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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
grit fiedler
I purchased this book for a class to read a couple chapters, but kept it to read more about the philosophical spin that Hoff puts on the stories of Pooh.
Very interesting read, and makes one stop and ponder life and its wonders.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nyssa walsh
My 14 yo DD found this book at the library and she looooved it! Unforntuatley they didn't have any of the other authors books so I purchased this as a birthday present, along with two other books by Hoff, as a birthday present for her next month!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
cdlmiyazono
I'm not a fan of this book I was expecting clever parallels between a children's book character and some deep thought. I guess there was a little bit of that in it, but honestly it just reads like a children's book.
The Four Agreements Beaded Bookmark :: Wisdom from the Four Agreements (Mini Book) :: A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery (A Toltec Wisdom Book) :: una guia practica para la libertad personal (Spanish Edition) :: The Happiness Animal
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
giselle
Speedy delivery great condition. This text I recommend for spiritual practitioners as base reading and for children.
Great perspective and life practices can be taken from this text and its brother text The tao of pooh.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
zemin
Couldn't finish it. In the beginning of the book, I wasn't overly sure where Hoff was going with the story about the "Great Separation" or "Golden Age" in the past, but I kept an open mind and approached it metaphorically. The chapter "The Eeyore Effect", however, did me in. It feels... awful. It's really hard to describe it. It takes Winnie the Pooh characters and vilifies them to absurd degrees while comparing them to poorly-interpreted early-90s issues. If there's anything to be learned about Te or Tao in this book, I certainly didn't pick up on it. Other reviewers say the book only goes downhill from The Eeyore Effect rants! I'm not going to read to find out for myself!!

If you like The Tao of Pooh, Winnie the Pooh, or Taoism, do yourself a favor and don't read this book.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
vicki lucas
This book was good and explained Taoism clearly to me. I just don't really think like that so I couldn't get into it, but my friend really enjoyed reading it and the Te of Piglet also. It's a great concept, I just have too many emotions to ever just BE, lol. Maybe someday I can relax and focus and get the point, but until then it would probably be best if you're actually interested in Taoism before buying this book.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
spuddie
I'll echo the sentiments of many others here. It's a good introduction, but the author is needlessly negative and critical towards other ways of thinking. It's pretty much put my off of wanting to learn anymore about Taoism.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
natalie rocks
The contempt the author repeatedly expressed for both science and education made this book inappropriate for my young boys, ages 4 and 6. The author used the cute characters to mask his contempt for many of the things I value in my life, and you perhaps value in yours.
I read this book at night to my 4 and 6 year olds. My four year old had chosen to read The Book of Pooh four times in a row. I had used his interest in Pooh to help him learn other things, like math and drawing. I saw this book as a way to introduce some big philosophical concepts.
This may very well be an introduction to Tao, I don't know. If "The Way" means basically "To Criticize" then this is it. The author's point seems to be "Be Like Pooh." The problem is, he cannot do it himself. If the author acted more like Pooh, his book would not be so objectionable to my children. Can you imagine Pooh criticizing at all?
When the author started talking about science as pointless and silly, my 6 year old (who was sitting in) asked what was wrong with science? He wants to be a scientist. And when the author went on on a tirade about academics and school and even (ironically) books, I was shocked. My boys are both in classes of some sort, and they don't know what to do with the author's low opinion of school.
There were many of these gems of knowledge. One other one I remember is that exercise is worthless. Better he says to just lay on the grass. No kidding. My kids are very active (as is Pooh) and I hope they are active their whole lives. The advice in this book is questionable at best, and totally inappropriate for children. If you are an adult, have failed at school, and sit on a couch all day, then this book will provide you with a justification.

The author is a Talk Radio DJ, in the disguise as a mystic, putting on a puppet show starring Pooh. He hijacks a childhood hero to vent his frustration at a failed college career. Underneath his "be simple, like Pooh" message is a great deal of anger and frustration that bubble to the surface in ill-chosen exaggerations about "narrow minded science" and "irrelevant academia" and joggers. Did he not get tenure at Cal Tech, or something? While he derides science as pointless study, one wonders if he drives a car, takes medicine, prints his books on printing presses, travels by some other means than his feet, in short... does he benefit from science? If so, the word "hypocrite" springs to mind.
We never finished the book. My four year old, who is FAR more Pooh-like than the author, simply knew that something wasn't right, and would actually pick another book and read it silently while I read this book aloud. He had never done that before, or since, and it was his Pooh way of telling me that this guy wasn't appropriate. So when my six year old asked, "How can he be against books - when he wrote one?" we stopped. The boy had a point. Any author of a book who derides authors and readers of books for being too academic is clearly a fool.
The author does not have the inner peace and sense of fun and play that Pooh possesses. Instead, he parades these cute characters about and (from time to time) sneers hate-filled generalizations about things he chooses not to respect. I hear his second book is the same, but worse. If that is "The Way" then count me out.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
rolf
While I'll concede that this book gives a nifty introduction to the tenets of Taoism by means of the extended Pooh analogy, the manner in which the author achieves this is downright dogmatic. You can't read a full page without him openly denouncing other belief systems, and his overly contemptuous attitude towards intellectualism is alarming. He portrays anybody who values the beauty of complexity or academics as a close-minded, arrogant bookworm, and grossly misrepresents the followers of various religions/faiths. Hoff definitely borders on the fanatical here, using far-reaching comparisons to make his offensive points, many of which don't even align with the true characteristics of Taoism. Jumping to conclusions and articulating uneducated descriptions regarding many aspects of contemporary culture and scholarship, I'm certain that Hoff has Lao Tzu turning over in his grave at his downright hateful quasi-environmentalist commentary. Don't waste your time with this book.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
koosha
Finally got around to reading this. I'm glad I read some of the more authoritative books on Taoism first. What Hoff presents here is a distinctly Westernized Taoism. For instance, he devotes pages to the Taoist philosophy of the Uncarved Block, or accepting things in their natural state. Then even more pages to finding your own true self and living in a way that's harmonious with it.

Then in the chapter "The Now of Pooh" he bashes what he calls "Cleverness" and "Knowledge," basically blaming them for trashing the planet and a host of other modern problems. Dang. What happened to acceptance of others and going with the flow? Turns out our good old Western judgementalism is harder at work in this author than he wants it to seem. (I'd argue a lack of cleverness and knowledge is what trashed the planet, knowledge could save it if we let it.)

My understanding from other Taoist texts is that knowledge and learning are helpful in your day-to-day life, it's just important to keep in mind that they're not the end all and be all, especially when it comes to spiritual matters. But in this book it felt like Hoff actively hates smart people and feels we'd all be better off if we just got diabetes from consuming too much honey. Such is the Way of Pooh.

I gave it three stars, because beyond some of the angry far left liberal ranting, it was a good attempt at bringing over a very old system of wisdom from the East in a way that's not intimidating. It did a lot to raise Western awareness for Taoism. And outside Rage Chapter, there is a lot of wisdom in this book we could all use.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
karie
This was a re-read for me - and well worth it! This is Perfection - the Uncarved Block. Here are some take-aways:
"The honey doesn't taste so good once it is being eaten; the goal doesn't mean so much once it is reached; the reward is not so rewarding once it has been given. If we add up all the rewards in our lives, we won't have very much. But if we add up the spaces between the rewards, we'll come up with quite a bit."

"Knowledge and Cleverness tend to go chasing after things that don't matter instead of seeing, appreciating, and making use of what is right in front of it."

"We simply need to believe in the poer that's within us, and use it."
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
danielle looman
This book was amazing! I read it with such intense pleasure that took me by surprise, because I'm not usually that keen on non-fiction and especially those "self-help" kind of books.

I was reading so many different parts of it out loud to my sister, that I might have just read the whole thing out to her and she had to tell me to stop, even though she did humor me for a big chunk of it.

The Tao of Pooh is interesting because of how it explains the basic principles and understanding of Taoism through Winnie the Pooh. It was entertaining with the wonderful and witty dialogue (that was quite fictional) that took place between the author, Benjamin Hoff and Winnie the Pooh and the rest of the characters. I loved the little excerpts from the actual Pooh books that explained different aspects of Taoism, and I absolutely loved that I could actually relate to every character explained and identify different people in my life through one of those characters.

The best part is that at the end of it, I felt that I actually grasped the concept of Taoism, and that is quite the accomplishment.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
sean castle
Benjamin Hoff uses Winnie the Pooh and his friends to explain the principles of the Tao.

There really is a fair bit of gentle wisdom to be extracted from the stories of Winnie, Eeyore, and the others, and Hoff does a decent job of it. Sadly, it's no more than decent. There's an insistent, one-note, "if you don't agree then clearly you just don't understand, and are wrong" tone that rears its head repeatedly. It does grate on me from time to time.

Yet at the same time, he also does, often, throughout this short book, quite nicely and charmingly capture the ways in which simple, uncomplicated Pooh can find the right answer while his "smarter" friends are getting lost in complications of their own making.

Overall, I enjoyed it, but perhaps just reading or listening to Milne's own stories might be even more rewarding.

I bought this audiobook.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
debbie kepley
Sometimes just for kicks I enjoy reading the extremes of what people have to say about books I've read. I usually look at the 5 stars then proceed to read the 1 stars. I just found it very odd that one of my favorite books was criticized the way it was. I'm not saying its bad to complain, lots of people do, Taoism as well as many other concepts came to be because of disagreements over how things were being perceived and managed; for if people were truly truly accepting and agreed with everything, then Lao Tse would never have had the desire to teach us.

The most basic complaint is how Mr. Hoff butchered the views of Taoism by criticizing western philosophy; which is strongly and firmly dependent on capitalism, personal gain, and over stimulation. What is ironic is how Taoism was born in the very similar society that shared those common views. Another ironic twist is in the actual commenting of all the negatives in this book. Mr. Hoff describes that there are many people who ONLY LOOK AT THE NEGATIVES (eeyore-complex), while never appreciating the positives of what they are. All fundamental principles of Tao has been carved into this book with examples taken and provided by famous scholars in this book.

The other ironic thing I found can be traced to an example within the "Te of Piglet." There is mention of how a man had something stolen from him, he sees a boy who looks and talks exactly like a thief, so he assumes it was the boy. The man found that stolen item and the next day he sees the same boy who looks and talks exactly like a boy; while in neither of those days the actions of the boy changed. In comparison, the book has been read by countless of people with pooh-like and piglet-like positivity, and yet, this same book (with no changes in the words mind you) was read by people with negativity having a tigger-like personality of expecting too much and not getting what they wanted.

Apparently, people love nit-picking. "I like SOME concepts of Taoism" "I agree with SOME parts of the book". I just feel the some of the comments were lies. "I like Tao, I like Pooh.. but this book destroyed it." Well, I like Tao, I like Pooh, and I think this book enables it.

The main emphasis is that we DON'T live in a Taoist-like society because we ignore all the good things about what Tao can teach us. He mentioned in the very end of Tao of Pooh, "within each of us there is an Owl, a Rabbit, and Eeyore, and a Pooh. For too long we have chosen the way of Owl and Rabbit. Now, like Eeyore, we complain about the results. But that accomplishes nothing. If we are smart, we will choose the way of Pooh. As if from far away, it calls to us from the voice of a child's mind." But of course the people who bash this book will never read that far, because their inner owls and inner rabbits are impatiently looking and focusing on the downsides of a book that was made to show how Taoism can cope with the negativity that can surround most of us.

As a side note, I don't feel it was Mr. Hoff's intention to make fun of any of the characters. He used the characters as symbols to help explain the principles of Tao by over exaggerating their personalities. Eeyore doesn't really think everyone is dumb, nor does he down grade anyone but himself; yet there are people out there who do. Rabbit is not someone who is ignorant about facts and is impatient as he is perceived in the Winnie the Pooh books, but in this, he is a symbol for the people out there who are. Like-wise for owl and everyone else.

All I'm saying is that we generally focus on the most unimportant parts in society, even if they are important to us, it is okay to accept it. But sometimes we have to breathe in, stop doing what we are doing once in a while, and flow like a pebble in an ocean. If you can't come to terms with that from reading the first chapter of this book, then Taoism is not for you.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
elle
I read this book in conjunction with the Tao Te Ching by Stephen Mitchell, just for kicks. My copy of The Tao of Pooh came from my mother's bookshelf; when she died several years ago this was one of the few books I kept that was hers.

At 158 pages, this is a short book. The print is larger than normal. Hoff borrows text and illustrations *generously* from previously published A.A. Milne stories about Winnie-the-Pooh. (FYI, it was Disney who dropped the hyphens.) to illustrate points he's trying to make about the Tao.

And what is Hoff teaching?

Well, I learned that there are Taoist martial arts.

I learned of a man named Li Ching Yuen, who, when he died in 1933, was supposedly 197 (some believe 256) years old.

I learned that Mr. Hoff doesn't always follow his own teachings; he lets himself go on a rant about busy people, "Miserable Puritan[s]" (and their "Party-Crashing Busybody religion") and the "Restless Pioneer" and the "rigid, combative fanatic" that modern folk are, in his mind. His understanding of the discovery and exploration of North America seem straight out of a modern-day children's coloring book.

I learned of a few Taoist terms, most importantly "T'ai Hsu"--the "Great Nothing." I liked Hoff's translation of Chapter 48 of the Tao Te Ching better than Mitchell's to describe the practice of emptying: "To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day."

Ultimately, though, I learned that Hoff spoiled a good read for me when he let's himself be overcome by Western ideas of the destruction of the world. It's too bad. He started out fine then lost his own way, and not in the Hundred Acre Wood.

I don't like it
1/5 Goodreads
2/5 the store
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
pressley powell
This book highlights all of the ways that the characters of Winnie The Pooh were great examples of Taoism. Every single point that was brought up was backed by many examples. Many of which included dialogues with the characters themselves.

I really enjoyed this book. I felt like I learned a lot. I think I'll have to go back and reread it a few times in the future, but it was a good book nonetheless. Very short and easy to read. I will also never be able to look at Winnie the Pooh the same ever again.

The narration of this was fantastic. I'm not sure if the same narrator played them all or if it was played by many different narrators. Either way, it was very spot on with the characters. I loved it and can't wait to hear it played again!

I fully recommend this book. It's very enlightening. It's also very educational. It will also make you question everything you ever believed about Winnie The Pooh and make you see the story in a completely new and deeper look. Or maybe it won't. You'll have to pick it up and see for yourself.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
jill hughey
Didn't like it. I thought it was a over-pretentious and wispy in substance. The author is not someone that would strike me as "Tao." I guess you can label me as Confused.

Why does the author choose to capitalize arbitrary Words? This book can be seen as an edgy, exploratory Western art piece rather than a true Taoist text. This is a Western interpretation of Taoism, and the authors desire to possess the oriental philosophy is very apparent, but the book is more of a contrived homage because he was not molded or immersed like the Eastern Taoists were.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
sidik fofana
This is my first book on Taoism, so my perspective may be different from others who are more acquainted with the Way. I understand that part of the teachings of Taoism is to reject change. Still, I found Mr. Hoff’s disdain for technology, feminism, and teacher’s practices a bit off-putting. He makes a lot of ‘east’ and ‘west’ comparisons based on assumptions. There is a lengthy list of eastern discovery’s that seem to only serve to discredit the west. There are no citations to back up his claims and he ignores some other eastern innovations like foot binding. His views on the military are misguided. Reading what he thinks the military is like is like me telling a woman how pregnancy feels. Some of what he writes may not contradict Taoism, but it does contradict his interpretation of it. Particularly the ‘What If’ versus ‘What Is’. At some points, it feels he is pushing an agenda different than teaching Taoism.

All of that is easily brushed aside. This book earns its stars for its use of A. A. Milne’s characters and a variety of quotes. When he is not writing about the evils of the west he makes understanding Taoism very clear. He teaches lessons through dialog with the 100 Acre Forest cast. My favorite chapters featured Eeyore and Tigger.

This book is an excellent first step to learning the Way.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
margaret pinard
This book is not for everyone. While some of the reviewers here seem to take great exception to the contents--mostly accusing Hoff of "ranting" and spewing negativism, there are some points here that are extremely important to us. I don't believe Hoff is ranting at all--he's merely pointing out very clearly the ways in which our contemporary Western culture has strayed from what is called "the Way." Should this be done more nicely? Absolutely not--the truth needs to be told. And the truth will make many people uncomfortable, especially if that truth shows how those people are living their lives in impractical, unsustainable ways. But some things need to be said. His words from almost a decade and a half ago have become even more true in the last 15 years as our culture has continued spinning down a huge, nasty drain that leads no one knows where.

I'm surprised at the number of people who say that he can't be a true follower of the Tao simply because he's pointing out problems with our society. That's simply not true. If I become a student of the Tao, do I have to then blindly follow whatever our politicians, businesspeople, and entertainers say I should follow? And if I don't follow it, do I then need to stay quiet about it? No. Likewise, many reviewers claim that he says the Eastern ways are better, whereas what he's really doing is saying that they're different. Those differences may lead to a higher quality of life, of course, but Hoff doesn't say that they're necessarily better. If I say that German cities are cleaner than most United States cities, I am not saying that Germany is better than the U.S.--nor am I even implying this. I'm simply saying that German cities are cleaner than most United States cities.

And Hoff does not hate Eeyore, as some say. He says that Eeyores bring nothing but doom and gloom to the party, and that he tends to bring others down with his attitude. This is true. But he also makes it clear late in the book that he himself needs to give love to the Eeyores of the world.

If you're expecting a nice little harmless book to make you feel all better inside, this isn't it. This is an examination of just how far our culture has strayed from the way of the small, from the Virtue of the Small, and in order to point out positive ways of living life, Hoff has examined several of the negative ways that are harming our planet, our fellow people, and all the plants and animals around us. It is not a rant, and it is not even harshly judgmental. Some things need to be said, and the things in this book very well may make you feel uncomfortable. But it's important that we address the discomfort that we feel without simply blindly lashing out at Hoff for pointing out the problems. Most of the discomfort originates in us ourselves. A true follower of the Tao will know that nothing that other people say should upset us, because they're simply words, and that if they do upset us, we need to realize that our discomfort is our own.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
arthetta rodgers
This book is required for an MBA course at CSUEB called "Managerial Psychology." The professor would first present the subject, have us read the applicable chapter of this book and write a 2 page paper on how it applies in your life. It was used in conjunction with the book "Creativity in Business", a book I reviewed in October 2013.

The 4 star review by A Kid's Review (October 30, 2006), particularly the statement "Winnie the Pooh (Taoism) is without knowledge to cloud his mind and making things too complicated so he can find solutions that help him in the way he needs them to..." accurately summarizes how the professor wanted the students to use the book during the course in an attempt to help us in our decision making and lives in general.

The chapter Bisy Backson is the one I found most humorous, as it typified how one can be aimless and uncalculating in their efforts, just expending their energy with no solid return on their investment and unwilling to change themselves while trying to change everyone and everything.

An excerpt from the Bisy Backson chapter:

"The main problem with this great obsession for
Saving Time is very simple: you can't save time.
You can only spend it. But you can spend it wisely
or foolishly. The Bisy Backson has practically no
time at all, because he's too busy wasting it by trying
to save it. And by trying to save every bit of it,
he ends up wasting the whole thing."
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
paperbacksarah
The Tao of Pooh is about “how to stay happy and calm in all circumstances.” Benjamin Hoff uses the characters and stories from Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner to explain basic concepts of Taoism. He also brilliantly integrates his own brief dialogue with the characters as segues into explanations of Taoist principles. Tao (pronounced DAO) means “the way.”

“The basic Taoism that we are concerned with here is simply a particular way of appreciating, learning from, and working with whatever happens in everyday life. From the Taoist point of view, the natural result of this harmonious way of living is happiness.” Hoff frequently refers to Lao-tse, author of the oldest book on Taoism. “According to Lao-tse, the more man interfered with the natural balance produced and governed by the universal laws, the further away the harmony retreated into the distance. The more forcing, the more trouble.”

Hoff explains the principle of the Uncarved Block, meaning things in their natural state. “From the state of the Uncarved Block comes the ability to enjoy the simple and the quiet, the natural and the plain. Along with that comes the ability to do things spontaneously and have them work, odd as that may appear to others at times… When you discard arrogance, complexity, and a few other things that get in the way, sooner or later you will discover that simple, childlike, and mysterious secret known to those of the Uncarved Block: Life is Fun… The Uncarved Block is a way of saying, ‘like Pooh.’”

Pooh sings a song called Cottleston Pie. One of the lines is “A fly can’t bird, but a bird can fly.” Hoff interprets this to mean that you shouldn’t try to force a square peg in a round hole as that would ignore the reality that “things are as they are.” Another line in the song is “A fish can’t whistle and neither can I.” Hoff interprets this line as knowing one’s limitations. “There’s nothing wrong with not being able to whistle, especially if you’re a fish. But there can be lots of things wrong with blindly trying to do what you aren’t designed for.”

”No two people are the same, either. Everything has its own Inner Nature… The first thing we need to do is recognize and trust our own Inner Nature, and not lose sight of it. For within the Ugly Duckling is the Swan, inside the Bouncy Tigger is the Rescuer who knows the Way, and in each of us is something Special, and that we need to keep.” This chapter reminds me of career books such as Strengths Finder 2.0 and What You’re Really Meant to Do, which advise capitalizing on one’s strengths and interests rather than pursuing a path of resistance.

In a chapter titled The Pooh Way, Hoff explains Wu Wei, which means “without meddlesome, combative, or egotistical effort… The efficiency of Wu Wei is like that of water flowing over and around the rocks in its path—not the mechanical, straight-line approach that usually ends up short-circuiting natural laws, but one that evolves from an inner sensitivity to the natural rhythm of things.”

“When we learn to work with our own Inner Nature, and with the natural laws operating around us, we reach the level of Wu Wei. Then we work with the natural order of things and operate on the principle of minimal effort... Mistakes are made—or imagined—by man, the creature with the overloaded Brain who separates himself from the supporting network of natural laws by interfering and trying too hard.”

