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A. A. Milne

Looking for Heffalumps: life lessons from Winnie the Pooh

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All of us want an exciting name all to ourselves. Even stuffed bears from Harrod’s in London, who started out life as Edward Bear under the trusted care of one Christopher Robin. And so Edward became Pooh and Pooh became legend. There are few symbols of childhood as universally recognizable as Winnie the Pooh and his posse from the Hundred Acre Wood. And today the gang’s creator, A. A. Milne, turns a whopping 134 years old. As Pooh would say, “many happy returns of the day.” Between 1924 and 1928, Milne wrote four collections featuring Pooh and friends, many of the titles as indelible today as they were in the roaring twenties: When We Were Young (1924), Winnie-the-Pooh (1926), Now…

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Edamame Salami, or Eat Your Poetry; It’s Good for You!

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“Oh, Mom, we do enough of that in school.” My daughter’s reaction to the news that I’d be leading a poetry jam with her Girl Scout troop was pretty much what you’d expect from a hipster 10-year-old. But our troop leader had loved the idea, so it was a done deal, school poetry lessons or not. When the day arrived, of course we started with a snack. The troop had come straight from school on that May afternoon, and being fifth graders, they were as famished as if they’d just come from a 10-mile trek. Because poetry was the theme of the day, we’d have a “poetic” snack. First on the menu was Edamame Salami, which I had invented for…

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