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Pooh Bear returns after 80-year gap

A new Winnie-the-Pooh book will be released later this year, more than 80 years after his first adventure.

Egmont Publishing announced that Return to the Hundred Acre Wood will be published on October 5.

Generations of readers have wondered what became of Christopher Robin and Winnie-the-Pooh after AA Milne's The House At Pooh Corner, the sequel to Winnie-the-Pooh.

The new book will be published simultaneously in the United States.

Author David Benedictus's new manuscript was inspired by his familiarity with Winnie-the-Pooh's adventures after having worked on audio CD adaptations of previous Winnie-the-Pooh stories starring Dame Judi Dench, Stephen Fry and Jane Horrocks.

Benedictus was commissioning editor for drama series at Channel 4, and ran The Book At Bedtime for BBC Radio.

He collaborated with illustrator Mark Burgess, who has also worked on Paddington Bear.

Benedictus said: "It's an honour to have my sequel to the original stories approved by the Pooh Trustees.

"I hope that the new book will both complement and maintain Milne's idea that whatever happens, a little boy and his bear will always be playing."

Winnie-the-Pooh was first published in 1926 and is available in 50 languages around the world.

Michael Brown, for the Trustees of the Pooh Properties, said: "We have been hoping for a good many years that we might one day be able to offer the world a sequel which would do justice to the original Winnie-the-Pooh stories.

"The original books were one of the greatest celebrations of childhood in any language, but we believe that David Benedictus and Mark Burgess have captured the spirit and quality of those original books.

"We hope that the many millions of Pooh enthusiasts and readers around the world will embrace and cherish these new stories as if they had just emerged from the pen of AA Milne himself."