Winnie-the-Pooh is a Bear of Very Little Brain. “While the clear mind listens to a bird singing, the Stuffed-Full-of-Knowledge-and-Cleverness mind wonders what kind of bird is singing…. It’s rather significant that Pooh, rather than the thinkers Rabbit, Owl, or Eeyore, is the true hero of Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner.” Pooh doesn’t overcomplicate things.

“Lao-tse wrote, ‘To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.’”

I was surprised to see Henry David Thoreau quoted in this book. What does a 19th Century New Englander have to do with Taoism? With a bit of context, there is actually an interesting parallel. Hoff writes, the Taoists “tended to see Confucianist scholars as busy ants spoiling the picnic of life.” Thoreau actually said something very similar: “Still we live meanly, like ants… Our life is frittered away by detail… Simplify, simplify.” (Hoff quoted a different paragraph from the same chapter of Walden.)

One day Rabbit went to visit Christopher Robin and he found a note saying, “GON OUT. BACKSON. BISY. BACKSON. C.R.” Hoff uses Bisy Backson as a metaphor for one who is constantly busy with a frantic schedule. “Let’s put it this way: if you want to be healthy, relaxed, and contented, just watch what a Bisy Backson does and then do the opposite… Practically speaking, if timesaving devices really saved time, there would be more time available to us now than ever before in history. But, strangely enough, we seem to have less time… The Bisy Backson has practically no time at all, because he’s too busy wasting it by trying to save it.” Although the book was written in 1982, this seems very relevant in the age of the smartphone.

“Do you really want to be happy? You can begin by being appreciative of who you are and what you’ve got. Do you want to be really miserable? You can begin by being discontented. As Lao-tse wrote, ‘A tree as big around as you can reach starts with a small seed; a thousand-mile journey starts with one step.’ Wisdom, Happiness, and Courage are not waiting somewhere out beyond sight at the end of a straight line; they’re part of a continuous cycle that begins right here. They’re not only the ending, but the beginning as well.”

“Within each of us there is an Owl, a Rabbit, an Eeyore, and a Pooh. For too long, we have chosen the way of Owl and Rabbit. Now, like Eeyore, we complain about the results. But that accomplishes nothing. If we are smart, we will choose the way of Pooh. As if from far away, it calls to us with the voice of a child’s mind. It may be hard to hear at times, but it is important just the same, because without it, we will never find our way through the Forest.”
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
misa
This book is all about understanding Taoism, but it explains it in a very interesting way. If you are at all familiar with Winnie-the-Pooh, then I think you would find this educational book highly entertaining. I grew up with Winnie-the-Pooh. I know all the Winnie-the-Pooh stories very well from both the books as well as the cartoons/movies. The way this book is written, you can hear that narrators voice in your head while reading it as well as all of the Winnie-the Pooh characters. I completely enjoyed this book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
buncombe
After having read this book, I felt a bit sad that, as a child or even as an adolescent, I never read a Winnie the Pooh book by A.A. Milne. But, when I remember back to my reading experiences growing up, my favorite subject matters were history, biographies, science and the paranormal. My mind felt that it needed to take in as much knowledge as possible in order to "know" about the "real world" and understand reality, as I observed and experienced it.

Thus, it's no wonder that I skipped past a lot of wisdom and insight about myself and my place in Life. Instead of appreciating simplicity, I admired complexity, thinking that if I held more keys or codes to the locks and riddles of life then I'd have an advantage over the next person. I grew up in a community that believed life was full of competition and adversaries.

I wasn't living life to know myself better; I was living to prove to myself, and others, that I was more knowledgeable and better prepared for life than other people.

Regrettably, as a young adult, and even as I got older, I never read the tao te ching, even though I was aware of its existence. But, things start to come together in life, for whatever reason, and it a took a special someone to introduce me to The Tao of Pooh at just the right time in my life. And, I'm very grateful for it.

Sometimes, it takes a book like this to clear the board for you, so to speak, so that you can see the big picture and the Big Picture can see You.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ben wilson
Recipe for Tao of Pooh
1. 1 cup of Eastern Chinese philosophy
2. 2 cups of Winnie the Pooh
3. 3/4 quart of wisdom
4. 3 Handfuls of fabulous drawings by Ernest Shepard
5. The key to Happiness
Mix them all together and you have the Tao of Pooh.

The Tao of Pooh is a book that I loved whole heartily. Basically as the title suggest it's a allegorical interpetation of A.A. Milne's characters in the world of Daoism or Taoism. Inside this slender novel you will find some of the best advice I've ever heard.

I learned so much about Taoism, alot more than I learned when I was in school. The Tao of Pooh helped me appreciate Taoism so much more and I saw how fantastic the principles of it are. This book gave Taoism a deeper meaning than just some old philosophy. You may not be a Taoist but you still can enjoy this novel and the wisdom it proved me with such as:

"Everything has its own place and function. That applies to people, although many don't seem to realize it, stuck as they are in the wrong job, the wrong marriage, or the wrong house. When you know and respect your Inner Nature, you know where you belong. You also know where you don't belong."

"You'd be surprised how many people violate this simple principle every day of their lives and try to fit square pegs into round holes, ignoring the clear reality that Things Are As They Are."

Benjamin Hoffman took of the most recognized characters in the world and used him to teach valuable lessons. This is one of the most original novels I have read and it was a quick read. I already have it's companion called the Te of Piglet waiting to be read. This practical book is about finding your inner self and making your life more positive. This one of the few inspirational books that I really enjoyed and I recommended it to everyone whether you are 10 or 110.
5/5 Stars
Must Read
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
frans
Lately, I have been really interested and fascinated about the whole philosophy of Taoism. I have become very intrigued with the reading of the short stories and trying to find the meaning of each one. Living a life of simplicity and harmony has really appealled to me lately.

I came across this book and decided to give it a read. As I continue to learn about Taoism and all the great insights and wisdom that you can derive from Taoism I needed something that would speak to me on a level that made sense. I believed this book did the job.

I found the book interesting and engaging. Using Winnie the Pooh I was to begin to construct a basic understanding of Taoism.

I am currently reading some more books on Taoism and trying to find ways to incorporate more of the beliefs into my way of life. This book was a great entry point for me to begin my learning journey.

There were some poems that I really liked, but in the end I wrote down a few quotes that stuck out to me.

** Knowledge and Experience do not necessarily speak the same language.**
**....isn't knowledge that comes from experience more valuable than knowledge that doesn't**
**one disease, long life; no disease, short life**
**easiest way to get rid of a minus is to cahnge it into a plus**
**Tao does not do, but nothing is not done.**
**flow like water, reflect like a mirro, respond like an echo**

Great stuff right there. I recomend this read. I am also interested in reading more and expanding my thoughts and knowledge.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
janis lanka
"...the basic Taoism that we are concerned with here is simply a particular way of appreciating, learning from, and working with whatever happens in everyday life. From the Taoist point of view, the natural result of this harmonious way of living is happiness."

There are some things that I've accepted that my brain is just not built to understand. Calculus and Economics are a couple of examples. But the one shining example is Philosophy. My freshman year of college I signed up for Philosophy 101 but I knew right from the start I was going to have difficulty. Most people would have stuck it out and studied super hard, but I? Timed it just right and booked it out of there when the teacher's back was turned to the class. Yes. I am a coward. So suffice it to say, Philosophy and I don't have a good track record. But if my Philosophy professor spoke of Philosophy (and maybe incorporated some Pooh-isms into his lecture) as Benjamin Hoff does in 'The Tao of Pooh' I think I would have lasted more than 10 minutes.

'You'd be surprised how many people violate this simple principle every day of their lives and try to fit square pegs into round holes, ignoring the clear reality that Things Are As They Are.'

The Tao of Pooh discusses many Taoist principals by relating them to the characters from Winnie the Pooh. Winnie the Pooh symbolizes the Taoist ideal of a still and calm mind and his ability to accomplish tasks "effortlessly" and is a true personification of the Taoist foundation. At heart 'The Tao of Pooh' manages to be a simplified and practical introduction into the ideals of Taoism and how to go about incorporating them into your daily lives in order to change things for the better.

'You can't save time. You can only spend it, but you can spend it wisely or foolishly.'

While I had already read this book years past, the narrator of this audiobook was perfection and truly made this book even more spectacular. I had the pleasure of listening to Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner on audio (narrated by Peter Dennis) and I must say that Simon Vance did an incredible job with the different voices of Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and the rest of the gang from The Hundred Acre Wood. This production was nominated for an Audie in the Solo Narration--Male category and is in my opinion completely deserving of the nomination.

'The wise know their limitations; the foolish do not.'

While 'The Tao of Pooh' may not be the most profound study in Philosophy or Taoism, it makes it clear and concise and thoroughly enlightening.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
anneka vander wel
I'm ashamed to say that I've been so much of a Busy Backson that I had this book on my shelf for abut five years before reading it.

This is my first official introduction to Taoism. Overall, I enjoyed the examples and felt that it had some great insights into how to live a happier life.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the book included pronunciation guidance for some of the Chinese terms--and found out that I'd been mispronouncing a co-worker's name for years. I was happy to fix this--wish I would have known sooner.

As a scientist, I disagreed with several sections where it instructed people to avoid asking too many questions. I understood the philosophy--the danger of asking questions is that you'll never be satisfied. However, without enough people asking questions, there are so many things that we'd never know, and that would be a real shame.

I'm not sure how this will affect me long-term, but I think it was well worth the read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
patrik
I was given this book back in 1983 by a then co-worker that shared my dual love of Asian culture and inspiring literature; in the 30+ years since, I have gone back too many times to count for the wisdom contained in it's simple stories and brief observations. Using beloved characters and anecdotes, the author is able to seamlessly convey the simplicity and soul-centering nature of Taoism. Going from Pooh to Wu, Benjamin Hoff has crafted a little book that, like many of the best things in life, takes but a moment to learn but a lifetime to master. The archetypal characters: the relentlessly busy (but ineffective) Rabbit, the outspoken and wordy (but truly unwise) Owl, the chronically depressed (but very aware) Eeyore, and the Tao master of simply "going with the flow" himself, Winnie the Pooh create - among others - an easy transition into the understanding of a life philosophy that we would all do well, regardless of faith or religion, to adopt in these stressful and frenetic times. Such a simple little book, but so useful and so accessible, like that old shirt that fits you just right, I recommend you add this book to your spiritual wardrobe.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
caitlin p
Okay, so Benjamin Hoff is kind of a nut.

I just read The Te of Piglet, which is essentially the followup to The Tao of Pooh. Not a bad little book, especially as far as the eastern philosophy and following of the Tao aka The Way goes.

Until he goes off onto a rant about nuclear power plants, feminism, and confucianists. Really. It's pretty bizarre. And strangely dated (the book was written in 1992).

However, there were a couple bits of wisdom that I really enjoyed.

First, here's a piece about sour-grapes types that he calls "Eeyores", after the humdrum stuffed donkey of the same name.

"If the Eeyores are against something, I tend to think there might be something to it."

In other words, if the pessimistic people that surround you warn you against doing something, it's probably worth at least checking out. I believe that. Since I've been doing internet marketing and entrepreneurship, I've gotten my fair share of Eeyores. Some people call them haters. I usually call them annoying. But for now on, Hoff has given me a name: Eeyores.

The next cool little bit was on the subject of managing oneself:

"There is something in each of us that wants us to be unhappy. It creates in our imaginations problems that don't yet exist--quite often causing them to come true. It exaggerates problems that are already there. It reinforces low self-esteem and lack of respect for others. It destroys pride in workmanship, order, and cleanliness. It turns meetings into confrontations, expectations in to dread, opportunities into danger, stepping stones into stumbling blocks."

Funny how similar Taoism and Stoicism is, considering the philosophies were born thousands of miles apart from each other.

Of course, Mark Manson called it "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F--" but I digress.

Neat little book even if it is marred by the occasional rant.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
jedd
The book lacks credibility since the author presents Pooh as some kind of Tao master. He is not. Give the fictional character Pooh even a rumor about the location of some honey, and he will follow his belly (appetite) as surely as anyone else would. This is not what Taoism is about.

In addition, the author doesn't recognize the fact that unlike Pooh, his readers have to deal with real-world problems. We can't simply dismiss, ignore, or fail to understand problems the way Pooh does. This is not a comic book-world. I have found other books on Taoism to be both much more practical, and much more true to the original teachings.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
demetri detsaridis
As impressed as I am with Benjamin Hoff's books, The Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet, I believe a third book should be written. Namely and precisly about Eeyore. The REAL Eeyore. Whose wit, wisdom and kindness is anything but 'unkind'. He can even call the book 'The Eeyore Effect', like his chapter in the Te of Piglet! I know of no other animal on this earth as decent, kind, intelligent, and long suffering than the humble Donkey. If Mr. Hoff would read "The Wisdom of Donkeys" by Andy Merrifield, or even perhaps visit The Donkey Sanctuary in Devon, UK, then I believe he will have no trouble with his conscience about retracting everything he attributes to Eeyore's personality in his book, the Te of Piglet. Instead of "The Eeyore Effect" chapter and all its falsehoods, I say he could write about Eeyore under the heading "The Upright Heart", for this a truer description of a Donkey's demeanor. Mr. Hoff's passage about 'kindness' was never lost in a Donkey's heart. Meet one, Mr. Hoff, spend time and effort to really get to know a soul much older than our own on this earthly plane, and you will write a third book. Here is a poem I wrote that may start you on your journey of Donkey discovery!

I'm All Ears For Thee

I'm a new Donkey born!
To gentle community
At the Sanctuary I'll mature
With character, wisdom and sobriety.
But ancestral shadows weigh heavy
As the cross on my back
Writes a history of those
Who've known what I'll never lack.
I'll never lack love.
I'll never lack sleep.
I'll never lack food.
Kindness shared or given to me.
But I'll always be mindful
Of those who have less
Donkeys hungry and ill treated
Born with a thorn of death in their breast.
So for those who are gone
And the ones still here
Like Balthazar, Modestine, Benjamin
Gribouille, and Eeyore
All bear the truth of the Donkey
In human lore.
But it's my young heart
As my sad orbs will reveal
That you are my voice
You must remember and never lose hope
I'll be listening you see
As I'm all ears for thee

Regards,

Jenny L. Bates, author "Opening Doors: An equilog of poetry about Donkeys"
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
shani j
It's all so simple when you reduce it to the level of Pooh.

It's often hard to understand the nuances of religions and philosophies other than one's own. For many people, the beliefs and rituals of faraway lands -- or even of the folks next door -- are a jumble of mixed-up oddities. But understanding a people's system of faith is vital to understanding the people.

In the case of the Eastern philosophy known as Taoism, Winnie the Pooh is here to help.

"The Tao of Pooh" boils the Taoist faith down into simple truths, each using Pooh and his friends to explain them in easy, bite-sized pieces. Some of the examples are original to author Benjamin Hoff's book, while others are lifted directly from the original text by A.A. Milne.

Passages from "The House at Pooh Corner" blend surprisingly well with the tenets of Chinese philosophy, including religious maxims and excerpts from the writings of Chuang-tse. The result is a charming explanation of faith that even Pooh -- a notorious bear of little Brain -- can understand, particularly since he exemplifies the Taoist way so perfectly.

Those around him -- Owl, Rabbit, Eeyore, Tigger and of course Piglet -- are less serene in their activities in the Hundred Acre Wood. Hoff handily explains why they do not fit the Taoist mold, and how Pooh would have handled similar situations. As he explains on the back cover of the book, "While Eeyore frets, and Piglet hesitates, and Rabbit calculates, and Owl pontificates, Pooh just is." There, a lesson learned and you haven't even opened it yet. You'll learn more when Hoff explains the Taoist concept of P'u, the Uncarved Block, and the many facets of Cottleston Pie.

At the same time, Hoff avoids diminishing his message by dumbing it down. While much of the slim book is written in the childlike prose of a Pooh story, it is still surprisingly deep, thought-provoking and grown-up at its root. By book's end, readers should have a fairly solid understanding of basic Taoist principles and how they relate to contemporary life.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
utkarsh
Who doesn't love Pooh? It's a fabulously unique premise, and a clever way to serve the reader palatable spoonfuls of Taoism. Hoff is an exceptional and creative writer, no doubt. Yet I found the book too fragmented and challenging to follow. At times, it seemed Pooh's voice was forced*, merely to give Hoff room to explain concepts in philosophical verbiage that I couldn't follow. Yet Pooh did, it seems. (*e.g., When Pooh would ask "What is ---?"). The book didn't flow smoothly for me. I'm left slightly frustrated and with limited understanding of Taoism. However, I had none to begin with. Perhaps this book is better suited for those with comprehension of the basics of Taoism versus Pooh and the rest of us.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ashli
Great as an exposition of the spiritualized or expert ego. The author does not "get it" but talks about it as an "expert" How do I know? (because the spiritualized ego CAN sound very close to the real truth) Because he is showing off with cool pretending to be young...(AND FREE) kite flying. The true and natural Tao plays out spontaneously, as in: if a bubble passes by, the "inner child" giggles. It is the ego that inhibits that child whether that ego is the governor within or without. Without? From The Sixth Sense: "like a mental patient twirling around on a mountain top" If it is RIGHT to twirl in that very moment of JOY, then it is of the TAO.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lindy thompson
Benjamin Hoff uses Winnie the Pooh to teach Taoist principles. The book is a quick and easy read, as I am sure the author intended as way to reflect his subject matter. Tao or "the Way" has always been a somewhat mysterious and inaccessible philosophy for me. Perhaps that's the result of my over-westernized mind. Whenever I read a treatise on the Tao, I am always left with the feeling that I have only touched the surface of the teaching and that I would need to enroll in a some long term course before I get it. This book leaves me with the same feeling. I did, however, glean some important teachings, like how one must try to stick to his own nature, how it's better to go with the flow than to be hyperorganized, and how our culture's acquisitiveness has resulted in mindless consumerism and the threat to our planet's viability. I was also impressed by the teaching on Tai Chi, where practitioners do not confront force with force but use deflection and evasive tactics to overcome their enemy, a technique that should be used more often in other areas of life. So, maybe I did get more than I expected. In any case, it's fun and comforting to have Winnie the Pooh and his character friends on the journey to learning the Tao. Read and enjoy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
oh you
I've been wanting to read this book for such a long time, but not because of an interest in Taoism. I was intrigued by the concept that Winnie the Pooh could teach people academic concepts. It seemed like such a cute novel idea. I wasn't certain if I even took the idea seriously, but after reading the book not only have I learned about the basic concepts of Taoism, but I was taken for a joyous ride.

What was amazing about this book is that it teaches you the principles of Taoism by stating full well it will not be a book of stuffy academic knowledge. Instead Pooh and his friends interrupt the book and you read about their adventures and tales that highlight some of the major concepts of Taoism. It's written in such a fluid way that the reader can not really know when the author stops talking and when the beloved characters of Piglet, Pooh, Eeyore and others take over.

The book does not aim to be pretentious or horde this philosophy as the only correct philosophy. Instead, we're introduced to Taoism shown how the concepts work in all of our lives-especially Pooh and friends, and told that understanding certain jargon isn't essential to being a Taoist expert. As long as we practice the concepts and ideals we are living a Taoist lifestyle.

The book is a wonderful mixture of simplicity and wisdom. The fact that Hoff is able to replicate Pooh's voice perfectly only adds to the enchanting aspect of this book. This should be a must read for anyone interested in Taoism, without being bogged down with extra information and those who want to enjoy the simple joys of life.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
marie steere
My wife got this book for me as a gift this holiday season. Along with the Tao Te Ching, It is one of my favorite books ever. I've read it twice and continue to go back and reference certain parts. Benjamin Hoff's simple approach to articulating "the way" in this book is what the Tao is all about. I am influenced by, and I deeply appreciate the wisdom of Eastern philosophies. Early Taoism is philosophical, not necessarily a religion. I think anyone with an open mind can appreciate the wisdom of the Tao whether they are religious or not. The Tao shows the way of living with spontaneity, simplicity, and in peace and harmony with nature. The Tao of Pooh is an excellent book because it shows the Tao through Pooh and Pooh through the Tao. Beautiful.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jakob moll
This book is based around the idea that A. A. Milne's stories of Winnie-The-Pooh can be used to illustrate the basic notions of Taoism. Hoff is not by any means arguing that Milne was a Taoist. He is merely saying that Milne's inner attitude to life, as revealed by the stories, intuitively follow along the same path as Taoism. Owl is wise, Rabbit is cleaver and Eeore is smugly superior but the real hero of the books is Pooh, the apparently stupid yet strangely successful and able bear.

The book covers the Taoist principles of:

Tao, or the indescribable Way of the universe,
P'u, or natural simplicity, the Uncarved Block,
Inner Nature, being those things that make us exactly who we are,
Wu Wei, or proceeding without doing, causing, or making,
Tzu Jan, or 'self so', meaning that things happen by themselves, spontaneously,
Tz'u, or caring and compassion, and,
T'ai Hsu, or the Great Nothing.

Along the way we learn the pitfalls of being too busy and the benefits of doing nothing (for example meditation and contemplation). Having read this I now try to arrange my day so that I can spend half an hour a day in my garden with my cat just doing nothing but observing nature and thinking the thoughts that come to mind. I recommend it to everyone.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
cindy bean
The "sequel" to The Tao of Pooh appears to be a great idea. Another book further expanding on the principles of Taoism, with Piglet being the central character and focus. The message about one's size and the ability to change despite one's limitations is very powerful at its core. However, what detracts from this book is the preaching that Hoff gets into midway through the book. I found that though I agreed with many of his beliefs, the tone and his stern convictions came across negatively. If I was turned off by the preachy tone, than imagine how someone whose beliefs are exactly opposite of his would react to the book.

He's still able to get the voice of Piglet and Pooh with wonderful accuracy and there is a lot to be learned about Taoism through his wonderful interpretation, but his condemnations of touchy political issues might cause some to look the other way. I understand he tried to write it in a pleasant tone, but even through his words, one can see how he really felt about certain situations.

