book reviews happiness

Book review: The Tao of Pooh

I know most book reviews are of books that have recently come out, but I think that’s kind of a loss, because I’m always discovering books that are “new” to me that I want to share with people. So I’m going to do things a little differently around here and, whenever I find a book I think you guys would benefit from, I’ll do a little review of it.

Here is the first:

The Tao of who?

Currently I’m reading The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. A friend bought it for me because she knows I’m into the whole Zen-living movement (as well as cutesy things like talking stuffed bears!). And I have to say, it is my new absolute favorite book.

It’s easy to read and completely adorable, and it teaches you some really great lessons on simple living that you barely realize you’re learning, it’s such a light, enjoyable read.

Benjamin Hoff’s idea is fantastic. He uses the beloved Winnie-the-Pooh and friends to illustrate the basic principles of Taoism, a philosophy based on moving through life simply and without resistance.   Pooh, of course, represents the ideals of Taoism:he’s simple-minded (not “dumb,” just not complicated), he lives in the moment, and no matter what adventures he falls into, he always manages to get through them somehow because he just goes with them rather than fighting them.

Others in the Hundred Acre Wood are not so good at dealing with life: Piglet is always worrying and fretting, Owl is always wrapped up in wisdom and philosophy, Rabbit is too busy running around being Very Important, and Eeyore is too focused on the negatives. But Pooh—loveable, bumbling Pooh—knows the real secret to life: good friends, a sunny day, a full honey pot, and a little song on your lips. What more could you ask for?

Super-cute and surprisingly informative

This book just makes me feel happy and calm as I’m reading it…like a little dose of Taoism in itself!

It includes lots of snippets from the original Winnie-the-Pooh books to illustrate various aspects of Taosim, and it’s full of adorable sketches of the old-timey Pooh and friends (forget those modern Disney versions) that you can’t help but smile at.

It’s written very simply, like a conversation with a friend over tea (as Pooh jumps in to add his two cents), but it’s actually really informative and a great 101 lesson on the basics of Taoism. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to live a happier, less stressful life, anyone who grew up loving Pooh bear, and anyone who just needs a dose of uplifting philosophy to get them in the right mood to face the day.

(Next for me to read after this: The Te of Piglet!)  🙂

Have you read any great books recently you think we should check out?




  • I’m working on When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present. It’s got me all fired up with girl power and the completely inspiring stories of women made famous by the Women’s Movement and so many more that I’ve never heard of. It was published in 2009 so like you Em, I often pick up new-to-me books based on recommendations from others.

    And now I’ll add the Tao of Pooh to my library list. It sounds so wonderful and calming. Just what I need.

    • That sounds like a really inspiring book! I’ll have to check it out.

      Definitely add Tao of Pooh to your list. I always feel so relaxed and upbeat after reading it…it’s like my little dose of Zen for the day!

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