Title: The Tao of Pooh
Author: Benjamin Hoff
Publish Date: February 6, 2003 (first published 1982)
# of Pages: 176
(From Goodreads) The Wisdom of Pooh.
Is there such thing as a Western Taoist? Benjamin Hoff says there is, and this Taoist’s favorite food is honey. Through brilliant and witty dialogue with the beloved Pooh-bear and his companions, the author of this smash bestseller explains with ease and aplomb that rather than being a distant and mysterious concept, Taoism is as near and practical to us as our morning breakfast bowl.
Romp through the enchanting world of Winnie-the-Pooh while soaking up invaluable lessons on simplicity and natural living.
Rating (1-10, 10 is exceptional)
Quality of Writing – 3
Pace – 5
Enjoyability – 3
Insightfullness – 3
Ease of Reading – 4
Voice Acting – 6
Overall Rating – ⭐️⭐️
The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin is a quirky little book that attempts to explain Western Taoism through Winnie-the-Pooh.
This book has been on my TBR list for many, many years (no exaggeration). As I’ve said in previous blog posts, I enjoy learning about different religions and schools of thought, so this book seemed like a perfect fit. I didn’t know much about Taoism going into this book, and I can’t say I know a whole lot about it coming out of the book either. While the concept of the book is really neat, I didn’t love it.
So what did I like about the book? Again, the concept is really neat! Everyone knows Winnie-the-Pooh, so to explain a whole school of thought through Winnie the Pooh is ambitious and intriguing. While I don’t feel as though I learned a whole lot about Taoism by reading the book, the different topics that were covered were interesting. I enjoyed learning about the uncarved block, as well as the Taoist beliefs on knowledge and the pursuit of knowledge.
So what didn’t I like about the book? The biggest thing I disliked about the book was the different perspective shifts. I listened to the book on audiobook, so maybe the perspective shifts were clearer in the physical book, but I’m not convinced. First off, you had the first person narrative of the author speaking directly to you about the characters and different concepts. I preferred this perspective, as it was the most natural. Second, you had the author speaking back and forth with the characters of Winnie-the-Pooh. While cute, this added a lot of fluff to the book that wasn’t needed. Last, you had the author take a third person perspective and go over different events in Winnie-the-Pooh. In this perspective, the characters talked to each other but not the author. These different perspectives jumped back and forth in the audiobook, and it made the book feel awkward and clunky. I would have preferred the author to pick one perspective and stick with it.
The second thing I didn’t like about the book was how little it covered. The amount of actual content in the book was slim. If you cut out all of the stories, you maybe had two or three textbook pages of information. I chose this book to learn about Western Taoism in a unique way, and I don’t feel like I accomplished that.
The narrator for the book was pretty good. He did a great job with the material he was given, and his voice fit the book well.
Overall, this book wasn’t for me, but it was a short time commitment. I would recommend this book to others only if they’re die-hard Winnie-the-Pooh fans.
Have you read The Tao of Pooh? Did you like it more than I did?
Buy this book here*, or check it out at your local library.
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