Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2023 Issue

Winnie the Pooh and Xi Jinping Too


A resemblance?

Winnie the Pooh banned in China? That's what the headline said. Maybe we shouldn't be surprised. We have had lots of stories of children's books being “banned” here in America recently. Dr. Seuss was “banned,” not really banned but Dr. Seuss Enterprises decided to discontinue publishing six of his books for some dated stereotypes of minorities. Those were common in the mid-twentieth century when these books were written. Roald Dahl's publisher did not actually ban any of his books either, but offered alternate versions of some titles that replaced a few words some might find insensitive with synonyms less likely to offend. Then there is Florida. What happened to Florida? Legislation now subjects books used in school libraries and classrooms to state censors, with librarians running the risk of going to jail for displaying unapproved books. It makes you wonder whether one of these days Goodnight Moon will be found too controversial for Floridian children to read.


This story hit the news wires when the Hong Kong distributor of the film Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey reported that it had been pulled from showing in local theaters. That film is a story of its own. To celebrate the expiration of the copyright on the original Winnie the Pooh book, filmmaker Rhys Frake-Waterfield created a horror film featuring Winnie the Pooh as you never knew him. You might think the reason for pulling the film was that Chinese authorities were upset by this desecration of the memory of our beloved Pooh bear. No. Chinese authorities are not such tender-hearted souls. They think Putin is a nice guy. A psychopathic stuffed bear would be just fine.


The problem seems to be a joke that has appeared off and on over the years in places like social media in China. Evidently, some people see a similarity in appearance between Winnie the Pooh and Chinese President Xi Jinping. I guess both are a little chubby, and while the original drawings by E. H. Shepard don't show a lot of resemblance, apparently the red-jacketed Disney version (not shown as it is still under copyright) have a greater similarity. I wouldn't have any trouble telling who is who but maybe there is some slight resemblance? Evidently, typical of most strongmen, Xi doesn't have the greatest sense of humor. There is no official ban on Pooh bear, and Winnie the Pooh toys and books are still available in China. It's the mocking usages, such as on social media, that does not go over well. As to why the murderous movie version of Winnie the Pooh is banned, that isn't clear, except maybe that version of Winnie the Pooh does resemble the real President Xi a little too much.

Posted On: 2023-05-01 11:54
User Name: midsomer

Maybe instead of joking about Winnie the Pooh and Xi Jinping (of course with references to book banning in America) you should be writing about Xi and the Uyghurs. You know those millions of people in China that have been placed in concentration camps and are being used as slave labor. It's amazing that so many woke people can get their underwear in a bind about banning a few books in the US but could care less about human genocide.

Posted On: 2023-05-01 16:00
User Name: AE244155

This being a site about books, we focus on stories related to books and collectible paper. I personally abhor what China has done to some of its own people, as I do about what Russia has done to the Ukrainian people (so many "un-woke" people seem to think slaughters conducted by Putin and his thugs are okay). If you had read the story all the way to the last sentence you would understand how I feel about Xi. However, I also oppose censorship in America and the increasing targeting of minorities, particularly LGBTQ and racial minorities that seems so in vogue these days among certain people and politicians. I know history and I know it can happen anywhere. If that makes me "woke" then I'm happy to wear that badge. Sorry.

