Minimalistic graphic depicting Winnie the Pooh receiving pink flowers from his friend Piglet, who has gathered flowers in a basket sitting beside him.


Life can be tough. From anxiety about increasing climate change to inflation driving prices to unaffordable levels, we struggle to find our own ways of dealing with the ups and downs of modern life. Sometimes, it helps to look to others for advice or guidance—a trusted friend, a mentor, or Winnie the Pooh.  

Yes, Winnie the Pooh and his friends in the Hundred Acre Woods are dealing with the same challenges as the rest of us—at least, that is how Jennie Egerdie sees it. The Kitchener-born and raised author and comedian’s second book, OH, BOTHER: Winnie-the-Pooh is Befuddled, Too, tells stories of modern-day existential crises through the trials and tribulations of Kanga, Roo, Eeyore and Owl.   

OH, BOTHER: Winnie-the-Pooh is Befuddled, Too is a follow-up to Egerdie’s first book, Frog and Toad are Doing Their Best, which received an honourable mention in Vulture’s Best Comedy Books of 2021, alongside comedy books from comedians including Quinta Brunson and Mel Brooks. Both books are illustrated by Ellie Hajdu, an illustrator from Michigan who now resides in Oakland, California.  

Egerdie was born in Kitchener and graduated from Cameron Heights Secondary School. After graduation, she studied at the University of Toronto and then travelled before settling in Brooklyn, New York in 2017. She started focusing on her comedy writing and performing and quickly gained the attention of publishers and show promoters. Egerdie said she has been drawn to comedy from her earliest memories.  

 “What drew me to comedy? A desperate need to laugh,” she joked. “I love comedy. Like most of us, I grew up watching a lot of it. I think comedy is a great way to build resilience. It’s access to joy.”  

The characters created by A. A. Milne entered the public domain in 2022 after the author’s copyright expired. While there have been some interesting uses of the characters, including a horror film, Egerdie and Hajdu instead use the characters in stories that mirror our own lives, struggles, and choices.  

Each of the book’s 16 stories takes a modern-day challenge and puts it through the lens of one of the Hundred Acre Wood’s notable residents. In “In Which Owl Is Very Online”, Owl finds a laptop computer and soon discovers the joys of editing Wikipedia entries he deems incorrect, such as what food owls consume. As he goes deeper down the Wikipedia hole, he becomes dismayed at the misinformation he finds, even though he has added to it himself.   

“It’s as if they’re deliberately trying to spread falsehoods! Why, it makes it impossible to believe anything you read online,” Owl exclaims.  

Stories like “In Which Pooh Sorts His Recycling” allowed Egerdie to examine current struggles in a safe place. She said the Hundred Acre Woods is the perfect setting to explore something like environmental anxiety.  

“I think about Winnie the Pooh a lot. I grew up with it, as I think we all did. They are a big touchstone for personalities and for emotions, and I think that’s such a great kind of comfortable, joyful place to explore existential dread. The book started as a very small way of looking at environmental anxiety and exploring how we as people handle it within a community,” she said.  

While Egerdie calls Brooklyn home, she does return to Kitchener to visit family and speak at events. She led a humour writing workshop at the 2023 Femme Folks Fest and is coming to Words Worth Books on May 30, 2024, for a book launch event for OH, BOTHER: Winnie-the-Pooh is Befuddled, Too.