I'd still recommend this book to people, but I would urge that they continue reading, should the same section of the book turn them off. The Te of Piglet ends well and the reader is allowed to see the transformation of Piglet in all his glory. It's a fantastic read, though not as elegant as the original.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amanda clapp
I was holed up in a hospital bed when I recieved this book. A friend thought that I was wallowing in self pity and wanted me to get a grip so this is what she brought me. The Tao of Pooh incorporates the teachings of Taoism and the great Lao Tzu who believed that people should be able to look at things and appreciated the beauty of its being and note the positives. Pooh bear and his friends make light of the Tao teachings by explaining simplicity, happiness, relaxation, and just not worrying or being overly concerned about trivial matters. Pooh is the perfect creature to explain this because he is just a simple bear who is laid back and gentle. Pooh does not worry about matters but just lets life flow and is grateful for his honey and his friends. Taoism reflects on the way to an understanding of concious simplicity and peace. Its a way to joy and mindfulness which is the ultimate keys to living well. This book is such a nice read since it includes picture of the characters to highlight points, and its narrator explains things simply since after all its the child like pooh who is the student. It really eased my mind and I have since tried to use some of these teachings in my life.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
fatemeh
This book will change your life, if you let the message in. No forcefeeding here like in a lot of philosophy work, just simple pleasureable reading. The beauty of Mr. Hoff's work here is that he explains a somewhat obscure set of ideas with little of the "facts" we are used to as Americans, using simple characters that we all know and love. Think about it... why do we love Pooh so much? He is clumbsy, doesn't keep good track of time, he eats too much, he doesn't seem very smart,..but...we still love him. This book helps explain why and as I said, if you listen, you will find that you view the world in a whole new way after reading this. You will look for and attach yourself to the "Pooh's" of the world because they have it right!

If you are looking for a book that will open your eyes to a new way of seeing the work, click on the buy button. If you are familiar with Taoism and want to see it in a more simple form, get it. If you are a synic and wonder why the world doesn't mesh the way you think it should, check this out, it's a cool way of seeing things. Lastly, if you already own this, re-read it. Once you adopt some things from the book, then read it again, a whole new layer of interest appears. Enjoy!

Nice job Mr Hoff.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
deborah black
This book is based around the idea that A. A. Milne's stories of Winnie-The-Pooh can be used to illustrate the basic notions of Taoism. Hoff is not by any means arguing that Milne was a Taoist. He is merely saying that Milne's inner attitude to life, as revealed by the stories, intuitively follow along the same path as Taoism. Owl is wise, Rabbit is cleaver and Eeore is smugly superior but the real hero of the books is Pooh, the apparently stupid yet strangely successful and able bear.

The book covers the Taoist principles of:

Tao, or the indescribable Way of the universe,
P'u, or natural simplicity, the Uncarved Block,
Inner Nature, being those things that make us exactly who we are,
Wu Wei, or proceeding without doing, causing, or making,
Tzu Jan, or 'self so', meaning that things happen by themselves, spontaneously,
Tz'u, or caring and compassion, and,
T'ai Hsu, or the Great Nothing.

Along the way we learn the pitfalls of being too busy and the benefits of doing nothing (for example meditation and contemplation). Having read this I now try to arrange my day so that I can spend half an hour a day in my garden with my cat just doing nothing but observing nature and thinking the thoughts that come to mind. I recommend it to everyone.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mark gilleo
This book is based around the idea that A. A. Milne's stories of Winnie-The-Pooh can be used to illustrate the basic notions of Taoism. Hoff is not by any means arguing that Milne was a Taoist. He is merely saying that Milne's inner attitude to life, as revealed by the stories, intuitively follow along the same path as Taoism. Owl is wise, Rabbit is cleaver and Eeore is smugly superior but the real hero of the books is Pooh, the apparently stupid yet strangely successful and able bear.

The book covers the Taoist principles of:

Tao, or the indescribable Way of the universe,
P'u, or natural simplicity, the Uncarved Block,
Inner Nature, being those things that make us exactly who we are,
Wu Wei, or proceeding without doing, causing, or making,
Tzu Jan, or 'self so', meaning that things happen by themselves, spontaneously,
Tz'u, or caring and compassion, and,
T'ai Hsu, or the Great Nothing.

Along the way we learn the pitfalls of being too busy and the benefits of doing nothing (for example meditation and contemplation). Having read this I now try to arrange my day so that I can spend half an hour a day in my garden with my cat just doing nothing but observing nature and thinking the thoughts that come to mind. I recommend it to everyone.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
melissa goodwill
This book is based around the idea that A. A. Milne's stories of Winnie-The-Pooh can be used to illustrate the basic notions of Taoism. Hoff is not by any means arguing that Milne was a Taoist. He is merely saying that Milne's inner attitude to life, as revealed by the stories, intuitively follow along the same path as Taoism. Owl is wise, Rabbit is cleaver and Eeore is smugly superior but the real hero of the books is Pooh, the apparently stupid yet strangely successful and able bear.

The book covers the Taoist principles of:

Tao, or the indescribable Way of the universe,
P'u, or natural simplicity, the Uncarved Block,
Inner Nature, being those things that make us exactly who we are,
Wu Wei, or proceeding without doing, causing, or making,
Tzu Jan, or 'self so', meaning that things happen by themselves, spontaneously,
Tz'u, or caring and compassion, and,
T'ai Hsu, or the Great Nothing.

Along the way we learn the pitfalls of being too busy and the benefits of doing nothing (for example meditation and contemplation). Having read this I now try to arrange my day so that I can spend half an hour a day in my garden with my cat just doing nothing but observing nature and thinking the thoughts that come to mind. I recommend it to everyone.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
geecee
Benjamin Hoff's job comparing the lovable characters of the One Hundred Acre Woods to Taoism may be a stretch to some, but I found it delightful and very helpful. First of all, I taught Ancient History including the great world religions to sixth graders (roughly 11-12 year olds). I took some examples from the book and its theme and integrated them into my teaching on China and Taoism. The concepts in many of the great eastern religions: Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Hinduism, etc. can be hard for many in the West to grasp, not to mention adolescents just being introduced to them. The comparisons in this book really allowed my students to absorb the overall theme of Taoism.

The two comparisons I love that Hoff gives:

1) How the Taoist tastes vinegar and unlike the rest, enjoys it because he realizes that everything in life is not sweet (Balance).
2) I also taught a character education class and this theme was particularly helpful: you should seek to live everyday of your life like you are about to open a present. That anticipation and excitement should be driving forces in your life. No matter how bad your day/ week/ month is there should always be a "present" to look forward to on your calendar. And when that event is over, there should be something else to keep in your mind; a new, exciting anticipation. It is a never ending cycle.

You don't have to be a Taoist to appreciate this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
atreides22
This book is based around the idea that A. A. Milne's stories of Winnie-The-Pooh can be used to illustrate the basic notions of Taoism. Hoff is not by any means arguing that Milne was a Taoist. He is merely saying that Milne's inner attitude to life, as revealed by the stories, intuitively follow along the same path as Taoism. Owl is wise, Rabbit is cleaver and Eeore is smugly superior but the real hero of the books is Pooh, the apparently stupid yet strangely successful and able bear.

The book covers the Taoist principles of:

Tao, or the indescribable Way of the universe,
P'u, or natural simplicity, the Uncarved Block,
Inner Nature, being those things that make us exactly who we are,
Wu Wei, or proceeding without doing, causing, or making,
Tzu Jan, or 'self so', meaning that things happen by themselves, spontaneously,
Tz'u, or caring and compassion, and,
T'ai Hsu, or the Great Nothing.

Along the way we learn the pitfalls of being too busy and the benefits of doing nothing (for example meditation and contemplation). Having read this I now try to arrange my day so that I can spend half an hour a day in my garden with my cat just doing nothing but observing nature and thinking the thoughts that come to mind. I recommend it to everyone.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
michelle james
This book is based around the idea that A. A. Milne's stories of Winnie-The-Pooh can be used to illustrate the basic notions of Taoism. Hoff is not by any means arguing that Milne was a Taoist. He is merely saying that Milne's inner attitude to life, as revealed by the stories, intuitively follow along the same path as Taoism. Owl is wise, Rabbit is cleaver and Eeore is smugly superior but the real hero of the books is Pooh, the apparently stupid yet strangely successful and able bear.

The book covers the Taoist principles of:

Tao, or the indescribable Way of the universe,
P'u, or natural simplicity, the Uncarved Block,
Inner Nature, being those things that make us exactly who we are,
Wu Wei, or proceeding without doing, causing, or making,
Tzu Jan, or 'self so', meaning that things happen by themselves, spontaneously,
Tz'u, or caring and compassion, and,
T'ai Hsu, or the Great Nothing.

Along the way we learn the pitfalls of being too busy and the benefits of doing nothing (for example meditation and contemplation). Having read this I now try to arrange my day so that I can spend half an hour a day in my garden with my cat just doing nothing but observing nature and thinking the thoughts that come to mind. I recommend it to everyone.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
reid carron
This book is based around the idea that A. A. Milne's stories of Winnie-The-Pooh can be used to illustrate the basic notions of Taoism. Hoff is not by any means arguing that Milne was a Taoist. He is merely saying that Milne's inner attitude to life, as revealed by the stories, intuitively follow along the same path as Taoism. Owl is wise, Rabbit is cleaver and Eeore is smugly superior but the real hero of the books is Pooh, the apparently stupid yet strangely successful and able bear.

The book covers the Taoist principles of:

Tao, or the indescribable Way of the universe,
P'u, or natural simplicity, the Uncarved Block,
Inner Nature, being those things that make us exactly who we are,
Wu Wei, or proceeding without doing, causing, or making,
Tzu Jan, or 'self so', meaning that things happen by themselves, spontaneously,
Tz'u, or caring and compassion, and,
T'ai Hsu, or the Great Nothing.

Along the way we learn the pitfalls of being too busy and the benefits of doing nothing (for example meditation and contemplation). Having read this I now try to arrange my day so that I can spend half an hour a day in my garden with my cat just doing nothing but observing nature and thinking the thoughts that come to mind. I recommend it to everyone.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
roxana bogacz
This book is based around the idea that A. A. Milne's stories of Winnie-The-Pooh can be used to illustrate the basic notions of Taoism. Hoff is not by any means arguing that Milne was a Taoist. He is merely saying that Milne's inner attitude to life, as revealed by the stories, intuitively follow along the same path as Taoism. Owl is wise, Rabbit is cleaver and Eeore is smugly superior but the real hero of the books is Pooh, the apparently stupid yet strangely successful and able bear.

The book covers the Taoist principles of:

Tao, or the indescribable Way of the universe,
P'u, or natural simplicity, the Uncarved Block,
Inner Nature, being those things that make us exactly who we are,
Wu Wei, or proceeding without doing, causing, or making,
Tzu Jan, or 'self so', meaning that things happen by themselves, spontaneously,
Tz'u, or caring and compassion, and,
T'ai Hsu, or the Great Nothing.

Along the way we learn the pitfalls of being too busy and the benefits of doing nothing (for example meditation and contemplation). Having read this I now try to arrange my day so that I can spend half an hour a day in my garden with my cat just doing nothing but observing nature and thinking the thoughts that come to mind. I recommend it to everyone.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chista
This book is based around the idea that A. A. Milne's stories of Winnie-The-Pooh can be used to illustrate the basic notions of Taoism. Hoff is not by any means arguing that Milne was a Taoist. He is merely saying that Milne's inner attitude to life, as revealed by the stories, intuitively follow along the same path as Taoism. Owl is wise, Rabbit is cleaver and Eeore is smugly superior but the real hero of the books is Pooh, the apparently stupid yet strangely successful and able bear.

The book covers the Taoist principles of:

Tao, or the indescribable Way of the universe,
P'u, or natural simplicity, the Uncarved Block,
Inner Nature, being those things that make us exactly who we are,
Wu Wei, or proceeding without doing, causing, or making,
Tzu Jan, or 'self so', meaning that things happen by themselves, spontaneously,
Tz'u, or caring and compassion, and,
T'ai Hsu, or the Great Nothing.

Along the way we learn the pitfalls of being too busy and the benefits of doing nothing (for example meditation and contemplation). Having read this I now try to arrange my day so that I can spend half an hour a day in my garden with my cat just doing nothing but observing nature and thinking the thoughts that come to mind. I recommend it to everyone.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jo o vaz
As someone who has always loved Winnie the Pooh, and who has a deep interest in Eastern philosophy, this book was one I'd looked forward to reading. It didn't disappoint. I loved the technique he used of having the characters ask him questions. It was fun, and it kept me engaged in the book The author explained Taoism in a way that was charming, easy to understand, and not at all dry, as some philosophical works can be. I feel that I have a better understanding of Taoism, and I am now eager to read more about it. What's interesting is that I have a four year old niece who loves Winnie the Pooh, and when we watch the cartoon together, I also now have new, grown-up insight into it, which makes it more fun for me too!
The book is quick - in fact, I found it a bit too short - and easy to read. I admit, it could've been a bit more in-depth. I'm sure critics who say this is a very superficial examination of Taoism are probably right. However, I don't know that this criticism is particularly important. I think Hoffman's purpose was simply to whet the reader's appetite so that they'd be motivated to do more study of Taoist philosophy. If I'm correct in this belief, he was successful, at least in my case.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kim bledsoe
In "The Tao of Pooh", Benjamin Hoff uses the personalities of the characters in A. A. Milne's tales to illustrate Taoism alongside some competing worldviews.

The characters can divided into 3 categories of personality and philosophy: Rabbit/Owl, Eeyore, and Pooh.

Rabbit quickly develops and executes clever action plans that don't capture the essence of a given situation and usually go awry. Similar to Rabbit in terms of being too clever by half, Owl pontificates and analyzes and never actually does anything. Eeyore is also clever in his own way, but interprets everything negatively and is bitter and ineffectual. Whereas Pooh ambles along without the brains of the others, but with a stout heart, and muddles through to contentment.

Rabbit/Owl together embody logical analysis, clever planning, and ceaseless but largely misdirected hard work. The aim of all their analysis and effort is to exert maximum control over outcomes by actively 'understanding' and intervening in every situation. In the Eastern tradition, this approach corresponds to Confucianism, a very rigid and circumscribed approach to achieving harmony. In the Western tradition, the Rabbit/Owl approach seems very familiar, as the general attempt to organize and control our physical and social environments with logical tools and techniques is integral to the Western experience. The Rabbit/Owl approach regrets the past and worries about the future.

Eeyore represents knowing resignation. The aim of this hopelessness, and the ensuing lack of commitment and activity, is to shield oneself emotionally from the risk and reality of failure. In the Eastern tradition, this approach corresponds to Buddhism, which counsels that our world is illusion and suffering, and the best response is to actively disengage from it all. In the Western tradition, the Eeyore approach can be construed as loosely analogous to the easy cynicism and disengagement of the many people who are alienated by the overbearing and omnipresent Rabbit/Owl aspects of society. The Eeyore approach sees endless failure in the past and inevitable failure in the future.

Pooh, on the other hand, embodies warm-hearted, inclusive, and spirited enjoyment of what's happening in the moment. He unconsciously embodies the fact that we cannot control the infinitely complex interplay of forces and events out there, so the healthiest response to this overwhelming reality is to be true to our inner nature and in so doing, accept being part of the great flow of things. In the Eastern tradition, Pooh's approach is Taoist. He does not worry about the past. He does not worry about the future. He simply is himself, now, enthusiastically. He is simply honest and true to his friends and to his own nature. To Pooh, 'things are as they are', and do not need constant worry, analysis, self-doubt, and striving, unlike the flustered Confucian-Rabbits. But at the same time, he is quite engaged in the world, unlike the fatalistic Buddhist-Eeyores. When he wants hunny, he goes about getting it, quite tenaciously at times. When he wants to help a drowning Roo or Eeyore, he rushes to save them with whatever's handy. And so on.

"The Tao of Pooh" is overall a charming read. Hoff does a good job of maintaining the whimsical tone of the original Pooh tales, painlessly conveying some fairly abstruse concepts about the nature of reality and perception.

To be fair, it should be noted that there's a bit of apocalyptic sermonizing at the very end, to the effect that the Owls and Rabbits of the world will destroy everything if we don't learn a better way to be. Also some readers will construe Hoff's periodic mild teasing of the Rabbit/Owl way as irritating intolerance, hypocritically un-Taoist. Personally, I do not take his teasing that way at all; Taoist hermits probably did not show much deference to the great Confucian bureaucrats of their day! To me, these are minor and forgivable blemishes in a book that otherwise has a deft, light touch, though not as light as the childlike wisdom of the Way that it hopes to explain.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
casper
This review was actually a school assignment of one of my children. I think he got a good grade.

(Note, this review discusses only the first book.)

The idea of the book is to explain Taoist principles by using characters, setting and events from "Winnie the Pooh." My first problem with the book is the intended audience is unclear, because a child is not serious and deep enough to understand such deep sayings and I felt bit awkward thinking about Disney Company's, for lack of a better term "cash cow" in my early teen years. However, in all honesty, I am horrible example for my age group because I am an easily disoriented person. Despite all I just said, for what it tries to do, it does a good job. Case and point, I now understand Taoist beliefs. Despite what I am about to say, you have to respect anything that does a good job, but it seems to have a few value a judgments I don't agree with.

A picture called "The Three Vinegar Tasters" is supposed to represent three similar belief sets (Buddhism, Confucius and Taoist) attitudes towards life (according to the author). It seems immoral to have other teachings unhappy (tasting the vinegar symbolizing life as bitter and sour.) I personally think Hoff and the artist of "The Three Vinegar Tasters" misunderstood the first of the Buddhist noble truths. They see Buddha as a bitter person. I think what Siddhartha meant when said "life is suffering" was life is full of suffering and you can't always get what you want, which similar to message I got from the book and the Tao te Ching which is "things are the way they are." And I am not the only one who thinks the first noble truth is being misunderstood. A Buddhist practitioner I interviewed for a school project thinks so too. Thus, I think it would wrong to call Siddhartha "bitter" since both Taoists and Buddhists principles give me the same general message. Also, it seems a bit inhumane to criticize a person, rather than their teachings, who was born sixth centuries before current era, since the connotations of the word "bitter" characterize Siddhartha in a negative way. Though, in all honesty, I'm probably not the best source in the world, since I was only studying Buddhism for a month and I have no knowledge of Taoism other then the book and the Tao Te Ching.

Throughout the book, I kept on wondering what does the author have against "book smart" scholars. For example, saying that they are smart to the point of uselessness and not noticing what matters. Another part he said when scientists say "instinct" it means "they don't know," which is not true in the slightest. Instinct is what we are naturally programmed to do because we didn't have instinct, we would be dead. Hoff goes on to say that it doesn't matter that we don't know and goes on to explain a principle. I do not want to spoil the book nor misrepresent it, so I will let it go at that.

The way Hoff explains Taoism through Winnie the Pooh is by having himself talk about the principles with Winnie the Pooh characters and having them represent different life styles. For the most part it works, but the way he has inserted himself into the stories it seems egotistical because he is using an entertainment goldmine. Overall, the book is good, the only reason I bad mouthed it is that if I only talked about the good parts, I would have nothing to talk about and I'm a critic.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mike lietz
The book THE TAO OF POOH by Benjamin Hoff is a Taoist perspective of the much beloved story of Winnie the Pooh. Hoff explains that the Tao is "The Way", a way of living. In each of the chapters there is a new small adventure in the Hundred Acre Wood. Each chapter is like a day in the life of Pooh, complete with life lessons that offer the reader a different understanding of how to approach situations that we encounter in life. The book is focused on Pooh, his way of life, and how he sees the world.
The author makes his book easy to understand and relate to by using the simple characters from A.A. Milne's stories as a source of lessons on life from a Taoist perspective. You get to know the characters and their perspective and you can then make a personal connection with them by thinking about how you might approach situations in life in a similar, or perhaps different way.
Most people think that Pooh is for little kids, but in actuality, this book applies the story of Pooh's adventures to the Tao and shows how Pooh's life is a perfect way to learn the Taoist philosophy. The author also shows how the other characters in the story do not represent the Tao. For example, Eeyore is always complaining: "Good morning, Pooh Bear, said Eeyore gloomily. If it is a good morning, which I doubt." Rabbit is brainy but not smart; Piglet is often scared and fearful; Owl knows a lot, but keeps to himself and learns from books more than from life. Pooh, on the other hand, has many points of view, is quite humble, and sees life through a very simple, yet profound perspective. He is more interested in being himself than in making a big deal about who he is and what he does.
One weakness of this book is that as he is explaining some about Taoism, the author tries to compare the Tao to Buddhism. In his attempt to do this, he talks about Buddhism in a sort of negative way, stating that, "To Buddha, life on earth was bitter, filled with attachments and desires that led to suffering...a revolving wheel of pain for all creatures." Hoff doesn't represent Buddhism fairly in this statement, as it doesn't really capture the bigger picture of what Buddhism is about and therefore doesn't give the reader an accurate comparison of these philosophies. Another weakness of the book is that you can only take Winnie the Pooh so far, as a source of life's lessons, and then it sort of runs out of juice.
Overall, though, instead of a dry and boring approach to learning about Taoist philosophy, this book teaches it through reflecting on the fun and often entertaining adventures of these familiar and loveable characters. Hoff teaches about Taoism by using the philosophy as a lens for looking at life, as we reflect on the different ways each character in Pooh's world approaches the situations they find themselves in and the meaning they make of their experiences. He points out that each character sees life differently, depending on who they are and their unique perspective. He encourages us to embrace the "Pooh Way," of effortless, egoless, simplicity.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
april hochstrasser
This book is cute, and I enjoyed many parts of it, but....
He wrote the book from a western-Philisophical stand point but he gleened items from religious/folk Taoism as it suited his needs. This is not a useful approach, as I am CERTAIN that he and most all of the fans of this book would reject religous/ folk Taoism.
It is not that you cannot find use in folk Taoism... but the way that he presented "his" Taoism as a *total religion* quite was misleading. Perhaps he is just hoping that the American readers will be to azy to research Taoism any further *shrug*
But he made a huge mistake in presenting all things classified as "taoist" as being infalliable and all other things... not.
He often criticised other religions, but, having opened up the folk-Taoist "can of worms" he opened Taoism to a scrutiny in which it would fare no better than any other doctrine (mind you that Taoism has been around for thousands of years, and it is no fault to Taoism that it has picked up "[stuff]" along the way.... however Hoff used examples that I would put in the "[stuff]" catagory).
Hoff spoke of being "playful" and tried to be playful, but I found much of that to be forced, or trite in the least. There were many bitter and non-playful parts to the book as well.
He "playfully" mocked and degraded 90% of the residents on planet earth in one way or the other. I actually found the book to be rather severe!
In presenting it as a doctrine with a set of beliefs and folk-stories, Taoism gains the same problems as any other religion.
Although he repeatedly denounces dogma, he makes a dogma of Taoism.
I also didn't get to pooh/Taoism parallel except in the most superficial sense... the actual Winnie the Pooh stories include Pooh doing some quite un-Taoist things. He does have Tao-spirit though, I admit. :)
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
joseph
This book does have a few rants and raves which could have been left out, strip them away and the book is a useful tool on the road to you're higher self.
It seems to assume you have a core knowledge of Taoism so the author tends to skip the vital explanations of the translation/understanding of Te.