Rare Book Monthly

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    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> "Cool Hand Luke" | Paul Newman Academy Award® Nomination Plaque. USD$2500 - $3500
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> "Hud" | Bound presentation script incorporating photographic stills. USD$1000 - $1500
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> "The Long, Hot Summer" | Movie Poster. USD$1000 - $1500
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> Joseph Heller | "Catch-22," inscribed to Woodward & Newman by author. USD$500 - $800
    <b><center>Sotheby's<br>The Joanne Woodward & Paul Newman Collection<br>26 May - 12 June</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> George H. W. Bush | Typed Letter Signed, Issuing a "Pardon" to Paul Newman. USD$1500 - $2000
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> William Jefferson Clinton | Inscribed Color Photograph. USD$1000 - $1500
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> Ken Kesey | Typed letter to “Paulnewman,” asking for further compensation for "Sometimes a Great Notion". USD$1000 - $1500
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> "They Might Be Giants" | Costume sketches by Edith Head. USD$1000 - $2000
  • <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Focus On Women:<br>At Auction June 1, 2023</b>
    <b>Swann June 1:</b> Sojourner Truth, <i>Narrative of Sojourner Truth, a Northern Slave,</i> first edition, Boston, 1850. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann June 1:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Pride and Prejudice,</i> London, 1817. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Swann June 1:</b> Cindy Sherman, <i>Secretary,</i> gelatin silver print, 1978; printed 1993. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Swann June 1:</b> Fanny Stevenson, Archive of Photographs & Letters, 1866-1904. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann June 1:</b> Charlotte Perkins Gilman, <i>The Forerunner,</i> Volumes I-VII; Family Association Set; Four Volumes Signed or Inscribed by the Author, New York, 1909-16. $3,000 to $5,000.
  • <center><b>Fonsie Mealy’s<br>Rare Book & Collectors’ Sale<br>May 30th and 31st, 2023</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, May 30 & 31:</b> The West Indies, C. 1792, by Sir William Young. Colonial Watercolours, etc. A highly important group of original watercolours now on the market for the first time in approx. 230 years. €10,000 to €15,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, May 30 & 31:</b> Gould (John). <i>The Birds of Great Britain,</i> 5 vols. lg. atlas folio, Lond. (Taylor & Francis) 1873. First Edition, with 363 hand-coloured plates. €9,000 to €15,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, May 30 & 31:</b> Joyce (James). <i>Ulysses,</i> thick 4to, L. (John Lane, The Bodley Head) 1936, Signed Limited Edition No. 20 (100) Copies. €8,000 to €12,000.
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy’s<br>Rare Book & Collectors’ Sale<br>May 30th and 31st, 2023</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, May 30 & 31:</b> Rackham (Arthur) illus. <i>The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm,</i> Lg. 4to Lond. (Constable & Co.) 1909. Lim. Edition No. 128 of 750 Copies, Signed by Author. €2,000 to €3,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, May 30 & 31:</b> Arctic Travel: Hearne (Samuel). <i>A Journey from Prince of Wales Fort in Hudson's Bay…</i> Thick 8vo Dublin, 1796. First Dublin Edition. €1,250 to €1,750.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, May 30 & 31:</b> Hand-Coloured Plates: Maw (George). <i>A Monograph of The Genus Crocus,</i> Lg. 4to Lond. (Culau & Co.) 1886. First Edn. €1,200 to €1,500.
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy’s<br>Rare Book & Collectors’ Sale<br>May 30th and 31st, 2023</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, May 30 & 31:</b> Holinshed (Raphael) & Stanyhurst (R.) <i>The Historie of Ireland from the First Inhabitation thereof, unto the Yeare 1509…</i> Folio, London, 1577, First Edn. €1,000 to €1,500.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, May 30 & 31:</b> Fine Hand-Coloured Plates: [Dalvimart (Octavien.)] <i>The Costume of Turkey, ... with Descriptions in English and French,</i> Folio Lond. (for Wm. Miller by Wm. Bulmer) 1804. First Edn. €750 to €1,250.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, May 30 & 31:</b> Astronomy: Nasmyth (James) & Carpenter (James). <i>The Moon: Considered as a Planet, a World, and a Satellite.</i> Lg. 4to Lond. 1874. First Edn. €700 to €1,000.
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    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, May 30 & 31:</b> Binding: Tennyson - <i>The Works of Lord Tennyson Poet Laureate,</i> 8vo Lond. (Macmillan & Co.) 1900. €700 to €1,000.
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    <b>Fonsie Mealy’s, May 30 & 31:</b> Alexander (James Edward). <i>Sketches in Portugal,</i> During The Civil War of 1834. 8vo Lond. (J. Cochrane) 1835. First Edition. €300 to €400.

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