friends are as much a part of childhood now as they were almost a century ago – they remain wonderful stories to share aloud with children and to inspire a love of reading.

“So, as we look forward to celebrating the centenary in 2026, Farshore is delighted to be publishing this utterly charming new collection of adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood by Jane Riordan and Mark Burgess, who have truly captured the magic of the original stories by AA Milne and EH Shepard.’

Winnie The Pooh: Tales From The Forest written by Riordan and illustrated by Burgess will be published by Farshore on September 28.