Virtue of the small, is a pretty vague explanation when you consider that the the virtue of the Taoist is far different from the virtue we associate with humanity (and even that is hard to define). I will accept that there is no definitive understanding of Tao virtue. The Taoist understanding of true virtue is that as soon as you define it it becomes unreal. With understanding you have order, with order you lose chaos, if you lose chaos the outcome of everything has already been determined. This then presents a paradox because Taoism evokes the potential to change outcomes by just being rather than doing.

I think that's right! just being creates change so the outcome has already been determined therefor there must be order in nature and the universe. If there is order we should be able to understand it and everything about it. If we understand it we should be able to control it and manipulate it. Now we have a second paradox because Taoist believe the more we meddle with nature the worse off we become.

The point I am trying to make here is that the author makes no attempt to separate the traditional understanding of virtue with the Taoist concept of virtue.

My spiritual guidance does not come from the rants and raves of the author, or from his observations of Piglet. My guidance comes from my own recognition of true virtue in early Piglet. This becomes more obvious when the Author brings the Pooh characters to life and they immediately loose their virtue and become human like. Humanity could do a lot worse by thinking "what would Piglet do?" when faced with a moral dilemma. It works for me, I wonder if anyone else has tried it!

As for the authors apparent dislike of Eeyore what do you expect! lets put things in perspective here, If Piglet is to be our savior then Eeyore must surely be the Anti-Piglet. Lets put that less dramaticaly and say 'the shadow of Piglet' does that feel more comfortable.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
luciano
The first half of this book gives the reader a very good character analysis and explanation of motivation for each Pooh character. The author uses a charming style to make generalizations and comparisons of the Pooh characters and humans.

The second half of the book, however, can only be described as anti-American. "Cowboys" work too much, try to change their environments through force, and generally live a futile, useless life. He even asserts that our oranges are tasteless because our ground is not "allowed to rest."

Exactly how does one prevent an orange tree from producing fruit in order that it can rest?

If you are socialist, you will probably love this book. If not, stop reading at the halfway mark.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
suzan alteri
Wow! What a difference 10 years makes. There were inklings of Hoff's bitterness in his first book, `The Tao of Pooh,' but `The Te of Piglet,' lets it all hang out. Hoff harangues against everyone, the media, teachers, feminists, scientists and Western society in general, while placing Chinese society on a pedestal as the epitome of Enlightenment. If we could all just be like the Chinese, or alternatively like the Native Americans, all our problems would go away. All of this seems so un-Tao like. Unlike his first book, he uses very little material from Winnie-the-Pooh series, and when he does, it is often in fictional dialogue between him and the characters. He also draws a lot more material from other sources such a Mark Twain and Thoreau. Mostly he uses the analysis of Tao to justify his own views, at one point reinterpreting passages commonly considered to mean something totally different than what Hoff intends. Hoff really has nothing new to say unless you want to hear his views on how we are destroying the environment, no argument here from me, but is this really the forum for it. What all this has to do with Piglet and Te is unclear. Then to go on and state that if we all follow the Way, all are environmental and societal problems will disappear. A nice sentiment, but a little childish. Isn't that the Tao of Way? Maybe. I highly recommend you read `The Tao of Pooh' and ignore this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
svata
A warm summer day on vacation, with nothing to do and The Tao of Pooh in hand, is a pefect time for this quick read with an important message. Nothing to do is not what it seems. This quiet, open space is the place to find that bear of small brain but big heart. As the fox says in The Little Prince, "Here is my secret, a very simple secret. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eyes." Winnie the Pooh, as interpreted by Benjamin Hoff, would agree that the Tao (way) can only be found in what Yeats calls the "deep heart's core."
As children we all started with a good heart, but somewhere along the way we became confused with too much to do and too little time. But the heart knows that we have all the time there is in the eternal present. We need to discover, as ee cummings says, how "To be nobody but 'ourself' in a world that is night and day trying to make 'us' just like everybody else." Nothing to do will give us a chance find ourself and to experience with this discovery the "peace which passes all undertanding."
Our first tendency will be to begin thinking of the right answer, like owl, or to start immediately doing something, like rabbit. We need to turn off the thinking and doing machine, which is the foundation of our Western Culture, and instead, practice leaving things alone, that is doing nothing, as Lao-tse would recommend in The Tao Te Ching, tne basis for Hoff's The Tao of Pooh.
In Hermann Hesse's great little book, Siddhartha, only at the end of his life, sitting by the river, doing nothing but listening quietly to the river flowing by him as he sat on the grass, did Siddharth finally attain enlightenment and an understanding of himself and his place in the world.
On our own vacation on a warm summer's day with the Tao of Pooh in hand, perhaps we will begin to listen quietly to "the sound of lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore" as we discover what is in our deep heart's core.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
angeline
I'm right to review this book for two reasons, and wrong for one. First, AA Milne was the first book I remember looking for in the school library, as a child. My "inner child" (which is mostly in control of the outer adult, anyway) rejoiced in an excuse to revisit 100 Acre Wood. Second, as a missionary in China (and later author of a book on "How Jesus fulfills the Chinese Culture"), I also learned to love Lao Zi and Zhuang Zi, and learn from them. Third, however, while as Hoff correctly points out, there's a little of each these characters in each of us, the owl usually emerges in me when I start critiquing books.

By and large, this is a pleasant and successful introduction to philosophical Taoism. Sometimes it's confusing which are the bits Pooh said in Milne, and which are the bits Hoff added -- even though the font is different -- but then, Hoff's Pooh sometimes sounds quite different from Milne's Pooh. Sometimes he even comes across as overly clever, which is not in character.

When I asked young people in China, I found that more seemed to admire Confucius than Lao Zi. Let me devote the rest of my review to explaining that, in light of Hoff's depiction of both.

If Pooh disses Owl, you can't blame him because (1) He's a stuffed animal; (2) It's funny; and (3) Hoff is critiquing archeotypes, not individuals. When Zhuang Zi disses Confucius, the second two excuses also apply: there's a bit of sectarian edge, but it's more Saturday Night Live than Inquisition. When Hoff steps out of character to diss "dissicated" intellectual types, there's a bit of humor, but it's harder to draw the line between fair critique and cheap shot.

The truth is, lots of "owls" are reasonable people. Confucius was one: he loved music, took disciples hiking, and admitted when he didn't know something. And lots of "Poohs" can't tell their heads from the hole in a honey jar, making them not cute and wise, but common, ignorant gluttons.

But this is a critique of Taoism in general, not just Hoff, and certainly not Pooh. This is why Taoism was never "the Way" in China. There was a reaction, often a healthy one, to the Lao-Zhuang philosophy. It's the weakness of early Taoist philosophy -- reflected by Hoff's over-generalizations and over-simplicities -- that it did not make the difference clear. Folk Taoism ran off in one diametrically different direction -- as Hoff appears not to know, but probably does -- and Buddhists and Confucius' more proper and stuffy disciples (who often did live down to the caricature) in another. Each had its up side and its down side. Imagine Pooh singing and philosophizing cheerfully at the still-warm grave of Piglet: that's Zhuang Zi, at one point.

The world would be poorer without Pooh, and much poorer without the aphorisms of Lao Zi and the stories of Zhuang Zi. They don't make a full philosophy of life, but they do make part of one; and Hoff's little book is a good, sometimes flawed and sometimes too accurate, but often fun, introduction.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
saeed alqahtani
Benjamin Hoff's follow-up to the Tao of Pooh, the Te of Piglet, is neither as fun or as interesting as the previous work. Te, the Taoist principle of the virtue of the small includes, according to Hoff, leaving a small footprint (as opposed to a large one) on the earth - as this book has a decidedly more ecological slant to it. Hoff remains true to the endearing format of the Tao of Pooh, but as he writes his diatribes against corporate culture and the evils of consumerism, its charm quickly wears off. Little wonder this book failed to inspire me as his previous book did.
Perhaps it was the almost preachy tone Hoff takes from time to time. Or maybe it was the fact that I simply became bored and distracted at the minutae of the philosophy. Possibly I didn't like the book because I don't like Piglet as much as I like Pooh. There are numerous reasons for my dislike of the Te of Piglet - there are so many, I honestly cannot put my finger on a single specific reason. If you had been hoping, as I had, that the Te of Piglet would be as good or better than the Tao of Pooh, you will be diasppointed.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
alison crowley
The "Te of Piglet" was written as a companion to "The Tao of Pooh," which was written about ten years prior to this. Since the Piglet book was written in 1992, perhaps we will be hearing of another such book from Hoff.
Although this book is almost 100 pages longer than "The Tao of Pooh," I could not shake feeling that I did not get as much information. There are more quotations (from Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian texts, as well as from the Pooh stories, Henry David Thoreau, and Arthur Conan Doyle) in this book to illustrate ideas. Hoff also uses examples of Dickens and Gandhi. Unfortunately, I feel that there are more quotes and less discussion of their meaning.
Much of the discussion concerns our world as we know it. This book has a more "political" slant to it, which makes me feel that he was getting off topic. I understand, upon reflection, that this is incorrect because the purpose of understanding Taoism is to see it in the everyday. The insight is appreciated, but I finished the book feeling more overwhelmed than empowered.
As a text to help us examine our lives, I would recommend this text.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
el sabet
This is a cute and humorous introduction to Taoism and would make an excellent gift to any reader. I appreciate that Hoff went so far as to use Owl and Rabbit as counter-examples to the bliss of Pooh living, though I do wish he would have found a way to contextualize Buddhism into the picture. It's mentioned in the introduction, but the Taoist/Buddhist distinction isn't drawn out more carefully like the Taoist/Confucianist distinction is. I'm not sure why there's a sequel (Tao of Piglet) but I look forward to reading it. -Ryan Mease
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
micheline
This elegant and well-written volume by Benjamin Hoff, along with its sequel âaeThe Te of Pigletâ, is perhaps one of the finest pieces of writing about Taoism in the West. Having just read and enjoyed the original Pooh stories by A.A. Milne, I became intrigued by this book and obtained it. As soon as I opened it I could not find a good point to lay it down. I kept reading and reading until I finished it in a single day. The book was so pleasurable, so well-written, and so intriguing. I kept thinking and imagining all the different concepts of Taoism that this book introduces me to. âaeWu Weiâ or effortless action; living in harmony with nature; Nowhere and Nothing; the importance of the present; the extreme alienation we in the West create for ourselves by being constantly busy. These are all important issues that relate to my life personally, and I feel I have gained something from reading this book, in addition to spending an enjoyable time reading it.

Those who didnâ(tm)t like this book for some reason are missing the point. The âaeTao of Poohâ was never meant to be the definite treatise on Taoism, or the dispassionate comparison of East and West. As a matter of fact, this book is classified under âaeHumorâ. In fact, it is this humor of pooh which lends itself so aptly to introducing Taoism. Since reading this book, I became interested in reading the other book by John Tyerman Williams called âaePooh & the Philosophersâ. What a disaster that turned out to be! See, the defining character of Pooh is that he never really takes himself seriously, which is perfectly in line with the attitude of major Taoist philosophers. Yet Western philosophy thinks of itself as a serious subject, an attitude that is quite un-Pooh-ish, so I donâ(tm)t know what on earth Williams was thinking in using Pooh to illustrate Western philosophy. Anyways, donâ(tm)t buy Williamâ(tm)s book, buy this! If you like Pooh and feel intrigued with Eastern Philosophy, you will find a pleasurable reading in this masterpiece that was the first to recognize this beautiful match.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
okko hartikainen
I got this book years ago. It's one of those books that you reread over and over because the advice is so pure, sensible, and hits you a different way each time depending on what is going on in your life at the time. It's an entertaining read. It's written using the characters of Winnie the Pooh to illustrate what could be difficult to understand concepts. As a result, it's very easy to grasp. You don't feel assaulted, guilty or resistant either. I mean, it's Pooh! :) I highly recommend it for anyone doing soul searching or who just wants to understand life a bit better. I've given this book away as a gift over and over again. It's just one of those books that speaks to many people.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jenn anne
"What's this book about?" I asked.
"Well," said Pooh, "it's about me."
"Well, I knew that - after all, the book is called 'The Tao of Pooh'," I said. "But it has to be more than that."
"It's about what I do and how I do it," said Pooh.
"Not about WHY you do it?" I asked.
"Not really," responded Pooh. "I do things because they seem to be the Right Thing to Do at the time I do them."
"Isn't that sort of like the Tao?" I asked.
"I suppose so," said Pooh.
I don't know very much about Taoism myself, but this to me seems to be an excellent introduction to the subject. It's a tad confusing, which is why I give it only four stars. I hope that there are other books out there that are just as small and just as complex as "The Tao of Pooh".
"The WHAT of Pooh?" asked Pooh.
"'The Tao of Pooh'," I said.
"It sounded like you said 'The OW! of Pooh'," said Pooh.
"Isn't this conversation in the book?" I asked.
"Oh, yes," said Pooh. "So it is."
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
haris
Maci's Review -I had to read The Tao of Pooh for school. We read it because we were learning about Taoism. It explains Taoism really well, and helps you understand it by relating aspects of it to already well known characters, the characters in Winnie the Pooh.

This book was a bit hard to read at times because you had to really think to get it, but it was good and I liked the way that it was to the point about everything. I think that I would have gotten more out of it if I had read Winnie the Pooh before. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about Taoism.

Zoe's Review - I had to read this book for school. We read this book to help us understand Taoism more thoroughly. I found that this book did a great job in explaining many of the concepts of Taoism, while having short stories from Winnie the Pooh to make it interesting. This is a nice, fast read that did a great job of explaining Taoism. This was done by the narrator explaining Taoism to Pooh bear and using short stories as examples. I recommend this book to anybody who likes Winnie the Pooh because it also adds another layer to the character of Winnie the Pooh that makes him even better.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rene parker
My interpretation of this book is that it's very misunderstood. The first time I read it I certinaly did not like it as much as Tao of Pooh but after a lot of thought into that I understood I wasn't supposed to like some of it. A lot of these reviews talk about how this book is just a money grab followed up by the success of the first book or they don't like the message or rants of information in it. I've come to understand that is the point. With the good, Tao, comes the bad, Te. While there may be parts of this book you won't care for there are also some great points hidden inbetween the authors long rants. To me, he is expressing how life isn't always perfect, that you will have to accept the bad and let it lead you to appreciate the good as well as learning to flow around the bad to help live as Tao. If you're a fan of Tao of Pooh, this book will defiantly not be what you except but if you keep an open mind I believe there are important lessons in there for everyone but you may not like them.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
hybr1s
Tao of Pooh Book Review
People think of Winnie the Pooh as a goofy, clumsy character and perceive his adventures as playful and pointless. In “The Tao of Pooh,” it is explained clearly how many aspects of Pooh Bear relate to Taoism, or ancient Chinese philosophies. The characters interact with each other to portray this idea simply.
I overall enjoyed the book very much. It was a very quick read and I found it simple to get through the pages with an easy understanding. The book entertained me and I was able to grasp the general idea of Taoism. The whole concept seemed to be rather difficult to understand, but the book could not have made it any simpler. I believe an important message throughout the story became relevant through the quote, “The wise are not learned; the learned are not wise” (24). This particular quote from Lao-tse depicted an attitude that many Taoists have shared. As well, one particular part of the story I enjoyed was the Cottleston Pie Principle. It means that people should stay true to themselves and not want to change or try to be different from who they are. I believe it’s about contentment within the self.
While I enjoyed and appreciated this story, I do not recommend it to everyone. One must be interested in ancient Chinese philosophies and Winnie the Pooh mixed into one book. However, an interested reader’s mind will stay focused on the story because it was very well planned and thought out. I also do not believe the seemed to be difficult concept of Taoism should be looked at as intimidating.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
marissa
Many years ago, before the digital age, I directed a student abroad program taking college student both to Nepal and Tibet. I was teaching a course entitled "A Western Scientist Looks East". Over a period of some 15 years and some 20 trips I had taken as many as 200 students. Originally the course title was "the biophysics of high altitude physiology--a western scientist looks East" but over the years the course drifted more and more towards trying to understand Eastern Phiosophy. Living in Nepal it is simply not possible to not become completely enchanted with their Eastern culture, a culture that surrounds your every moment of the day and night. Although I had used a variety of books for my course my one constant companion was Hoff's magnificent book, "The Tao of Pooh". Recently I have just finished writing a new fun book, well a comic book, in which I have Aristotle reading "The Tao of Pooh" so I found my beat up copy in my old back pack. I had completely forgotten what a real joy it was to read that little book once more. It is a jewel of a book: a book for all ages.

Igor Gamow
[email protected]
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
nancynoreen
This book was a major disapointment. Instead of building upon the foundation that was laid down in The Tao of Pooh, the author gets too emotional and rants and raves about the evils of the western world. However there still are many nuggets of wisdom scattered throughout the text. The poem included by Ko Hung is the most profound thought I have encountered in any text about Taoism thus far, and I am very gratefull the author included it here. However, the authors anger at the western lifestyle just gets in the way of his original message of contentment and happiness. Other authors such as Deng Ming-Dao, or Lao-Tsu himself are much better examples of pure Taoist thought. There is great wisdom in the author's book, it just takes too much time to sift through the anger to find it. Don't get me wrong The Tao of Pooh was groundbreaking but Piglets message of the virtue of the small in this book gets swallowed up by the authors anti-western attitudes.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
court carney
The first book in this series, The Tao of Pooh, focused on how Winnie the Pooh embodies the simplistic, easygoing way of living in harmony with the world around us that is, in essence, Taoism. The Te of Piglet, its sequel, goes into deeper exploration of the "Te" - virtue of the small - and hence follows the adventures of Piglet.

I'm not usually a fan of nonfiction, but these books are educational, entertaining and soothing to the soul. Reading The Te of Piglet was a bit like doing yoga: I could feel my breathing slow and my muscles relax as I internalized the Taoist principles (along with excerpts from Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner). The Te of Piglet is full of simple wisdom such as the story of the narrow market street that was blocked by a horse that would kick anyone trying to pass. When the Taoist master approached, the backed-up crowd of people parted to let him through, sure he would know how to deal with the horse. He took one look at the problem and simply took another street.

I'm not saying I agree with everything in the book - I don't think microwaves are evil and I'm not sure if Mother Nature is on the verge of teaching us a lesson - but there are many lessons in here worth learning. Slowly. For the book tells us that part of the reason Westerners are unhappy is that our attention spans are too short to truly understand anything that doesn't come to us quickly, even though the source of fulfillment is sticking to and completing the things that don't come quickly. It's certainly a point worth thinking about...
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
joylita
This book is based around the idea that A. A. Milne's stories of Winnie-The-Pooh can be used to illustrate the basic notions of Taoism. Hoff is not by any means arguing that Milne was a Taoist. He is merely saying that Milne's inner attitude to life, as revealed by the stories, intuitively follow along the same path as Taoism. Owl is wise, Rabbit is cleaver and Eeore is smugly superior but the real hero of the books is Pooh, the apparently stupid yet strangely successful and able bear.

The book covers the Taoist principles of:

Tao, or the indescribable Way of the universe,
P'u, or natural simplicity, the Uncarved Block,
Inner Nature, being those things that make us exactly who we are,
Wu Wei, or proceeding without doing, causing, or making,
Tzu Jan, or 'self so', meaning that things happen by themselves, spontaneously,
Tz'u, or caring and compassion, and,
T'ai Hsu, or the Great Nothing.

