When We Were Very Young is a best-selling book of poetry by A. A. Milne.[1] It was first published in 1924, and was illustrated by E. H. Shepard. Several of the verses were set to music by Harold Fraser-Simson. The book begins with an introduction entitled "Just Before We Begin", which, in part, tells the reader to imagine for themselves who the narrator is, and that it might be Christopher Robin. The 38th poem in the book, "Teddy Bear", that originally appeared in Punch magazine in February, 1924, was the first appearance of the famous character Winnie-the-Pooh, first named "Mr. Edward Bear" by Christopher Robin Milne. In one of the illustrations of "Teddy Bear", Winnie-the-Pooh is shown wearing a shirt which was later coloured red when reproduced on a recording produced by Stephen Slesinger. This has become his standard appearance in the Disney adaptations.


  • Corner of the Street
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Happiness
  • The Christening
  • Puppy and I
  • Twinkle Toes
  • The Four Friends
  • Lines and Squares
  • Brownie
  • Independence
  • Nursery Chairs
  • Market Square
  • Daffodowndilly
  • Water Lilies
  • Disobedience
  • Spring Morning
  • The Island
  • The Three Foxes
  • Politeness
  • Jonathan Jo
  • At the Zoo
  • Rice Pudding
  • Missing
  • The King's Breakfast
  • Hoppity
  • At Home
  • The Wrong House
  • Summer Afternoon
  • The Dormouse and the Doctor
  • Shoes and Stockings
  • Sand Between the Toes
  • Knights and Ladies
  • Little Bo Peep and Little Boy Blue
  • The Mirror
  • Halfway Down
  • The Invaders
  • Before Tea
  • Teddy Bear
  • Bad Sir Brian Botany
  • In the Fashion
  • The Alchemist
  • Growing Up
  • If I Were King
  • Vespers
  • "Vespers" being in the library of the Queen's Dolls' House, is here by special permission


Vespers used to be the name for the evening prayer service in the Roman Catholic church.[2]

Now We Are Six in popular culture

Christopher Matthews published a book of poetry called Now We Are Six featuring skits on these poems such as Lets Go Mad after Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace.

See also


  • Milne, A. A. "When We Were Very Young". Methuen & Co.; London, 1924
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