Return to the Hundred Acre Wood Debuts the New Character

On Sale October 5

New York, NY (September 30, 2009)—A new character will join Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore will welcome Lottie the Otter, who will make her debut in Return to the Hundred Acre Wood, which goes on sale worldwide October 5th. Return to the Hundred Acre Wood, the first authorized sequel to A.A Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh and House at Pooh Corner, will be published by Dutton Children's Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group. Egmont will be publishing the book simultaneously in the United Kingdom. Note to press: The U.S and the U.K have different covers for Return to the Hundred Acre Wood.

Lottie the Otter, always dressed in pearls, is a smart and elegant character certain to cause a stir in the Hundred Acre Wood. Lottie has her own ideas about how things should be done and believes that everyone should follow the correct etiquette. She also knows a lot of facts and is a girl otter with great confidence. In Return to the Hundred Acre Wood, Lottie has a swim in Christopher Robin's bath, helps to set up a school for the characters in the Hundred Acre Wood, and turns out to be great at cricket!

Generations of readers have wondered what became of Christopher Robin and Winnie-the-Pooh after the end of A. A. Milne's The House At Pooh Corner, published in 1928. In the ten new stories, Christopher Robin returns from school for a host of new adventures with Pooh and his friends. To read an excerpt from Return to the Hundred Acre Wood, please visit www.penguin.com/pooh.

Author David Benedictus is delighted to have worked on this exciting project: "It's an honor to have created this new adventure for Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends, and it seemed only right that they have a new friend to enjoy such an adventure with. Lottie the Otter truly embodies Winnie-the-Pooh's values of friendship and adventure seen throughout Milne's work, thus making the perfect companion for everyone's favorite bear."

Michael Brown, Chairman of the Trustees of the Pooh Properties, said, "Milne's stories may have been written in 1920's England but they are set in the enchanting world of a child's imagination. David's new stories, including the new character, arise naturally out of that world and so, like the original stories, are timeless. We hope the new character will appeal to readers of all ages worldwide."

Lauri Hornik, President and Publisher of Dutton Children's Books, said, "We are very excited about the publication of Return to the Hundred Acre Wood and are thrilled that the members of the Hundred Acre Wood will have a new friend to play with. We have no doubt that Lottie will feel right at home among Milne's original characters."

Dutton's Publishing History With Winnie-the-Pooh
Dutton officially introduced Christopher Robin and his "silly old bear" to the US in 1926 with the publication of Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne and illustrated by E.H. Shepard. However Pooh had a significant walk-on role in 1924 with the publication of When We Were Very Young by A.A Milne with illustrations by E.H Shepard.  Milne and Shepard went on to collaborate on two more titles: Now We Are Six in 1927 and The House At Pooh Corner, which introduced Tigger, in 1928.  Together, these four books form the basis of the original Pooh books. Newly-designed editions of all four books were published September 3rd.

Author David Benedictus' manuscript was inspired by his familiarity with Winnie-the-Pooh's adventures after having worked on Audio CD adaptations of previous Winnie-the-Pooh stories. David has collaborated with illustrator Mark Burgess to create what is sure to become another treasured Winnie-the-Pooh book.  Grammy Award winner Jim Dale will read the audio version of the book, which will be released simultaneously by Penguin Audio.

Notes to the press:
Writer David Benedictus adapted and produced the audio adaptations of Winnie-the-Pooh starring Dame Judi Dench, Stephen Fry and Jane Horrocks. His second novel was filmed by Francis Ford Coppola. He has worked as assistant to Trevor Nunn at the RSC, was Commissioning Editor for Drama series at Channel 4, and ran The Book At Bedtime for BBC Radio.

Illustrator Mark Burgess has illustrated countless classic children's characters including Paddington Bear and Winnie-the-Pooh. He also designs greetings cards, web sites, animations and special warm places for his cat to sleep.

Dutton Children's Books is one of the oldest continually operating children's book publishers in the United States. Established more than 150 years ago, the imprint publishes approximately 75 hardcover titles each year, for children from preschool through high school. Dutton is home to such perennial classics as Winnie-the-Pooh, Judy Blume's Fudge novels, Newbery Award-winners such as The Westing Game and My Side of the Mountain, and Caldecott winners and honor books including Rapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky.


Media contact:
Jess Michaels
Penguin Young Readers Group


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