Along the way we learn the pitfalls of being too busy and the benefits of doing nothing (for example meditation and contemplation). Having read this I now try to arrange my day so that I can spend half an hour a day in my garden with my cat just doing nothing but observing nature and thinking the thoughts that come to mind. I recommend it to everyone.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
brendal
...if you think you're going to get a great deal more explanation of the concepts and thinking that you might have found in "The Tao of Pooh".
Oh, Mr Hoff finds the time to explain a bit about Te, and how Virtue is a Very Good Thing. But as written by many other customer-reviewers, this book rapidly turns into a vicious rant by Mr Hoff against all the things he finds personally distasteful. I get a kick out of how completely he ignores the many passages in the Tao Te Ching that talk about how little government ultimately influences our personal, spiritual lives.
At any rate, you will get a great deal less in the way of stories taken from the Pooh books- and much more dialogue Mr Hoff makes up to illustrate his points. You will get fewer concepts of Taoism and Eastern thoughts. You will get only a few new, more advanced concepts of Taoism.
What you will get, as folks have pointed out, is a great deal of ranting and political theory. Well, it's Mr Hoff's right, I suppose, just as it's my right to say that if it's a primer on Taoism you seek, don't bother with this book- either get another copy of "The Tao of Pooh" (which is simply splendid) or buy another book on Taoism ("365 Tao" is a good one, IMO).
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
urszula
My mother made me a Pooh Bear when I was about 6 years old & this book reminded me why I took him everywhere with me. It may remind you, too, of when you were a kid, wondering why adults made everything so complicated & heavy. Or it can be a great reminder to jump back out of that mode if you've found yourself there. Tee, hee. An all-around, "Aaaah...Yeah. That." Book. Bravo!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
frankie
Benjamin Hoff made many of the concepts of Taoism simple for me as an American. On page 4, the author explains the concept of _Tao_ and writes, "...the harmony that naturally existed between heaven and earth could be found by anyone at any time...earth was in essence a reflection of heaven, run by the same laws-not by the laws of men. These laws affected not only the spinning of distant planets, but also the activities of birds in the forest and fish in the sea. According to Lao-tse, the more man interfered with the natural balance produced and governed by universal laws, the further away the harmony retreated into the distance. The more forcing, the more trouble." Even from my own Judeo-Christian tradition, it certainly makes sense to me to not fight against these universal laws (although I would disagree with a Taoist what these laws are and how these laws are learned). He then went on to explain that according to Taoism, these laws must be experienced rather than taught academically.
Using Winnie the Pooh (_P'u_?) as an example, the author goes on to explain the concept of _P'u_: "natural, simple, plain, honest." Throughout the dialog of this book, Pooh is used as a positive example of Taoist virtues and other characters (Tigger, the Owl, Rabbit, etc.) reflect the failures of other philosophies. Benjamin Hoff describes a character named "Bisy Backson" that hurries around fighting against the _Tao_. The author writes, "Rabbit didn't know what a Backson was in spite of the fact he is one." In several places, the author seems needlessly judgmental. Benjamin Hoff writes, "Looking back a few years, we see that the first Bisy Backsons in this part of the world, the Puritans, practically worked themselves to death in the fields without getting much of anything in return for their efforts." In places, I found myself offended when the author disparaged cultures other than the Taoists.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
akshay jain
The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff is undoubtedly an interesting and alluring book with its method of introducing an Eastern sect of philosophy in a way that even children could understand the authors supposed ingenious way of incorporating the lovable childhood characters of A.A. Milne: Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and the others. Yet within the first few minutes of reading, I quickly realized that this is absolutely not the jovial bedtime reading to entertain the kids and enlighten the curious western layman. This book is an abhorrent misrepresentation of both its parties and is an insult to every thinking man or woman who reads this utterly contemptible book. Whatever ignoble purpose this former janitor turned professional tree trimmer turned bestseller author set out to illustrate, he failed spectacularly. As far as my intellect and critical thinking abilities can discern (abilities that the author admonishes and reprimands and rather blatantly lacks himself, this book is his justification for a life of lethargy and torpidity and is disturbingly rewarded for this pathetic biopic with forty-nine weeks on the New York Times best-seller list and is, most disgracingly of all, a required reading book for collegiate Eastern Philosophy 101 and Introduction to Comparative Religion courses.
Hoff opens his quaint little book with Pooh asking an innocent question about what the author is writing as Pooh "...climbs on to the writing table." As the author attempt to sate the reader's likely purpose for buying the book, to read a cute story with the famed anthropomorphic bear and is yet "sophisticated and educational." Immediately upon turning the page I begin to grow wary when Pooh explains what the book is about and utters "...without ever accumulating any amount of intellectual knowledge or losing his simpleminded sort of happiness..." Albeit suspect, I am forcibly intrigued and fly through the "simpleminded" prose that is devoid of intellectual knowledge as I was forewarned. His analysis of The Vinegar Tasters is repugnant and appallingly ignorant and Hoff demonstrates his misconstrued views that will torment even those readers with the most rudimentary knowledge of the three main Eastern Religions: Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. The bias and false assertions are blatant and discredit the author about his credibility as one knowledgeable enough to write a book teaching Eastern Philosophical concepts. The art scroll is hardly definite in its interpretation and in this case it is not even apparent to my eye on which one is Lao-tse, the happiest one. At the most intrinsic level Confucianism, is the idea that humans are teachable and able to develop and are encouraged to cultivate a personal pursuit of moral perfection and a to observe humaneness. In essence, Confucianism is perfectionism treated with religious fervor or a sort of optimistic humanism. Although according to Hoff's description, the Confuscists emphasized a "sour," pessimistic philosophy characterized by an obsessive reverence for the past and worship of their demigod Emperor who interpreted heaven's demands on their insignificant earth. He goes onto condemn the Confuscists obsessive attention for precision and accuracy. He even begins his assault on this philosophy with the opening prepositional phrase "Under Confucianism..." as if it was some oppressive archaic totalitarian fascist theocracy. His ignorance and intolerance does not stop there. His description of the Buddha is equally spiteful and even more obscene. Describing the Buddha as one whose bitter outlook on the world "...interrupted by the bitter wind of everyday existence." One must recognizes that to encapsulate the twenty five thousand year old tranquil philosophy of Siddhartha is such a deplorable calumny that a flagrant bias cannot go without being addressed. The Buddha teaches for inner truth, peace of mind and a heightened sensitivity for compassion for humanity as part of nature. The audacity of Hoff continues as he portrays the Taoist founder Lao-tse's as a man of happy serenity; whilst this may and likely be true it bodes equally true for the Confusius and Buddha as well.
Distaste for science is the hidden agenda for Hoff in his book and it lies within the beginning of the passage on page twenty-four . He is introducing Pooh to Owl in one his living metaphors. Owl is represented by Confucius and they are portrayed as the scholars whom he describes as "...busy ants spoiling the picnic of life, rushing back and forth to pick up the bits and pieces dropped from above..." In essence, scientists and their fields. He continues on and says that "...deeper and broader matters are beyond its limited reach..." His barrage of inflammatory remarks at the intellectual and academic world of scientific inquiry appear ad nauseam throughout its pages. Hoff criticizes scientists as mindless drones (or for a more savage description, I will quote directly "[an] incomplete and unbalanced creature...rather helpless and disorganized in his daily life.") who lead shallow lives with no true feeling of joy and peace. He is irrefutably wrong with this loathsome generalization as scientists and scholars are typically philosophers as their core motivation for leading these "dreary" lives is a deeply insatiable desire to understand the inner workings of our universe. Their day job may consist of the tedious workings of the "how's" but the reason they are there is for the "why's." Hoff's pseudo-Taoism is obsessed with the "is" and is dogmatic in mission to stop questioning, which bears an uncanny resemblance to Catholic church of the 17th century instead of the wisdom of Eastern thought. Hard feelings and Hoff's own insecurities are alluded to when he makes the deplorable statement on the scientific community saying they are the ones "who keep what he learns to himself or to his own small group, writing pompous and pretentious papers that no one else can understand, rather than working for the enlightenment of others." In the foreword, he briefly mentions how when he proposed his idea for the book to the much maligned scholars, they labeled it as preposterous. At this point the true reason for writing this book is discernible underneath his gibberish that the book is written solely to justify his own insecurities and to express utter contempt for the scholarly community that rejected him. Hoff's philosophy is one of lethargy and sheer laziness which he makes himself feel arrogantly and distressingly confident by labeling it under the guise of Taoism.
His filthy misguided rhetoric is continuous throughout the entire book as each Pooh character is taken down in a horrible misrepresentation. Overall, this was one of the most appalling works I have read and is an injustice to all free thinkers and an insult to true Taoists and most inexcusable of all, the defiling of the lovable Pooh
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
kaelin
I wanted to like the Te of Piglet, but part of the way into it I realized that, taken to it's logical conclusion, the author laments that humanity has created tools to allow for more than just survival. There were few of the direct applications of Daoist writing into his treatise and almost nothing about Piglet, except that he was small, brave, and escaped from Owl's house after it blew over.
By the time the author got to his rant on Conservatives, which we have all heard countless times, it was clear that I should have stopped with Pooh. This book was a vehicle to put forward a political conviction disguised as another opportunity to have Daoism explained through these wonderful creatures.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
molly m
In a nutshell, take all the wonder and whimsy and philosophical depth of the Tao of Pooh. Repeat precisely the same messages in shorter form, swapping the name Piglet for Pooh. Mix in with cynicism, complaints, whining, and just a very slight edge of borderline paranoia. Serve cold (and mirthless, and dull, etc.). This book, more than anything, seems a documentary on Benjamin Hoff's slide from philosophizing tranquilly to becoming a very bitter person. From scarcely veiled ravings against feminism (something that seems to smack of a man who recently suffered a bad breakup over macho behaviour) to railings against modern technology that harken back vaguely to the tinfoil hat crowd, this book is best appreciated as a cautionary tale that even the most seemingly solid minds can be spoiled by a life not lived carefully. The text itself, as informed above, is basically the Tao of Pooh rehashed with this depressing, trite, and minimalistic elegy for the lost innocence of Piglet, made into little more than a handpuppet for Hoff's personal agendas.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lnylen
I've read this book a couple of times and I always enjoy it. I think it provides a good introduction to Taoist philosophy (I haven't read much other Taoist philosophy so take that for what it's worth). I like how bits of Winnie-the-Pooh are used to provide examples and illustrate abstract concepts. I agree with many of the basic ideas of the book. But reading it always leaves me vaguely unsatisfied. While much of what the author says makes sense, it isn't easy to apply it to daily life. I would describe two of the main axioms of the book as "go with the flow" and "be true to yourself." These are both sound pieces of advice but what do they really mean? What am I supposed to do with that? When I read the book I find myself nodding and agreeing but as soon as I put it down the words kind of evaporate. There just isn't enough substance to apply it to my life. Or maybe I just haven't figured out how to do it yet. Nobody said it was easy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kymberlie mcguire
I love this book. I bought it so long ago the pages are yellowing. For a while, I read it every year or so and understood it more each time. I just pulled my copy out because I was considering buying it for someone as a gift and so I flipped through it. While I've come a long way from when I first read it and I now understand it and have, for the most part, assimilated the points, I was reminded how we're never really "there." There's always room to be reminded of those occasions when we get in our own way on the way to becoming fully awake and aware.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
emily fraser
Those who want to learn specifically about Taoism probably will not learn much from this book. I feel as though the author should re-title the book "Poohism". There is much more material gathered from "Winnie the Pooh" stories than from actual Taoism. I do not think that the author's views reflect those of Taoism and the author injects some negative views which sometimes detract from his presentation. Despite this problem, it is still a cool book.

I have been reading this book to get insight into life. So far, it has been pretty effective. The author offered some harsh criticism of academic people, like myself. After some self-examination, I realized that most of the criticism was well deserved. Also, during conversations with others, I would actually cite examples from this book. I would say something like..."The Tao of Pooh says 'blah blah blah...etc', therefore you should try to make amends with your roommate". It has been useful to me. The irony is that this book actually predicted that I would cite things from books and offer these things to others in a pedagogical manner. I probably behave like Owl more than I would like to admit.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
saulius
I read this thirty years ago and just re-read it. It is fast and easy to finish. It gives a nice introduction to some of the Taoist ideas in an easy to understand way. I have in recent years read and watched Pooh and friends. I have diagnosed some of them (Tigger ADHD, Eyore chronic depression, Piglet anxiety,...), so using the characters to show ways of approaching life was a good tool by the author. He goes too far at times. To attack science, education, knowlegdge, logic, thinking, and just plain intelligence so hard was asinine. For my purposes, I took it as I am too analyical and need more balance.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
amr shawky
Once again Hoff uses Winnie the Pooh characters as a vehicle to explain Taoism, but in the Te of Piglet, Hoff carries the discussion a step further and links his thoughts with some of the issues facing society today.

While on a personal level I may agree with most of what he is saying, I found that Hoff feels VERY passionately about his beliefs and that reflects in a more "assertive" writing style. I found the Te of Piglet worth reading and I would still recommend this book, but I definitely did not enjoy it as much as the Tao of Pooh.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
thomas furlong
One could really take this book as a mixed bag of lessons. In a way, Hoff completely accidentally sets himself up as the ideal example of the opposite of a Taoist viewpoint. His portrayals of Winnie the Pooh as a simple, loving, accepting and calm creature are fairly on the mark. Though a tad simplistic, Pooh is accurately depicted as following several key Taoist virtues that are quite fundemental to such philosophy. At the same time, however, Hoff seems to scream for attention to his "higher learning" and aesceticism. Seeming to view himself a some type of guru on the subject, he makes a few jabs at Western learning in a painfully typical knee-jerk counterculturism manner. Many authors and artists in the past have attempted to seem profound simply by lashing out at anything conventional. After all, counterintuitive means profound, right? Unfortunately, no. In his rather selfrighteous, condemning, and finger-pointing manner, Hoff inadvertently deepens the lessons of the book. In his pretension, he deepens the contrast of the tranquil and nonjudgemental Pooh, setting him up as all the more admirable and showing just what sort of "more enlightened and at peace than thou" thinking this peaceful way of life stands against.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
derralyn
This is a well written, easily read book that provides and introduction and explanation of the general tenets of Tao through 5 main characters and the circumstances they are confronted with. Metaphor and real-life analysis and observation of how we live and think, and how Taoism can be applied to our perspectives and daily lives, if we want it to. Selection from the writings of Tao Te Ching, and other Taoist thinkers to the book's characters and stituations help explain the meanings for the neophyte.
The significant influence of Puritanism on our past and present U.S. history is also delved into. The Puritan influence has always been with us and I am convinced it always will be.
The American work week gets longer every year, according to studies, and we have less and less time for the good things in life: family, friends, introspection, personal growth, and even pursuing hobbies. We are constantly running from one place to another, both literally and figuratively, in search of--something. Fulfillment, happiness, or what have you. We try to buy it, acquire it, reach out to it. But it's right in front of our faces--we just have to allow ourselves to see it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sacha
Benjamin Hoff has taken an intricate and complex philosophy and distilled it to its essence in the delightful Tao of Pooh. This is much easier to read and understand than the I Ching (Book of Changes) or the Tao ti Ching (Book of the Way.) With Pooh as your guide, Hoff clearly articulates the lessons and tenets of the Tao ("the Way").
Taoism, a Chinese peasant religion and philosophy, was founded by Lao Tzu in the 5th century BC. Essentially it urges its followers not to resist the natural ebb and flow of life - after all, nature will always win, so why waste the energy? Hoff, using Pooh and the other characters of the Hundred Acre Wood, illustrate how "the Way" is practiced in day-to-day situations.
Yet there is more to this wonderful little book than an elucidation of Taoism in practice. Hoff takes neither himself or his subject too seriously, often times having "conversations" with Pooh who, in his almost child-like simplicity, both emphasizes and embodies living "the Way".
This is no children's book - but it is fun to read for its message, its messenger and its content. I recommend it without reservation.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
shelly jain
The Te of Piglet started off innocent enough, why with cute characters and even cuter writing how could this turn out bad? Don't get comfortable just yet! Before I knew it, I was being bombarded by Hoff's complaints about the Western world and its wretched politics. Oh how the West has lost its way--or rather, never knew the way to begin with! This is NOT a spiritually informative book, it is a compilation of Hoff's frustrations with the Western world, in particular, America. He makes it a point to vilify Eeyore who, to my knowledge, was always a lovable, albeit, depressive character. Furthermore, on the one hand, Hoff criticizes China's authoritarian government and on the other, he praises them, saying "these people know something" when referring to the country's tree planting policy. Perhaps it isn't that the Chinese are so wise and forward thinking that they know to instill tree-planting into children's hearts but rather that China has some of the worst desertification problems on this planet and that the Gobi Desert grows by the size of three Englands a year! Don't buy Hoff's political rants either because a few of his opinions are uninformed. Lovers of the Tao of Pooh, be forewarned, this does not deserve to be called its companion book. After I completed the Te of Piglet, I found it hard to take anything from Hoff seriously again. Aside from lacking the spirit of Taoism, the book is just plain disorganized. I am still wondering, "what was the point of all that?"
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kushal
For those of you who are curious about this book and may be turned off by some of the "negative" comments, allow me to offer my humble opinion. I think that those people who did not like this book or felt it did not explain taoism, just really don't get the point. Taoism most certainly isn't something you seek and seek and then get frustrated at not finding, then angry, and then seek and seek. Taoism seen especially through Pooh's eyes and actions (or should I say "inactions") comes so near the mark to beginning to understand this ancient philosophy of harmonious existence on earth with the earth, and the duality of all things. I highly recommend this book for that open minded, non-judgemental, person open to the concept that indeed anything is possible...too many of us are so grounded in what we "absolutely know to be fact", when in reality anything in this universe is truly possible. Please explore this book on your path. I also highly recommend the companion book to this, The Te of Piglet, which delves ever more into taoism.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
don roff
Technically, this is a third rereading, but the books continue to inspire each time. Both were part of the morning reading sessions my husband and I have been enjoying for years. It's interesting to see which character I associate with each time. Quite a nice gauge of how I've changed as a person over the decades.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
heather ortega
Wow of Pooh

Who would have thought characters from Winnie the Pooh could be used to explain Taoism? Talking animals are utilized to represent the deep teachings in this book. I found that I liked the concepts of this book, and I liked the author’s approach of showing connections. I think the author had a creative idea by incorporating Winnie the Pooh characters and explain Taoism through them. He took a difficult notion and made it easier to understand by using animals as symbols. Pooh was the Taoist in the book, and many times he was seen simply just living his life as it came at him.
The quote, "From the state of the Uncarved Block comes the ability to enjoy the simple and the quiet, the natural and the plain. Along with that comes the ability to do things spontaneously and have them work, odd as that may appear to others at times. As Piglet put it in Winnie-the-Pooh, ‘Pooh hasn't much Brain, but he never comes to any harm. He does silly things and they turn out right.’” really sums up the idea of Taoism in this book. It shows how Pooh doesn’t put much though into his actions, he simply just does them, and everything works out for him. Also, Pooh enjoys the little things, like a pot of honey to satisfy his tummy. The other characters lack Pooh’s plainness and simplicity towards life. For example, Rabbit’s cleverness and busyness, Piglet’s hesitation and fear, and Eeyore’s worries and frets cause these characters to have problems and spoil events that could have been great.
This book depicts the teachings of Taoism in a way that a lot of people can understand, even children. Through each character, a lesson is learned about life. Overall, the book shows a great concept, so simply. Although it is a quick read, a lot can be taken out and learned from this book. What will you learn?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
can koklu
It's just over half an inch thick, and just slightly bigger than pocket sized. If you can fit the entirety, or even a decent beginning of an explanation of the entirety of any philosophy or religion into a volume that sized... without cheating by using rice paper and microscopic print.. well, congratulations, I guess. I'm no scholar.

It's a surface treatment, and an ok one at that. But most people won't come here for serious expository source material on the intricacies of Eastern mysticism. It's a playful, and simple reminder to most readers that life isn't the overbearingly complicated and ponderous thing that we're all told about. Yes, it involves Taoism. Yes, it involves Pooh. Yes, it bounces around, and it's an easy read. But it makes some valid points worth thinking about, and it'll leave most folks staring off into space for a while when they get done.

Maybe it's not "serious" scholarly work. But it's a wonderful departure point for anyone who's a little too caught up in the frenzy of what life is supposed to be... whatever that is. It's hard enough to untangle the mess of the human mind without adding complication to the process by having to pore over a voluminous, verbose, and sometimes vacuous expository volume. Hard enough to figure yourself out as it is, without having to figure out what someone else is saying, too. So have a seat in your favorite chair, relax, unwind, and enjoy.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
soo hwang
Before reading 'The Tao of Pooh' I assumed it was a long philosophical tract scattered with quotes from the 'Winnie the Pooh' books to give it a gimmicky marketing push. It wasn't - it was a genuinely interesting introduction to Taoism, with a valid Pooh connection. It didn't push its viewpoint as being better than any other, and was thus inoffensive.
'The Te of Piglet', on the other hand, is terrible - a lengthy rant about the authors' pet hates, scattered with a few quotes from the 'Winnie the Pooh' books as dressing.
The author has two points. Firstly, that small things are not necessarily insignificant (a great point, one which just took me six words to express), and secondly, that feminists, scientists, critics, technology, businessmen, microwave ovens, negative viewpoints, unhelpful opinions and bad thoughts will be swept away in an inevitable cleansing, leaving the author and his friends to inherit the earth.
And the author is right, constantly. If you think otherwise, you're contributing to the forces of negativity, and will be swept aside. There is no other way. It's this kind of thing that puts me off religion.
However, to fill the book up, the author seems to wind himself into a twisted rage, berating everything in the world which is not him, for being shallow, self-obsessed, and destructive. Eventually he becomes angry, and loses perspective and self-awareness, and you start to notice silly things that you would have ignored beforehand. Eventually I imagined the author as an bearded real-ale drinker muttering bitter thoughts to himself in a house in California, and at that point I couldn't take anything he said seriously again.
For example, slotted in near the end is the tale of a great king who liked the sound of a nightingale singing so much that, when presented with a flawless clockwork replica, he neglected the real nightingale until it flew away. Over time the clockwork nightingale broke, and the king felt sad until the real nightingale returned. This is presented as great wisdom, but my initial response was 'this is froth'. What does it mean? Presumably the author sees it as a cautionary tale against the evils of metal, but, if you think about it for a moment and don't accept it blindly, it means nothing at all, it's just an empty quote with the illusion of depth. Much the same could be said about the rest of the book - we are constantly told to learn from real life, whilst being presented by wisdom presented as narrative descriptions of life in Ancient China.
Whilst 'Pooh' had a light touch, 'Piglet' attempts to bludgeon the reader with the author's viewpoints, and by the final chapter I felt like reading through the nasty bits of 'American Psycho' again, just to calm down.
Take Eeyore, for example. He's a loveable misanthrope, a welcome note of gloom in the 'Winnie the Pooh' books, who seems bitter but, deep down, means well. The author hates him, however. Really, truly hates him. He doesn't just disapprove of him, he actually hates him.
'The Tao of Pooh' is a great book - even if you're a cynical soul, after reading it you can accept Taoism and respect it, even if you don't agree with its way of seeing the world. 'The Te of Piglet', on the other hand, will make you want to attack the author and his beliefs with a broom.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
morteza
There are a few nuggets in the book, which is why I gave it a 2-star rating instead of a 1-star rating. However, anyone with knowledge of Taoism has already laid hold of these basic concepts and has moved on to deeper things. For those unfamiliar with the philosophy of the Tao, this book will likely do more harm than good, especially for the uncritical reader. The author does not demonstrate a good grasp of communication through language and often rambles inanely. In this, he might think he is demonstrating the Tao, but rather, he is demonstrating his own ineptness. As he rails loudly against "Brain," it appears to the reader that perhaps he does so because this is what he lacks most. Besides the juvenile rant against anything scientific and/or intellectual, his downright critical tirade against any viewpoints but his own leaves a bitter taste in the reader's mouth. This is not the Tao. So, while the idea of taking the simple stories of Pooh and his friends and illustrating the Tao has merit, in my opinion, this author fails miserably in his attempt. The place to start for any reader of English should probably be one of many decent English translations of the Tao Te Ching, which one may find simply by searching the Internet.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
sarah leonard
Seems like a contradiction right? So are some parts of Hoff's book. I must note that other reviewers have pointed this out. Hoff explains, quite clearly (thankfully) that one of the tenets of Taoism is to accept things precisely as they are...and then, as another reviewer says, he doesn't accept the other Pooh characters for what they are, instead disparaging them for not having the simplicity of Pooh.

