A.A. Milne grew up in a school - his parents ran Henley House in Kilburn, for young boys - but never intended to be a children's writer. Pooh he saw as a pleasant sideline to his main career as a playwright and regular scribe for the satirical literary magazine, Punch.
September 2009 Good Housekeeping selection. On My Bookshelf by Penny Smith... Winnie The Pooh by AA Milne is brilliant because people are often like the animals – one of my brothers was like Eeyore, quite gloomy; I was like Rabbit, always tidying up. It was the first book I read on my own, so AA Milne was responsible for me becoming a bookworm, to the extent that when we were about to go out as a family, I used to hide behind the curtains reading, hoping my parents would forget there were four children and leave me behind. GMTV presenter Penny Smith is passionate about books and is now a novelist herself; her latest fiction, After The Break, is published by Harper Perennial.