Alan Alexander Milne (1882-1956) was the son of a Scottish schoolmaster. Milne won a scholarship to Westminster School and later read mathematics at Cambridge. His real interest was in lighthearted writing; he edited the undergraduate magazine Granta and at twenty-four he became assistant editor of Punch. After serving as a signals officer in World War I he won additional acclaim as a playwright. His great success, however, came as a writer of children's literature after publishing a series of verses about his young son Christopher Robin (When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six). Following the acclaim received for the Winnie-the-Pooh books, Milne published several novels as well as an autobiography, It's Too Late Now (1939). Christopher Toyne is an experienced actor, producer and director. He is the fourth generation of an established British theatrical family that includes Sir Gerald du Maurier, Daphne du Maurier, and Diana Beaumont. Having become a J. Arthur Rank contract child actor, he trained and worked as an actor in London during his youth. Some of his voice acting credits include PBS, NPT, OPB, Microsoft, Adobe, Nike, Intel, and numerous others. Actor Peter Dennis narrates the Pooh audiobooks. His intimate thirty-year association with the Pooh related works of A. A. Milne has resulted in numerous stage appearances and audio recordings, from a bicontinental tour of his one man show Bother! based on selections from the four Winnie-the-Pooh books to his comprehensive Blackstone Audio recordings. He was a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, played leading roles in London's West End and throughout the UK, and was a guest star on many television series in the United States, including Friends, Seinfeld, ER, and Star Trek: Voyager. A longtime friend of the Milne family, Peter passed away in spring of 2009. His last recording, The Path through the Trees, was a gift to Clare Milne, Christopher and Lesley's Milne's only child.
Gr all levels‘Penguin's production amplifies the fact that A.A. Milne has created some of the most memorable poetry and prose in children's literature. Charles Kuralt narrates all the tapes. When We Were Very Young resounds with Kuralt's lively reading of the nonsensical and onomatopoetic rhymes that fill the heads of toddlers. Opposite these poems, the narrator reads, with loving care, the verses about the real and imaginary playmates that warm youngsters' hearts. Now We Are Six reflects the growing complexity of a child's world. The narrator's voice is soft and vulnerable when reading of the innocent, inquisitive thoughts that preoccupy children, yet Kuralt speaks with a touch of exasperation when reading the poems depicting the young's struggle to understand the adult world. He does equally as well with Milne's stories. All the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood are introduced and their humorous escapades chronicled in Winnie-the-Pooh. While portraying the characters, Kuralt's child-like tone reflects their goodness, innocence, and wee intellect. The House at Pooh Corner continues the adventures of Pooh and introduces the bouncing, pouncing, lovable Tigger. Besides the delight children will experience when listening to the light-hearted, captivating stories, young listeners will also identify with the universal hopes, fears, and wishes of the characters. Kuralt's deep, learned-sounding voice gives the narration a fatherly, comforting feel. Libraries will want to acquire these high quality productions.‘Mark P. Tierney, William B. Wade Elementary School, Waldorf, MD