Ultimately, as one who is uninitiated into Taoist philosophy, I would suggest this book if for no other reason than to acquaint oneself with its basic philosophies, which Hoff does explain clearly. One warning is that, sometimes his forays into conversation w/Pooh, and his story anecdotes are less than clear, and he assumes the reader immediately understood. Sometimes I felt going off into the world of Pooh was unneeded at a certain point, though at other points it was valid and well-constructed. Additionally, I would read this book as though walking onto a floor w/a "Careful" sign on it...this book is unnecessarily judgmental of others, and I feel that by feeling that way about others, one avoids the nothingness and simplicity Hoff says the Taoist seeks. Judging others adds confusion to life, the very same confusion Hoff wants us to avoid by being as simple as Pooh. So I say: read this book, and use it as a spur to further readings in Taoism if it interests you, but don't take it as a textbook of Taoist thought. Many of Hoff's explanations are good, and the quotes from actual Taoists and other Chinese thinkers are excellent, but do not take the judgmental road implied by this book.

I think it's worth noting that on the back of the book, where the genre is usually listed in small print near the ISBN, The Tao of Pooh is listed as a humor book. So read this book w/that in mind. It is a good intro to Taoism, but ultimately, it is not a book of Taoist philosophy, and is more like a book of metaphysics that utilizes Taoism. It is worth mentioning that several Taoist ideas (about the harmony of the heavens and earth) are not strictly Taoist, which to me says, not that the Taoists were not unique, but that they have hit on some sort of truth. Hoff's book can help the average person in their daily life, through the basics of Tao. Hoff's book will not make one a true follower of Taoism, in my opinion. However, for most, the former is enough, and the latter is unimportant, and that is fine. This book operates both as a good pique of the imagination leading to further studies into Taoism, or as simply a book which reminds us of the beauty in the simplicity of life...all in the unassuming world of Winnie-the Pooh. So for that, the book has merit, even if its unnecessary judgmental nature is obnoxious.

3.75 stars
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ryan thuermer
If Pooh is the embodiment of the Tao, the Piglet is the embodiment of the Te, the Chinese word and principle for Virtue. Benjamin Hoff, in his first book `The Tao of Pooh' talks about the religio-philosophical tradition of Taoism, and in this follow-up book, he explores in more detail with Piglet, who felt neglected in the first volume, but felt it only natural considering he's a Very Small Animal (and life is not always easy for a Very Small Animal), the concept of virtue, or the Te.
The Te is not so easily contained in the word virtue, however. `It is instead a quality of special character, spiritual strength, or hidden potential unique to the individual--something that comes from the Inner Nature of things. And something, we might add, that the individual who possess it may be quite unaware of--as is the case with Piglet through most of the Pooh stories.'
Of course, virtue un-enacted is a Very Small Virtue, indeed, so it become the responsibility of those with a Te to bring it forward in transformation. A Very Small Virtue, like a Very Small Animal, can be a good thing if the dreaded Heffalump comes by -- it might not get squashed; it might be ignored. But this is not the way of the Te.
The Te such as Piglet's can overcome distraction such as the Tigger Tendency -- the tendency to bounce off in different directions simply because they feel good. It can also help overcome the increasing drive toward acquisition (a Very Small Animal doesn't need Very Many Things; a society with cares for Virtue must not have an overpowering care for Things).
The modern person tends to overlook the small virtues in favour of Progress, in pursuit of reaching a potential, which `is seen as an increase of tools'. Of course, with more tools we can do more stuff! And with more stuff, we can make yet more tools!
The trend is not only material, but academic and philosophical, too. `Western philosophy, having little connection with everyday living, is (to this observer, at least) comparatively egocentric and impractical, with much Arguing and Theorising, and much bounding back and forth across the intellectual landscape--a pleasant, part-time diversion formulated by and aimed at the likes of Owl, Rabbit, and sometimes Eeyore, but not particularly supportive of the likes of Piglet and Pooh.'
Of course, one has an image to maintain, too. This is the point of existence of some Owls, who must be able to spell TUESDAY to gain respect, even if they postulate that any 'variant' of the spelling is sufficient. (Some lessons are repeated from The Tao of Pooh, because they are Very Important Lessons, and some people won't read both books, being of Very Little Time).
The Te is subtle and compassionate. It is not vocal, it is not loud. Lao-tse wrote, 'The skilled worker leaves no tracks' -- the worker is so at one with nature that no disturbance is made. Certainly making a broad show of Virtue is to cause a disturbance.
And yet, it is vital that virtue be prominent in action and life. What is a Very Small Animal to do?
After much more searching and being, Piglet arrives at the stage where he can finally be positive, to ward off the Eeyore effects, and thus attract positive with positive, attract virtue with virtue, in a low-key and subtle form. And finally, Piglet, a Very Small Animal of seemingly no consequence, attains recognition: `Piglet, Esq. My Dear Sir: The Board of Regents of Sandhurst University wish me to inform you of their desire to grant you an honorary degree of Brave Animal (B.A.). We should be most pleased if you could be present at the awards ceremony, which shall be held on...'
Piglets in the world, unite! Take a lesson, perhaps from one of the most Piglet-y figures of our century, Mohandas Gandhi -- a frail and shy man, frightened by crowds and a Very Small Animal in many ways. But with a great and irresistably subtle Te, virtue, that defeated the greatest empire on earth (a Very Big Animal indeed) without an army, and without backing down.
Every ending is a beginning. Now Piglet's tale is over. Now you must begin.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ibrahim ibrahim
This book is simply magnificent. I've been reading the Tao for years and never had I made the correlation of Pooh and Taoism. From the start you see how Hoff ties in Pooh to the ancient chinese philosophy, and having Pooh as a living and breathing character in the book helps. Pooh injects his simple nature and gentle humor into everything which is just so.. well, Taoist.
I found myself entralled by how wonderful and charming Hoff made the book. He made it's reading an enjoyable process.
Now for those of you who are new to Taoism or having trouble with its principle nature this will be a helpful book. I read some of the reviews of those who didn't understand the book or perhaps Taoism in general. Western minds often think too hard about everything. If you can relax and simply accept the book and its message as it is presented you should see its beauty.
Taoism is like the sky is blue and the grass is green, it is simple and amazing and Pooh makes a great representative to deliver its teachings.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
milad ghezellu
Since the first one was enjoyed and liked, the second was a natural. Both for Hoff to write and for me to want to read. However, maybe it was because the it was no longer a novelty or because Hoff seemed to ramble a bit more in this one, but I didn't enjoy this book as much as his last, The Tao of Pooh. Near the end it seemed to devolve into more of a litany of the sins of mankind against nature than anything else. I still enjoyed it and there was still a lot of teachings and information that I learned. Plus there is a natural growth and extension from the first book that he is not necessarily repeating himself nor the ideas. But for whatever reason, it just didn't strike me as much.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rick battenbough
I, instantly, understood Taoism, going with the flow of life. It was easy to read, enjoyable and short. I read it years ago, but still think that it is one of the best books that I ever read. I buy and carry extra copies for other people. I had watched all of the Winnie Pooh videos with my son, and it really makes sense to be like Pooh, and not to fret like Piglet, or be grouchy like Owl and Rabbit. I just laughed. Delightful and true. I hope that I keep remembering to go with the flow!!!!!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lenanda
This sequel of the masterpiece âaeTao of Poohâ beats the original in terms of density of ideas and clarity of presentation. It is nearly double the size of âaeThe Tao of Poohâ, hence gave me double the pleasure of reading it. Having read A.A. Milneâ(tm)s Pooh classics, and having thoroughly enjoyed the âaeTao of Poohâ, it was only natural that I buy this book and have more fun learning about Taoism through the enjoyable adventures of Pooh and Piglet.

This volume focuses on the various Piglet stories, showing us how smallness can be a virtue (Te). It recounts Pigletâ(tm)s myriad adventures: the Heffalump, Owlâ(tm)s house episode, and encounters with Tigger and Eeyore to teach us about philosophical truths: things can look different that what they are, one needs to find their place and live in harmony with nature, etc. Actually, in almost an imperceptible way the author gets us to think about fundamental issues that are at the core of our relationship with the modern world. For example, how the West borrowed early scientific knowledge from the East but did not borrow the philosophical basis behind that knowledge. Since I pursue a science career, this particular issue triggers an important bell for me. One can almost sense an anti-science substratum in the book, yet as a scientist I cannot help agree with the author in many cases. Science today is like a vehicle running amok without a driver. Is this really good for us? Why arenâ(tm)t we even asking ourselves these questions? At least Benjamin Hoff does, and he deserves an open ear.

Of course, not all the ideas are developed into an indisputable treatise. This book is classified as âaehumorâ after all. This is perhaps appropriate since the Taoist attitude to life also depends on humor to some extent. Pooh and Piglet, the humorous characters who do not take themselves seriously are in a way the perfect vehicle to illustrate ancient Taoist principles. This is a highly recommended book!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
lawrence a
I really gave this text a good shot. This book was recommended to me by a friend, and I was eager to read the words contained between the cover. When I started this book, curiosity fueled my desire to read more. But as time progressed, the words became like tiny razors of annoyance that left my mind bleeding. I don't recommend this book, because I found it contrived, boring, and presented in a direct inversion of Tao principles.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
kaleigh
I thoughrouly enjoyed and learned from the Toa of Pooh. The Te of Piglet seemed like little more than Mr Hoff's attempt to rub the success of the first book in the face of his critics.
The theoretical intention of the book was to explain the concept of Te and applying it to piglet for the western audiance. You could probably sum up everything he had to say about it on one page. Or one quote from the New Testament: "Blessed are the meek." He didn't really say much more than that on the subject.
What the book really seemed to be about was Eeyore. How Eeyore was against him, how Eeyore was wrong, how Eeyore never does anything, how Eeyore started all the wars... I often forgot the book was even supposed to be about piglet.
He devotes a lot of time, especially near the end to various political issues, such as the destruction of the redwood forest. A worthy cause, and some of his other's may also be worthy, but he doesn't make it clear at all what any of it has to do with Piglet. He probably should have written a different book entirely.
This book was less about Taoism and personal growth than it was a lesson in learning to ignore people who don't agree with you. And if you didn't know Benjamin Hoff Personally, and never told him the idea of the Toa of Pooh was stupid, then the core message wasn't meant for you. To those who is was meant for, allow me to paraphrase: I told you so.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
sheila guthrie
In short, this book has failed to enlighten me on the subject of Te - or anything to do with Tao, really. I borrowed it from the library in the hopes of learning more about Tao, which, because of the Tao of Pooh, had already interested me, and having finished it 15 minutes ago, I actually feel a bit dumber. I started to be suspicious as he spent pages ripping on Confucianism without naming any redeeming qualities or giving a frame of reference or opposing viewpoints...it got worse.
From the point of view of someone hoping to learn about the Tao, this book disappoints because there is actually very little explanation of the Tao within at all. The author frequently quotes original Taoist passages but fails to draw the connection between those quotes and what he's actually writing about...which is just a stack of political issues he's pissed off about. That the book barely dealt with Tao and Te at all was enough of a disappointment. That it became his soapbox to voice his personal opinions on the world was a bigger disappointment.
Throughout the book he compares ,,the West" to ,,the East" but not in an intelligent or even interesting way. He shows stacks of typical American stereotypes, many of which are even true and we're all well aware of (showy, biased news channels; confusing want with need, etc) as the West while using the ancient picture of the serene Asian at one with himself and nature as his picture of the East, lumping all Asian nations together as though they all follow the same ideals. My issue with that is he rips on one nation's government while lifting up another nation's common people, which is an unfair comparison. Had he done it the other way round and written about the Chinese government and the typical American person, the same passages would've been written.
On page 152 he dismisses the usefulness of mathematics by claiming a word problem involving cows leaving a pen at a rate of two per minute is pointless because cows don't walk like that anyway. I did the same thing when I was seven and trying to get out of doing my math homework.
Ten pages later, OUT OF THE BLUE, he takes up a rant about the tobacco industry. It lasts three pages and shows no transition or connection to or from anything else in the book.
In the first few chapters the book reads more like a self-help books, categorising each of us into ,,Are you a Tigger, an Eeyore, a Rabbit or what," telling the qualities of each and what should be changed, but not how. Later in the book, as it turns away from the Hundred Acre Wood and completely into random rants, I'm reminded of when I was 12 and realised the first time that not everything the TV, my parents, or school told me was necessarily true, and I spent the next bunch of years wearing black and drawing the anarchist symbol all over my history papers in school: a lot of talk about issues that are common knowledge - you're not the whistle blower you think you are, Hoff! - and not doing much about it. It reads like a rebellious teenager's diary.
My boyfriend asked about the conclusion. He quotes Hans Christian Andersen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and a Buddhist saying.
All that set aside...what actually pisses me off the most is how he took a children's story and twisted it into this self-help book/political rant. He took melancholy but sweet Eeyore, messy but energetic Tigger, and all the rest, and found a ton of negative qualities in them and recommended we shun the ,,Tiggers" or ,,Eeyores" in our lives. It's a kid's bedtime story. Come on, dude. A.A. Milne is rolling in his grave.
I can't remember anything about Piglet from the book. He's mentioned but I can't recall a single connection between him and this Te and all the rants that fill up the book, and I just finished this (now an hour ago).
If you liked the Tao of Pooh, just leave it at that. Don't bother with this. That ToP was so informative and explanatory of Tao and the metaphor of Pooh was so clear and helpful to the understanding of Tao makes the Te of Piglet that much more disappointing. If Tigger and Eeyore and Owl or whoever editions come out, I'll have a hard time feigning interest after this massive letdown.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
judit
To be honest, I am not a big "Winnie the Pooh" fan, and I was going to put this book down after the first 30 pages, but I am thankful that I kept reading.

Benjamin Hoff does a fantastic job of explaining Taoism in an easy to read, intellectually stimulating format. In addition, even if you don't want to specifically know about Taoism there are some real pearls of wisdom in this book and the application of these concepts will definitely impact your life.

A must read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
michael riley
This book suits those with an interest in philosophy or Taoism in particular who also like a nice, easy read from time to time. There will always be those who dislike having such a serious subject equated with something so childlike, and yet that is what Taoism is all about--the childlike way of viewing the world, accepting reality for what it is rather than trying to force it to be what we want it to be.
For those new to Taoism, it opens the door to a different way of viewing the world. To those not so new to it, it's a refreshing, fun take on the subject. This book is intended to explain the basic concepts of the philosophy. For those looking for an analytical or in-depth book on the subject, you need to look elsewhere.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
sarahyl
Over the past few years, I have diagnosed myself as a Pooh, a Piglet, and an Eeyore, or some combination of the three. I am most definitely a Piglet; I'm an introvert with anxiety. Sometimes I'm clumsy, confused, and generally good- natured like Pooh, and I can probably out-melancholy Eeyore any day. I was delighted when I found The Te of Piglet on the bookshelf at Target. Finally someone had applied the basic concepts of Taoism, a philosophy I had some interest in, to a story I have loved since I was a four. The basic idea behind the book was especially intriguing; Benjamin Hoff, the author, states that he will apply the Taoist principle of te, the Virtue of the Small, to Piglet's adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood. Based on this premise alone, I bought the book, hoping to be educated and entertained.

All in all, I finished Hoff's book feeling disappointed and a bit disheartened by his analysis of our society, a fact that distracted me from the message of the book as a whole. He begins with the basic introduction and background of Taoism that I was hoping for, applying teachings to Piglet's character. His imagined conversations with the characters, which are interacting with him as he writes the book, are especially entertaining and even endearing. After awhile, however, Hoff's analysis moves away from Piglet's "Very Small Animal" persona and to what he refers to as the "Eeyore effect" and the "Tigger tendency", topics that could probably be addressed in two new books ( but won't be because he never wanted to write a sequel in the first place, an idea he emphasizes in the introduction). People who would be classified as Eeyores are cynical and overdramatic, while Tiggers have misplaced goals and short attention spans that follow only what society considers to be important. While I am the first one to admit that our society is far from perfect, Hoff's criticism seems harsh and misplaced, and I found it to be somewhat offensive at times, especially in his open hostility toward the media, critics, and feminists. What started off as a valid and educated opinion soon turned into a cautionary rant about the evils of our society, a culture he lives and participates in.

