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Winnie the Witch

Winnie the Witch's 25th Anniversary

16 July 2012

On Friday 13th July 2012, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the hugely popular character, Winnie the Witch.

Written by Valerie Thomas and illustrated by Oxford-based Korky Paul, the first, award-winning picture book was published by Oxford University Press (OUP) in 1987. Since then millions of young readers around the world have been spellbound by the magical, madcap adventures of Winnie and her long-suffering cat Wilbur.

On her official birthday, Winnie also starred in a very special birthday event at the Oxford Playhouse, along with BBC TV’s CBeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell and illustrator Korky Paul. This was streamed live online to an audience of thousands of children in schools and libraries both in the UK and from around the world.

Winnie’s birthday has already been celebrated at many high profile events from the Bologna Book Fair to the Hay Literary Festival. But, we are also expecting another 1,700 birthday bashes to celebrate Winnie’s special day in bookshops, in schools and in libraries throughout the UK. There will also be parties taking place in Dubai, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, USA, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and France.

Exhibitions of Korky Paul’s Winnie artwork will take place in Birmingham in July, Waterford City Library in Ireland during October, and in the OUP office in Oxford in November.

In her 25th year, Winnie has also leapt beyond the printed page to embrace a whole host of new and exciting digital ventures from eBooks to appearing in MagicTown, a fun, interactive subscription website for children where they can enjoy animated and narrated versions of their favourite Winnie picture books as well as trying activities and games inspired by the books.

As Kate Harris, Managing Director of OUP’s Education and Children’s Division says,
“With a wonderful programme of brand, new stories for 2012, as well as a special, sparkly new edition of the very first title, Winnie the Witch will be enchanting young children and encouraging them to become life-long readers for the next twenty-five years and beyond.”

For more information and to join in the fun see