You may be surprised to know that Winnie the Pooh, that most quintessentially British of characters, has long been a hit in Russia.
Back in 2015, to coincide with our exhibition E. H. Shepard: An Illustrator’s War, we worked with the Russian Children's Book Festival on a panel discussion exploring the surprising relationship between British and Russian children's book illustration.
“The panel discussion was initially intended to track the influence Soviet illustration has had on work produced in France and the UK,” said event organiser Michael Czerwinski. “But it transpires that this is a much more complicated story of cross-fertilisation. Among other British children's literature classics, the Russians have a deep-rooted and continuous love for the work of A. A. Milne. Winnie the Pooh is a major figure within Russian children storytelling culture.”
To demonstrate this, panellist Olga Maeots, Head of the Children’s Literature Department at the All-Russian Library for Foreign Literature RUDOMINO and Assistant Professor in the Department of Illustration at Moscow University of Print, brought a selection of Russian interpretations of familiar characters from the Pooh stories, and you can view them below now.
Find out more about E. H. Shepard before Winnie the Pooh.