Taoism has always struck me as a philosophy or religion that revolves around peace and harmony, and when applying his analysis of the Taoist te to Piglet's character, Hoff makes a valid argument. However, after only a few short chapters, Hoff's opinion verges on denying this same harmony with the world that he claims to teach. In Hoff's version of Western civilization, individuals' identities are firmly fixed; you can't be a Piglet and an Eeyore simultaneously for example. While I am admittedly not familiar with Taoist teachings, this argument seems to be a bit out of place. Overall, this book left me with more questions than answers and I would advise readers who are looking for a simple or brief introduction to Taoist teachings to look elsewhere.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
swarat
For those of you who, like me, are interested in philososphy but find most philosophical writings boring and overly complicated, this is the book for you. Hoff explains Taoism through the adventures of Whinnie the Pooh. If you've ever read any of A.A. Milne's novels, the style of this book should be familiar. As Hoff writes about Whinnie the Pooh and his Taoist attitude towards life, Pooh and Piglet comment on his writing and ask him questions. So how is Pooh an example of Taoism? Because he is simple-minded and unconditionally happy. Pooh lives a life of harmony because he never frets or hesitates. He simply goes with the flow, and that is what Taoism teaches. This book is a happy retreat to childhood combined with philisophical teachings that only an adult could understand. I highly recommend it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ian edwards
This book is a wonderfully written treatise on Taoism expressed in a manner that we can all easily understand. You don't need to be a Pooh fan or a Taoist expert to appreciate the book, but you'll probably become more interested in both after you read the book. I've read a lot around Taoism and it's easy to see that Hoff's summary in this book is not the most academic I've ever read. It's not necessarily the most practical either, but it does allow you to visualise certain of the more esoteric notions in a manner familiar to us all. Like most of the books that I really love, this one has been a popular gift item in my friends' stockings over the past few years. I hope you enjoy it.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
daniel ketton
After listening I didn not come away with a better understanding of Taoism. The authors openly bashed scientific process on understanding nature. And lastly wasn’t given the sense of nostalgia from the voicing of Poo, tiger, and others that I thought would be an interesting twist on introducing the idea of Taoism.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
karen jennings
... approach it carefully.
One reviewer gave an excellent reason to enjoy this book: he was feeling very down and small and put upon, and Hoff's rants helped to give him an ally and make him feel not quite so insignificant. If you would like to own this companion to "The Tao of Pooh," I suggest that you purchase it when you're in such a mood, or better yet, check it out from the library.
As other reviewers of written, there's much more ranting than philosophy in this book. In "Tao of Pooh," I felt like I was being taught Taoist philosophy from a new perspective. That's what I naturally thought that I was getting into with the "Te of Piglet." Nope. Hoff flirts with the idea briefly, but instead uses Piglet as a soap box to attack the Eyores of the world. Interestingly enough, he eventually seems to realize what he's doing, and so does Piglet (who he spends more time having fictional conversations with than he does quoting the dear character). And Piglet eventually takes him to task for it.
I think that Hoff was desperate. Could he simply not find enough examples in the Pooh stories of Piglet's smallness being used for the betterment of the Wood? I discussed this book with some frieds, and mentioned how the author seemed to be really reaching in his villification of Eyore: in his fictional conversations, he has Eyore coming in to pester and depress everyone. What my friends reminded me of is that, in the original Pooh stories, the characters GO TO EYORE the majority of the time when there's need for tension between the characters, for a less than optomistic view of the world, and even for someone to rescue. Eyore is needed and loved *because* he is gloomy, not in spite of it.
And at the end, Piglet - small little Piglet who Hoff has misused in an effort to have his hissy fit (and, I presume, make his next car payment) - comes to Eyore's defense. And, for once, however briefly, Hoff is blessedly speechless.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kathysilvaverizon net
I was recently introduced to taoism through the music of John Cage. The book is written as if for a child, but the terminology and philosophy put forth is far to introspective and mature for young children to handle. It is a gentle lesson on life and priority management. The author explains taoist beliefs though a conversation with Pooh and Piglet and the rest of them, as well as through short stories about their adventures. The book comes across astonishingly light for such seemingly serious subject matter. Large text and simple illustrations only add to the book's levity, but at the end, you're left feeling peaceful and refreshed. "The Tao of Pooh" is ripe for repeat readings, whenever you feel like you need to relax. While Eeeore frets...and Piglet hesitates...and Rabbit calculates...and owl pontificates...
Pooh just is.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lacykuhs
This was the first book that I read about Taoism, and that was about 30 years ago. since then i have become a Tai Chi teacher and lead classes on the wisdom of the Tao Te Ching, the classic manual of living that is the heart of Taoist philosophy. This book sums up, very simply, the essence of Taoist thought (or, no-thought as it were) and does it in a most entertaining way, through the eyes of the the Master taoist, Winnie the Pooh. This is a book that you can also read to your kids, who will probably "get" the ideas put forward here very easily. Highly recommended!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
dmastey
"The Tao of Pooh" has been called "the book most often recommended to explain Taoist principles." Hoff's fame offered a bully pulpit, and after a decade he made use of it. He wrote a companion book, "The Te of Piglet," about the way of the small, weak, childlike, feminine, sensitive, virtuous, modest, yielding, and fluid. At least, I think that's what it's about. There's little in here about either Piglet or Te (pronounced DEHr or DUHr). Instead, it's a diatribe against heavy industry, business, government (especially the Forest Service), pesticides, doctors, the military, feminists, conservatives, realists, Western culture, mainstream Americans, critics, and all the other "Eeyores" of the world. Yes, Hoff criticises critics (and shows himself to be an Eeyore). Very disappointing.
The dialog with Piglet and the others is there, though with a depressing and negative spin. (Inexplicably, Piglet has hired a thief as a bodyguard. And Eeyore isn't just gloomy, he's a mean SOB.) The original Pooh stories are there, though crudely intercut in very large chunks. The original Pooh illustrations are there. The funky capitalization is there. Quotations from Taoist philosophers are there in abundance. In fact, it's a rather long book -- almost twice as long as the first one. There are long explanatory sections about the history of Taoism and Confucianism, and smatterings of Taoist principles. The book just doesn't lift one's spirits. Instead of selling Taoism, it's an environmentalist rant. Hoff even claims that our generation will see the collapse of business/civilization as we know it, to be replaced by a new age of environmental consciousness.
Not that there aren't useful insights here, of course. One of my favorites: "A successful individual appears to succeed because he is Aggressive -- he chases after things and gets them. Chances are his positive attitude attracts those things to him and creates opportunities for success to happen. But chances are onlookers see Aggression succeeding, rather than Attitude. So that's what they imitate. And, since aggression attracts more aggression, the want-to-be-successful turn business into Busyness, creating an atmosphere of increasing combativeness and negativity in which relatively few are likely to be successful -- and even fewer are likely to be happy." Hoff recommends instead that we follow the way of Gandhi, "the greatest Piglet of all time."
Taoists have historically been critics of hierarchical, rule-based Confucian governments and practices, and they have always supported the underdog. But Taoists have also been scientists, artists, philosophers, healers, and intellectuals of all sorts. I'd rather read about their positive beliefs than about the negatives of everyone else. And I'd like to see it done with more humor. To quote Hoff, "Eeyores, in other words, are Whiners. They believe the negative but not the positive and are so obsessed with What's Wrong that the Good Things in Life pass them by unnoticed. Are they the ones, then, to give us an accurate account of what life is about? If the universe were governed by the Eeyore Attitude, the whole thing would have collapsed eons ago."
You wouldn't think the same author wrote these two books.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
akshay
After reading the Tao of Pooh, I was excited to get started on The Te of Piglet -- Piglet was one of my favorite characters and was, after all, Pooh's frequent companion. But this book is only partially about Piglet; it focuses much more on Eeyore, who the author dislikes to an irrational and humorless extreme, and the author's personal dislikes of various people and things (including his vilification of negative opinions -- he obviously doesn't see the contradiction).
From time to time the book comes back to Piglet and Taoism, but the discussion throughout is desultory and scattered: a Taoist anecdote here, a paragraph connecting it to Piglet there. It's not really clear where the author is going or what he is trying to say beyond his personal dislikes. I learned almost nothing about Taoism from this book, but more importantly, it was not written with any of the harmony or simplicity that characterize Taoism -- and that graced the pages of The Tao of Pooh.
All in all, a disappointment.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tobias kask
This book was my introduction to the Tao philosophy. It's an easy read for a nonfiction book. It seems to be a bit of a reminder to slow down and smell the roses, and it also reminded me of the beauty of simple lessons of life I learned and lived in the wilderness. Three and a half stars.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mirza
Years ago, I read this book as it made the rounds among my college friends; it was insightful, soothing & inspiration to us all. I recently re-read this...I had been getting caught up in life's daily race & was needing a comforting, centering & easy read. This book still possesses the positive & happy charms that delighted me long ago! I appreciate how Hoff illustrates Taoism through Winnie the Pooh anecdotes... some of the Pooh moments so heartwarmingly illustrate life's everyday beauty that I find myself getting misty w/ emotion appreciating everyday beauty. I must agree w/ previous viewers, though, in objecting to the book's portrayal of Buddhists as bitter sufferers, I subscribe to much Buddhist thought & feels this in an inaccurate & unfair portrayal. And as other reviewers mentioned, I think the book's points could have been made without insulting scientists, busy people, other religions, etc. But in the spirit of the book, I see past these aspects to take in all the good that remains. This book is chock-full of gems & anecdotes that help buoy my day!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jalina
This is a delightful book which conveys the spirit of Taoism very effectively. If you are the kind of person who goes gung-ho into something, you shouldn't read this book, because it is only half the truth. But if you have a good balance with the other half, this is a great book to help you relax your mind and free yourself from counterproductive struggling against the way things are.
The Taoist philosophers were not, in general, very successful people. Taoism tells us a lot about being content, and tells us nothing about accomplishing goals. Both skills are important.
I'm the author of the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works, and I'm an expert on what works and what doesn't. The perspectives Hoff presents in this very readable little book are, without a doubt, highly effective in producing contentment and relaxation. The skill of taking those perspectives when you need to is a valuable skill. This book can help show the way. I recommend it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
fernanda
This book was recommended to me by a close friend and he was correct in saying that I would enjoy it! I loved it! The book is well written and I feel that by using our favorite characters, whom many of us have loved and grown up with; together with their own characteriatics, makes the principles easy to understand and shows the way to how we can implement what is being taught.
I believe, we can all see ourselves in one or more of the characters and although some may not be happy to see ourselves mirrored in such a way, that too is part of our growth as well; and what I believe the book is trying to teach us. We can all become "Pooh like". To find our way, to become quiet and still and to become more child like in our outlook of life. Not to take things (or ourselves), too seriously but to "go with the flow" and enjoy life to it's fullest.
I can recommend this book highly to learn from, to live from and to find our way.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
abdullah alsaadi
This book is not for scholars of religion, as Hoff addresses them in the course of the book. It's also not for Strict Lovers of the Pooh. Instead, it's for everyone else. It's a simple, affirming story that lets the reader think they might grasp the tenets of one of the most mystical philosophies in the world. Hoff could have done a better job with the characters' narratives, but overall this is a superb book for the fit readers. And there are more than a few of those!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
enrico accenti
Everyone I know loved pooh as a kid. He was ever-happy, ever-satisfied, and ever-peaceful. With the exception of the occasional honey-related fiasco, he seemed to know a thing or two about living. However, as we get older, watching and reading about Pooh and his friends becomes frustrating. Why is your life so simple, Pooh? This world we live in is so hectic, and if we don't periodically step back and breathe, we begin to think that this is how life is supposed to be. When people tell me to relax, or not worry, or spout off clichés like "whatever happens will happen", I can tend to get really mad. How dare you say that?!? Do you know everything I have to get done today? What I usually don't realize, and what they may not realize, is that they are really preaching some of the ancient and wise tenets of Taoism. What I'm really looking for, I suppose, is the formula for a good life. Like most people, I spend a lot of my time trying to find it in work, possessions, getting into college, what have you... But as Pooh teaches through The Tao of Pooh, happiness and contentment lie right in front of me.

The Tao of Pooh approaches the wisdom and (sometimes) backwards philosophy involved in Taoism using understandable scenarios involving Pooh and his pals in the hundred acre wood. For example, Pooh and his friends wander around the forest looking for his home but keep arriving at the same sinkhole, and not his house. He then decides that if they look for the sinkhole, they will surely arrive at his house. This story was meant to show the futility of seeking something out, because what is meant to come to you will.

Each character in The Tao of Pooh represents a frame of mind addressed in Taoism. Eeyore is supposed to characterize giving up, and giving in to suffering and misfortune. From what I've read about the book, this is a poke at Buddhism's "life is suffering." The rabbit and the owl represent the over-intellectuals. Owl seeks out knowledge for the sake of knowledge, of being able to look wise. While they seek to analyze and comprehend everything they do and see, they show the supposed flaws of the rigid analysis and thought process preached in Confucianism. I think the point of their characters is that we're not supposed to understand everything, so we shouldn't try. Although wise, his wisdom extends only to his mind and not to his heart where it counts. In contrast to these characters, Pooh has a rich heart and a life of happiness, because he takes the good with the bad, doesn't struggle to grasp every confusing aspect of life, and knows that above all "life is good".

There is nothing in this book that we've never heard before. However, they're all things that, as people tied to a clock and a palm pilot, we quickly brush off if they're not well stated. The thing that makes this book rather incredible is the way it drives the ideas home using a character we are all comfortable with. The anecdotes in this book are captivating and very effective at showing us the things that make life worth living. This world would be a much better place to live in if everyone followed Pooh's lead - just slowed down and realized how great life truly is.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
susanwise2
I loved the first couple chapters of this book but after that it seemed to just turn into a long, intermittently political, and very opinionated rant that rarely connected back to the actual topic of the book. This was very frustrating to read as I had had higher hopes. If you’re looking for an introduction to a philosophy don’t read this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
phayvanh
First I have to address the 1 star reviews... were you reading the same book? How did you get all this negitivity from a simple book? Hoff isn't knocking anyone, if you read the book there's a whole section dedicated to the feeling that everyone has a place in life. The "Owls" The "Tiggers" The "Rabbits" ect... he's not saying that these are bad qualities just that too much "Rabbit" or too much "Eeyore" can be bad. It seems to me the people who gave this book a one star are exactly the people who this author is trying to get across too, it's your own pre judgements that don't allow you to enjoy this book.

That being said this is a wonderful book, I've always been a huge Pooh fan and I've always used these characters to discribe people. Everyone knows a "Eeyore" and a "Owl" and so on, and in some regards everyone has a "Piglet" part of them or a "Tigger" That's all this book is saying, the sooner you realize it the better. Hoff isn't saying if your a "Owl" change because you won't ever be happy. He's saying the sooner you know who you are and accept you for you, the happier you'll be. The sooner you can "Let go" of the things that we all get wrapped up in, the happier you'll be. It's a shame when people can't see that.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
konrad
The Tao of Pooh is a wonderful, simple explanation of the basic tenets of Taoism. It is not the end-all-be-all of Taoism reference, but for those of us interested in learning more about Eastern Thought, it is a delightfully entertaining way of doing so.

I don't think Pooh knew he was quite the philosopher, and I'm not sure A. A. Milne intended him to be, but it turns out that he explains basic Taoism very well.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about basic Taoism, wants to make positive changes in their lives, or who just loves Pooh and has an open mind.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
jessie blake
I read and enjoyed the Tao of Pooh, but the Te of Piglet is overwrought nonsense. Between attacking public education and going off on a rant about feminists (WTF?), the author barely mentions anything relating to Taoism. I guess he used it all up in the first book. DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK, IT IS UTTER TRASH.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lynn doan
2 of 2 in best books I've ever read. (1 of 2 is The Art of War) The Tao of Pooh takes the overly complicated world and makes it simple. Conceptually, they are one in the same book, yet from 2 totally different perspectives. I keep it as a reference book and find myself revisiting it often. After reading - and understanding ;-) - The Art of War, I suggest diving into The Tao of Pooh, 2 of 2 in best books I've ever read.The Art of War
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
wade fox
I read Winnie the Pooh not long before this book. Then a friend of mine recommended me to read the Tao of Pooh. So I did and am very glad.
It's very very funny with a lot of insights and wisdom. It carried on the same sense of humor of the original author of Winnie the Pooh, A. A. Milne.
It might be better if you read Winnie the Pooh before starting with this book so that you have an overall idea and get the sense of the style, the unique characters, and the humor in the original story. In that way I think the Tao of Pooh will be even more fun and enjoyable.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ezzat
This is one of the best books I've come across on Taoism.I don't remember if I found it, or it found me.I've probably read it at least ten times.The bad news is many Americans won't be able to understand it. "Those who know don't say, those who say don't know".You can only dumb down a thought so much.Taoism is a religion of peace.They don't use threats of hell to gain members.They expect people to be able to think for themselves.For anyone interested in Taoism, this is the best book to start with, a long with the book that followed a few years later.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
aehemeter
There is a seething anger that pops out at me from Benjamin Hoff's words.

Far from being the primer on the concepts of "Te" or "Taoism" that I thought it would be, it is more a way for Mr. Hoff to vent his frustrations with the world, Western society, and it's foundations. He uses Pooh, Piglet, Eyeore and Kanga as his pawns, and Te/Taoism as his strategy in his chess game of a book. Rather than be up front with his grievances, he disguises them poorly and any lessons about the "Te of Piglet" or Taoist principles are lost or at least poorly emphasized as a result. Mr. Hoff tries to be witty or humorous, but any humor is degraded by the author's cynicism and self-righteousness.

Benjamin Hoff tries to indict society using beloved literary characters and Eastern philosophy rather than simply teach the reader a thing or two about the virtues of...virtue. He indicts himself and as a result diminishes himself rather than that which he attacks. Be it capitalism, microwaves, a Bodyguard for Piglet or the environment, Hoff has a bone to pick, a chip on his shoulder and he wants the world to know how he feels. Which is okay, but shouldn't be done in this format. It's okay to have an agenda, but at least be up front about it. The "Path of Pooh" becomes the "Path of Pooh as Platform" with this book, Sadly So.

The type of book I thought I was buying was not the type of book it ended up being. I feel jipped, led astray. Lied to. Still, I have to recommend it for anyone who shares Mr. Hoff's agenda or turns a critical eye to the world as we know it or see it, but NOT for anyone who really wants an introduction to Te or Taoism. Maybe I should've read "The Tao of Pooh" first, but I'm so disappointed with this one I don't know if I will anytime soon.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lynn o
This book is really simple to read. In fact, it's so simple I highly recommend it to young people. Young being between the ages of 8 and 18. This is a quick read and easy to understand because of the authors simplistic style; straight and to the point. Some adults may find it hard to get through the conversations with Pooh and his friends. I really enjoyed the ancient antidocts and was less enthused with the Pooh conversations. But I would imagine that it is those conversations that endear a large amount of readers to the book. "It's the same thing."
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tanya christensen
This is a great book for anyone wanting to know about Taoism, but don't want a 30-hour lecture. Pooh's interruptions not only help in explaining, but can sometimes be a nice break in a non-fiction book, as well as add some very fun characters.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
jamie ward
I enjoyed the concept and the author's levity, but it is unfortunate how critical Benjamin Hoff is of other philosophies and of the activity of learning. This has been my first dip into Taoism. It has not been favorable, on the whole. The work is amusing and well executed, and very digestible, but perhaps a little too self satisfied. It makes a mess of its representation of Confuscianism, interpreting the love and fun of learning as "busy," and portrays Buddhism as a way of escaping the world, when in fact Buddhism is more about learning how to happily enjoy the world while letting go of things that cause us to suffer.

One can be an Uncarved Block and still take pleasure in scholarly pursuits. Perhaps the author cannot, which is why I rate this book so lowly, even though it may have many nuggets of truth for curious readers: it is brought down by egoism.

There are many paths to happiness. Limiting your view to one, while simple and potentially still pleasurable, means missing out on the wider world around you.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
aida dietz
I would suggest one reads the Tao of Poo first. It wonderfuly introduces Taoism, or atleast the general ideas of Taoism, without the need for guidence. However, the Te of Piglet takes on concepts which surely should be looked at from many more angles and be thoroughly lived instead of read. Yes, it is a good book with interesting paralels to the Characters of Winnie the Pooh but goes beyond the realities of Taoism. The author also forgets the different schools of this religeon and their concepts. I would atleast hope that a reader either takes this book as a commentary on a religion or uses it as an introduction and explore further using all the resources available. Three Stars
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alexa bergstrom laduke
This book is not really about Piglet so much as it is about stuff other than Piglet. Benjamin Hoff uses Winnie-The-Pooh characters to illustrate the ideas of Toaism, which I gather is the relationship between man and beast and the general balance of the world. In this book, Hoff talks about the Eeyore Effect on schools and society. The Eeyore learning system wants to shove more information down the throats of the nation's youth. They want our children to be given more facts and figures, more information faster and at a younger age, take away all of their time and creativity and not teach them the value of music and art. The Tigger Personality is also discussed and the ways that Toaism is expressed in the Winnie-The-Pooh stories written by A.A. Milne. The Te of Piglet is a wonderful book that everyone in the world should read and think about. All of Hoff's ideas seem to be thoughtful and make sense. ...
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kailin
`The Tao of Pooh', a fascinating synthesis of Eastern philosophy and Western children's literature, is done largely in conversational style between Benjamin Hoff, erstwhile writer, photographer and musician with a penchant for forests and bears. Thus, Pooh makes a natural philosophical companion. But, more than a companion, Pooh is, for Hoff, the very embodiment of the Tao.
`It's about how to stay happy and calm under all circumstances!' I yelled.
'Have you read it?' asked Pooh.
This is two-way book: to explain Taoism through Winnie-the-Pooh, and to explain Winnie-the-Pooh (not always an easy task itself) through Taoism. Taoism, more academically, is a religion indigenous to China, built upon teachings primarily of Lao-tzu, with significant influence from Buddha and K'ung Fu-tse. It is in the teachings of harmony and emptiness and being of Lao-tzu, however, that Taoism draws its meaning, believing that earth is a reflection of heaven, and that the world `is not a setter of traps but a teacher of valuable lessons.'
As with many religions, this one took various guises: philosophic, monastic, structural, folk. But through them all, the imperceptible Tao, the essence of being, essentially undescribable, shapes the universe continually out of chaos, with a yin and yang alteration of perpetual transformation, in which nothing remains eternal save the Tao.
This makes Pooh a perfect example and exemplar. `For the written character P'u, the typical Chinese dictionary will give a definition of 'natural, simple, plain, honest.' P'u is composed of two separate characters combined: the first, the 'radical' or root-meaning one, is that for tree or wood; the second, the 'phonetic' or sound-giving one, is the character for dense growth or thicket.'
Through semantic changes, perfectly in keeping with the Tao, we find that Pooh, or P'u, is actually a tree in the thicket, or a wood not cut, or finally, an Uncarved Block. And this, of course, is what pure being is.
Pooh, in his journey through the Tao, with the Tao, of the Tao (it is a hard one to nail down, isn't it?) encounters many. This includes Eeyore, the terminally morose, who represents Knowledge for the sake of Complaining about Something. It also includes Owl, the Western successor of the 'Confucianist Dedicated Scholar', who believes he has all truth as his possession, and studies Knowledge for the Sake of Knowledge (even if it isn't always the best knowledge). `You can't help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn't spell it right; but spelling isn't everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count.'
Of course, all of the knowledge of the Owl, accompanied by the variable helpfulness of Rabbit who cannot stop activity in favour of just being something, couldn't figure out what had become of Christopher Robin, who left the Very Clear Note on his door:
GON OUT
BACKSON
BISY
BACKSON
Who or what is a Backson? Backsons are those people trying to outrun their shadows and their footprints, not realising that to stand still and rest in the shade defeats the power of both. And of course, the Bisy Backson is never at a standstill. And of course, one cannot experience the Tao, be the Tao, know the Tao (well, you get the Tao) if one is perpetually on the run.
The Bisy Backson is always
GONE OUT
BACK SOON
BUSY
BACK SOON
or, maybe GONE SOON. Anywhere. Anywhere he hasn't been. Anywhere but where he is. Of course, the idea of not going anywhere is abhorrent to him, and there is no concept of being able to do nothing.
Nothingness frees the mind. Nothing works like nothing. For there is nothing to distract you. Nothing to get in the way. Nothing to hinder you. Nothing means anything.
Now, read that last sentence again, carefully.
Nothing means anything.
Any thing is by definition itself, but when it is no thing, it can become potentially any thing.
'Oh, I see,' said Pooh.
Wisdom lies in the way of Pooh, who shirks the busy-ness of Rabbit, the intellectual hubris of Owl, and the doom-saying of Eeyore. Pooh simply is, and enjoys being who he is. Pooh is a Master, who knows the Way. Learn from him. Learn to be with him.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lisa helene
I have read the tao te ching, and this book perfectly mirrors the largest message in lao tzu's work. Things work out on their own, and it's mostly our meddling that cause them to go wrong. To do this one has to be simple, and not worry about things constantly. I know that the whole idea of simplicity being a virtue might set some intellectuals on edge, I can understand this. Our society is not overly accepting of thinkers, therefor it makes us rather defensive. But this book does not condone stupidity in any sense of the word. In fact, the character of pooh is very interesting in the fact that while he does not know many things, he draws very logical conclusions using the information he has available to him. I consider stupidity to be the act of willfully ignoring the world around us, and it seems so do Lao Tzu and Benjamim Hoff.
Throughout "The Tao of Pooh" Hoff uses the pooh stories as examples of how Taosim works, while his narrative more clearly explains the characters and what type of people they represent. I think the best example of this is the Pit story. When Pooh, Rabbit, and Piglet are lost in the woods Pooh notices that they keep on coming back to the same pit whe they try to find home. Thus he concludes that if they try to find the pit, the will end up back at their houses. A perfectly logical conlusion based on the evidence at hand. I thought it was one of the best examples of Taoist principles I have ever read.
"The tao of Pooh" made me see the winnie the pooh books in an entirely different light, as philosopical texts in themselves. Taoism seems to overlap with many of the values i hold anyway, so I suppose I am a Taoist. Both the religion and this book reassert a sense of optimism about the physical world which is very lacking in nearly every other major religion, and much of our literature. It is simple yet prfound, truly a Taoist text in every sense.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
feliz
I like what I read or I hate it. Simple as that. Well, This book was annoying in several ways, yet my affection for Winnie The Pooh bouyed my rating of the book, and my interest in Eastern philosophy. I was apalled by Hoff's constant bashing at "intellectuals" and veiled ranting. I was also annoyed at Hoff's bashing of other faiths as essentially being "Wrong". A true Taoist wouldn't beat someone over the head about how "wrong" their Way is because it happens to be structured and staid. That may just be the natural-flowing Way for them. It's a so-so introduction to Taoism, so I'd recommend Tao: The Watercourse Way by Alan Watts and a nice translation of the Tao Te Ching. Put the two together and you'll grok it better than Hoff ever will.

