Lindsay Mattick | Author of Finding Winnie
Bailarín Cellars celebrates those who do what they love. Their passion for life is unstoppable and their enthusiasm is infectious. We celebrate these "dancers" in our hero feature and learn from their words of wisdom.
This month we celebrate Lindsay Mattick. As an international award-winning children's book author, she has let the world in on her family story about the "real-life" inspiration behind Winnie the Pooh.
WHAT MAKES YOU DANCE?
"Sharing my family story and watching a dream come true.
I was about nine years old when my grandfather Fred Colebourn showed me a remarkable piece of our family history. It was a small, leather bound black diary from 1914 that belonged to his father, a veterinarian and soldier named Harry Colebourn. Inside the diary, among many observations about the first World War was an entry that would change the course of children's literature: 'August 24th, 1914, Left Port Arthur 7am, Bought Bear, $20'.
That bear of course, was the bear cub Harry would name Winnie after Winnipeg, his adopted city in Canada. Harry's Winnie would go on to inspire A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh stories.
This story - that the world's most famous bear was inspired by a real bear cub - and that the bear belonged to MY great grandfather was a story that captured my imagination immediately. It was a story that I shared as a kid with my classmates and as an adult at cocktail parties. It was a story I knew one day I would need to share with my own child. My dream was to share it as a picture book.
In the fall of 2015 that dream became a reality. Finding Winnie, illustrated by the incredible Sophie Blackall, published by Little Brown, hit shelves across the United States, Canada, the UK and Australia. As such, I've had the chance to share my family story around the world- from the Lincoln Centre in NYC to The House at Pooh Corner near Ashdown Forest (The Hundred Acre Wood), to the London Zoo in England where the statue of my Great Grandfather and Winnie stands. I've had the chance to meet children, families, teachers, librarians and even a few special guests - like Prince Charles to whom I presented a gift to his grandson Prince George.
Later this year Finding Winnie will be translated and published in another six countries from Italy to China, and just last week I found out it hit number one on the New York Times Best Seller list after winning the 2015 Caldecott Medal.
The chance to tell my family story with people around the world has been a remarkable and joy-filled adventure. It is a gift in my life and forever proof that dreams come true."
Finding Winne is available at bookstores across the country. www.lindsaymattick.com.