Then Again, you can read Hoff's books with an open mind....and as a preacher I once knew said "Eat the meat, and leave the bones".
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
yssa santiago
While I am sure there will be someone cry about using Winnie the Pooh to explain Taoism, the author proved to do a good job with the use of a common Western series of books with the introduction of a Far East concept of life. It is a short read, under 160 pages, and explains the major tenants of Taoism. I found it a solid book, and gave me some things to reconsider in life. Well worth the few bucks.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jamsheer muhammed
This book is garuanteed to give you a different outlook on life, if you actually think about what you are reading. I recently mailed this book to a friend that lives in the UK, and I have never seen anyone more appreciative in my whole life. It offers any type of person a perspective that let's you live life the way every person should. And who better to explain this than Pooh bear? I would hope that this book makes all people realize that we are what we are, and we need everyone else in order to be what we are. This book offers appreciation of everything in existence. I hope that you are capable of understanding (and wanting to understand) the things there are to be learnt by this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
taylor middleton
When trying to teach Taoism in a Western classroom, foreign words and concepts, as well as scholarly language, often hinder me. Many students, and myself, get bogged down in what the author says rather than explore what Taoism is. This book is a helpful tool.
It is a quick read. Although you will not get all from the book until you reflect more on it, the language is easy to follow and the example of Pooh is witty and not threatening (rather than the names with unknown pronunciations).
I would recommend this to anyone wanting to move towards understanding Tao and Wu Wei.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
ging
This book seems to have been written solely for the money the author knew it would make. It has none of the wit and charm of its predecessor. Mr. Hoff, who often annoyingly refers to himself in the first person plural (our tai chi instructor told us, etc.), begins with the notion that anything anti-western is taoist and constructs a long and tedious screed against modern American culture. He preaches the importance of seeing things as they are and then proves himself totally incapable of separating myth from reality. It would be funny if Mr Hoff were not so pompous. The difference between The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet is equivalent to the difference between a prom date and a prostitute.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
michelle goldstein
It is impossible to know what was happening in Hoff's life when he sat down to write this book. That is a personal issue for Hoff to work out by himself.

What is possible to know is that this book has nothing to do with Taoist philosophy. Or Te. And this is the biggest problem. Many novices will come to the book believing, as Hoff has such a wonderful reputation from his Pooh book, that they are in the hands of a teacher of Taoist philosophy. This is not the case. Hoff spends all of his time venting his spleen, making assertions about those things that vex him.

And right there - let's go no further - the book is failing as Hoff is showing he does not practice what he preaches. He is wanting only ideals. He cannot let things be as they are. He feels angry.

He has forgotten the teachings of the Tao.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
annie paul
Benjamin Hoff got way out of control on this one. In his sequel to The Tao of Pooh, he rants and raves and displays decidedly un-Taoist characteristics. He spends far more time arrogantly lecturing the ignorant, unwashed masses, than describing Taoism. Although he is clearly quite proud of his accomplishments in writing the Tao of Pooh, this followup is not worthy of the first book. For a better introduction into the principles of Taoism, read Eva Wong's translation of The Seven Taoist Masters.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lucien
The Tao of Pooh is one of the books that I can sincerely describe as "changing my life."
It provides an excellent description of Taoist philosophy, with a sense of humor and fun. It is an easy read, and moves along very quickly. It combines stories from ancient Taoist text, clips from Pooh Bear stories, and some light academic discussion about Taoism.
Author Benjamin Hoff is a bit preachy in a few isolated sections, but it is not a significant part of the book.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
britt wilson
This is a good introduction to Taoism, and describes many aspects of Taoist philosophy very well. My major problem with this book was the arrogant, very non-Taoist attitude taken by the author in his writing. He seems quite proud to be imparting his knowledge upon the ungifted masses. If you can get past that, you will find it an interesting, worthwhile book. For a better introduction, try Eva Wong's translation of The Seven Taoist Masters.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tanvi
I first read The Tao of Pooh in my sophomore year of high school, which is one of those "in-between" years where it's simply difficult to keep your head above the water at any given moment. Stress of school, family, the pressure to fit in...it all winds up consuming you at that age. Benjamin Hoff's book reminded me of the important things in life- the simple things- and how much time was wasted on the little unimportant parts. I didn't read a lot of Pooh when I was a kid, but it isn't necessary to fully enjoy this book. To this day, I pull it out whenever I need a reminder to breathe and to just enjoy the day to day of life. My favorite quote:
The clouds above us join and separate, the breeze in the courtyard leaves and returns. Life is like that, so why not relax? Who can stop us from celebrating? -Lu Yu
And that's what The Tao of Pooh is about.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
colleen besselievre
I read this book right after I finished with the Tao of Pooh (which is far better). I was going to give it 3.5 stars, but chose 4 since it contains quite a number of insights and wisdom.
I found the author got off track by deviating into his comments on politics and how he thought a country should be run. For me that sidetrack quite spoiled the good flow of the book and distracts the focus on Taoism--which the Tao of Pooh book did so well. Nevertheless, I believe it's worth a read if you don't have a top priority book on your list.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
maryhope
I've read several reviews of this book that, in my small viewpoint seem to miss the greater lesson. Hoff's first book explained the basic principles of Taoism to the uninitiated Western reader. Inthis book, the author takes those principles and applies them to our world. Mr. Hoff has merely taken the next logical step in the progression of learning.
When he makes references to politics, ecology and social problems, he is merely using examples to illustrate how we have grown away from the "the Way". It is entirely proper for him, as a teacher and a writer, to give examples to prove his point. Were he not to use examples, he would be criticized for that, as well.
This book is a very well written continuation of the premise established in his first book. I would encourage anyone to read this and to include it on the "must read" list of any high school or college student.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lillie
I read this book shortly after reading the Tao of Pooh 3+ years ago, which I absolutely loved and continue to loan to friends and family when I see them struggling. I have always discouraged the reading of the Te of Piglet to these same people. After searching for a new copy of the Tao of Pooh, I decided to see what other's thought of this book. To keep it short, here's my opinion...

At first read 3+ years ago, I agreed with the comments by people who reviewed this book as a rather poor read. I agreed with the fact that the author was on a soap box.

After second thought, I have determined that I was incorrect. I am going to purchase a second copy of this book to re-read, as I foolishly got rid of my first copy many years ago. I realize that the author was being very subtle in his teaching of taoism. This was not necessarily the author speaking from his soap box, but perhaps a teacher who realized the best way to reach some people is to give them a real time example of taoism and smallness, and by the end of the book we see that the author himself realizes this when Piglet stands up for his friend Eeyore. My point being, if the author "sees" his mistake by the end of the book, surely he saw it all along when he was writing this book.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
tannia
There may be Taoist philosophy disguised in here, somewhere, but it sounded to me much more like the ravings of a person who is Most Certainly Not "in harmony with the world." Indeed, the author sounds to be a Very Angry Person.
His consistent censure of Confucianism disturbed me the most. Confucianists: "High and mighty"? It sounds as if he has confused Confucianism with Chinese legalism. While Confucianism is certainly concerned with with the role of man in a social hierarchy, the dominant partner in any relationship has an obligation, according to the philosophy, to "rule" with kindness, fairness, and wisdom.
It disturbs me that many undoubtedly got their first taste of Confucianism -- aside from any pop-culture impression of its being a philosophy of one-liners suitable only for use in comedy skits -- from the angry man who authored a book ... purportedly about virtue.
For him to suggest that Confucianists, as one body, encouraged cruelty to animals, foot-binding, and other crimes against man and nature is sophistry. To imply that every person participating in the Confucianist government of ancient China must be Confucian by philosophy is likewise false.
I'm extremely disappointed with this book, which I had hoped would give me a window into the eastern mind. Instead I found a window into the mind of the author-- a window I longed to close.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alexandra fletcher
Desiring an understanding of Taoism lead me to The Tao of Pooh. Unexpectedly, Pooh metamorphised into some sort of mythological character. Distancing myself I could understand how this may appear to be a novelty. But I assure you, it is not. Through Pooh Hoff explains the tenets of Taosim. I was impressed with the philosophical and practical points presented. Though I felt, and this was probably be design, that there is more. That Taoism demands further study. In any event, an excellant introductory. Pooh just it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rodzilla
I couldn't decide which VERSION of the Tao Te Ching to do a review of.. then I realized.. why not do the one that makes the most sense! This 2-book set is the most complete introduction/discussion/clarification on Taoist philosophies and principles that I have ever read! I reccomend EVERYONE who has the slightest interest in eastern philosophy and mysticism to read this book first THEN pick up a really good copy of the Tao Te Ching! It will lend to much greater understanding and mush witer comprehension as to how Lao-Tzu's writings work in your everyday life! Benjamin Hoff has created an enjoyable yet deeply philosophical work that has enriched my life greatly. Thank you Mr. Hoff.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
david dacosta
"The Tao of Pooh" is a good book as an introduction to Taoism. The book does not only present Taoism in a very simple way; the involvement of Pooh makes the book very enjoying.

I was afraid that this book will assume some knowledge about Pooh, which I have only watched a handful of time - a couple of years ago. Thankfully the book only uses characters of Pooh to present the ideas, rather than make this another Pooh story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kasia
I was introduced to this book a couple of years ago - had seen it on the shelf of the bookstore for years, thought about buying it and never did... and then I received it as a gift.
Without question, it's one of the best books I've read. It's not for its literary flow, academic presentation, entertaining style, or subject matter that I love this little book. I love it because it's a calm, smooth blend of all of the above.
The book does an outstanding job of presenting and explaining the basic tenets of Taoism. I laughed out loud several times over the experiences of poor Eeyore (oh, how I can relate!). If you'd like a quick dissertation of different philosophical views and personality styles, The Tao of Pooh does so through the showcasing of Pooh and his friends.
I'm not sure who Mr. Hoff's target audience was, but this is a book for young and old alike... all will gain something from reading through the book.
In fact, Mr. Hoff penned this book so well it stirred my desires to read once again Milne's classic title The Adventures of Pooh with a new light and perception.
This is an excellent title to add to your permanent library, whether you embrace Taoism or not. Its message of peace and tolerance is one that all faiths can understand and embrace - and well they should.
Can't recommend this one highly enough.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
mrcrazyone
This set of two books is more than a little...schizophrenic. "The Tao of Pooh" rates about an 8 on my scale; it's a fun little read...but a little bit troubling.
Why troubling? For the most part, it's a cogent and simple analogy between very basic Taoism and the characters of A.A. Milne's Pooh books. "The Tao of Pooh" is a serene and peaceful pool with hints of some very ugly things lurking just below the surface. The most egregious example is his confused mishmash of pop (un)history of Thanksgiving welded to a bland not-so-New Age conception of the American Indians as peaceful gentle folk living in effortless harmony with the ecology and each other. But he can be forgiven that--he's making a point and he's a little rushed. But still...troubling.
In "The Te of Piglet", those things erupt out like pus from a boil. Mister Hoff has an ideological ax to grind with this one, and the problem is, it's a very dull and, at times, painfully stupid one. The title is a beginning clue--he's starting off with a much more strained analogy, but surely he can pull it off, right? Wrong. Like its predecessor, "The Te of Piglet" contains interludes starring our favorite characters from the Hundred Acre Wood. In the first book, these interludes were a nice grounding point and integrated in. In this one, however, they're superfluous and simply don't sound anywhere near as accurate a rendition of the characters. They seem rushed--Mr. Hoff is in a hurry to get back to his inept didactic half-wit ranting, and it shows. Notable gems of the type: America in the time of JFK was in an "enlightened era" (hee), and the microwave oven is a "Perversion of Nature" (because Radiation is Bad, No Matter What).
Ideological axes to grind can be highly entertaining--if they're well done. Ben Hoff's is simply inept and idiotic by turns. Individually, "Tao of Pooh" rates about an 8. "Te of Piglet" receives a 2. I have to go below the strictly precise mean simply because the latter leaves such a sour taste that the former is tainted by association--and the knowledge that its author is, in so many ways, a self-stated hypocrite.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
rahmadiyanti
"The Tao of Pooh" was a charming and insightful little book, and bears (pardon the pun) multiple readings. "The Te of Piglet," unfortunately, is a huge disappointment by comparison. It doesn't stand well on its own and doesn't add much to the philosophy presented in the first book. "Tao of Pooh" was overall positive and gently humorous. "Te of Piglet" is negative, preachy and mocking. It seems to be mostly a collection of rants about how messed up Western life is, compared to the (apparently) enlightened Chinese. Unless you're heavily into Taoism, don't spend your money on this one.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
chris way jones
I tried reading this book as friends and reviewers have always recommended it. Unfortunately, for me, it didn't meet my expectations. I found the writing un-engaging / not thought-provoking and ultimately had to put it down before even finishing it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tycen bundgaard
I grew up with Winnie-the-Pooh, so the topic is familiar. Combining the venerable Pooh with the Tao was a great idea and Hoff pulls it off very well. There are two classifications (to my mind) of "The Tao of..." books: one is poorly thought out and the other is very enlightening. The Tao of Pooh is in the latter group. In other words, the ideas fit together and one simultaneously gets new insight both on Pooh and the Tao.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
susan henderson
When I first heard about this book, I thought the guy who told me about it was being funny. He said that a book on Taoism, explained via Winnie the Pooh had changed his life. I laughed, but decided to get it anyways.

This book turned out to be way better than I had imagined. In a way it seems contrary to common sense, but in all the best ways. It challenged me to re-think how I thought of myself and life.

The more I read about Taoism, the more impressed I get with anyone who is able to explain it in an intelligible form. Benjamin Hoff did an amazing job, and I would highly recommend this book to anyone. So much so that I have already bought 3 books for family and friends already.

The best description I have seen of Taosim so far, and all with a cuddly little teddy bear... Um... A manly cuddly little teddy bear *caugh*
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
grant
In this book, Hoff gets more specific about the application of taoism to modern issues. Some people wont like this book because it has some unpleasant truths in it about today's world and they prefer to see the world through rose-colored glasses. But sometimes you have to see how things truely are before there is any chance to make them better. This is a book that was way ahead of where I was in my thinking before i read it, so I had to do some thinking and work a little to catch up. Thats what reading philosophy is all about. I enjoyed it immensely!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kbouwman
I first read this book when I was 13, and I loved it. Remembering that, I picked it up again recently. I was mildly afraid that my 34-year-old self wouldn't find it as brilliant and enlightening as my 13-year-old-self did. Happily, my fears were misplaced. I enjoyed it even more the second time around.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
karen pirrung
I don't know, nor do I pretend to know, the intricate workings of Taoism. But then, I didn't set out to write a book. I'm merely writing a book review.

Benjamin Hoff, regardless of his knowing the intricate workings of Taoism, comes off as pretending. At the very least, he talks the talk but fails to walk the walk. How can I say that, given my self-announced lack of knowledge? Hoff explains, quite clearly, one of the tenets of Taoism is to accept things precisely as they are. He then goes on to reject the other Pooh characters as they are. Instead, he proceeds to disparage them for not having the simplicity of Pooh. Likewise, he starts his book by doing the same of other religions.

The book reads like it was originally written to be a Taoism for Dummies book. By adding Pooh, the book becomes much more than that for Hoff. The book is annoying at times, having parables that sometimes work, other times not; occasionally coming from random space and not speaking to the point at hand. The author assumes we just GET it. But isn't the point of the book to explain, to make clear what might not be obvious to those not immersed in the subject matter already? It's hard to believe this is anything but a book for beginners. As such, he should treat the reader as such. Other times the points are illustrated well with the Pooh stories.

The book is too judgmental and critical of those not accepting The Way, which is in direct conflict with another of the tenets of the book - Cottleston Pie, for those who have read it. This lack of acceptance is bothersome. Overall, I guess things are NOT what they are, in the mind of Benjamin Hoff. Additionally, Pooh is often times omniscient and judgmental, qualities I would never imagine to label the cute little guy.

Many of the ideas expressed in this book embody things I currently believe. The text often reinforces those beliefs, other times expands upon them. However, as mentioned above, it makes me wonder at the style of the message delivered. On one hand, it's probably a good intro to the subject matter, regardless of your religious & philosophical beliefs. On the other hand, the book can't be taken too seriously due to the blatant hacking at the philosophies and beliefs of others. Still, the core of the book does entail a much ideology that helps get a person through everyday life. So it's probably well worth the read if you take the good and ignore the bad.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
runa
I knew very little about the tenets of Buddhism before reading Hoff's book and I don't feel that I know any more after having read it. I do give him credit for trying to use Pooh and his companions to illustrate the concepts. I have no idea how Buddists would feel about the book. I hope that they would not view it as offensive as I do not think that was the intention.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
jen dalton
I read the Tao of Pooh and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was hoping I would find the same amount of enjoyment in the Te of Piglet if not more however I was destined for disappointment.
This book speaks very little about Taoism and more about his own personal social and political beliefs. I was also offended by his complete disdain of the American Military. I consider myself a Taoist and I am also a Soldier in the U.S. Army.
Everyone sees the Tao in differant ways and reading through it I see conflict a natural part of the Way. Dog fight dog, cat fights cat, apes murder one another. Conflict is just as natural as a tree growing in a forest.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
sharona
This was a horrible, horrible, need I say it again, horrible book!!!!
Obviously the author hounded to make a sequel of the much loved "Tao Of Pooh", took the opportunity to raise money for his next mortgage and car payment and wrote this book to appease his editor.
This book had no structure and I wasn't sure it had any meaning at all to it. He explained nothing really just little bits and peices of thing in between his ranting and ravings.
He misquoted several chapters of the "Tao Te Ching".
He makes a mockery of knowledge seekers(is that not we are? The ones who are reading his books?).
He slams our military and he slams our government and he rants about our environment and on and on and on and on. I could be wrong but doesn't this guy live in America? From this book I get the feeling that he hates this country and culture. So why doesn't he go to China since he talks of it being a great country if he hates our country so badly? Our Military gave him the freedom to write this book.
This author really protrays a lot of hate and hostility instead of the love and positivity that he was suppose to be writing about.
Furthermore compared to the last book, he makes the charactures of pooh in this book very mean. It really has nothing to do with Piglet except that was what the book was suppose to be about somehow.
I finsished reading this just because I like to start what I finish. I would have rather have pulled my hair out than finish this book less than half way through it.
I would not recommend this book to anyone.
Spend your hard earned money on any other book but this.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
marie france
I've read this book at least 10 times and each time I've had to buy it again. I lend out my copy to people and never see it again. It is the best book I've ever read and it helps me to focus myself. I already possesed some of the principles of Tao in my life when I first read the book several years ago, I just never knew the name of it and I'd studied Taoism before. Hoff combines Pooh and his world with Taoism in ways that make me wonder why I couldn't have seen it myself! When I want other people to read the book,and they are skeptical of the impact it has, I let them read the Foreword and tell them that it will brighten their day...the actual book will change their life. And after they read both, they wholeheartedly agree and refuse to return my copy! Buy this book and read it and you'll wonder why it took you so long to find it. I recommend it without reservation.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
yasemin
I love this book. It isn't dogmatic and it doesn't so much alter one's thinking as it does challenge someone to pay attention to the nature of individual perception. Perception is not as it's claimed "everything" but it does go a long way toward shaping how a person views the world, and Pooh is simply a master of life. What else can you say?
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
suju
This is an amazing book. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a new way to view the world, that doesn't attempt to supplant previous belief systems. Through explanation of the different characters in the Hundred Acre Wood, the author makes it possible for individuals to learn not only about themselves, but perhaps those around them.
I think the key issue that I will remember out of this book is that of Win Wei, or effortless action. The entire concept of completing BY remaining is a fascinating one.
The author does go about bashing the Western World around the midpoint of the book, and that does get a bit tiring. However, don't fret, for it doesn't last for long.
The introduction of the characters infrequently interrupting the author is a nice touch. It makes the book a joy to read, something you have to put down every so often just to reflect.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
darrick
I read The Tao of Pooh as a teenager and absolutely loved it; friends more expert in Daoism than I am have told me that it's an excellent introduction to the subject. Naturally, I was very excited to read The Tê of Piglet, particularly since I got a look at the first chapter or two some years back and my interest was aroused.

Having recently come into possession of the book, however, I have to say I was extremely disappointed. (Disclaimer: I have only read the first two thirds or so at this point; however, the book is episodic enough that I believe I am competent to review the parts I have read.) Benjamin Hoff, while still often his old witty, amusing self, has obviously been greatly embittered between writing Pooh and Piglet, and too much of the book is taken up with rather pathetic, strident ranting. The chapter on Eeyores (roughly meaning negativists) is so taken up with long, disparaging descriptions of the various types of Eeyores that one begins to feel that Hoff has become an Eeyore himself. If he were doing this as a teaching device, that would be fine, but one feels that he has become so carried away with his subject that he has wound up going in the opposite direction. A bit of editing would greatly have improved this chapter, and would have raised the quality of the whole book in the process: it's very hard to give much credibility to a philosopher who does exactly the opposite of what he's advising, while he's advising it. Really, Mr. Hoff, you could and should have done better.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
adrienne asher
As a professional Taoist Arts instructor for over thirty years, I can only stand back and gaze in awe at this little book, wondering exactly WHERE Mr. Hoff received his inspiration from.

Like most wonderful things in life, this piece of literature is simplicity itself. Lao Tzu himself, the "Old Man" of Taoism and the (debated) author of the centuries-old "Tao Te Ching" couldn't have done better.

I picked up a copy of "The Tao of Pooh" when it first came out in the early 80's, having no great expectations of its content or wisdom. Taoists HAVE no expectations. :>)

I read the entire book in one sitting. And wanted more.

Never have I come across a more accessible introduction to the philosophy of Taoism; indeed, I strongly suggest this book to all of my students and patients as a wonderful beginners guide to the realm of the Tao. It's a non-threatening, non-preachy book filled with wisdom beyond measure.

My only complaint? I've had to buy several more copies to replace the ones I've worn out...
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
joseph pappalardo
"What did you think of the book?" "What book?" asked Pooh. "The Tao of Pooh," replied William. "The who of me." "Yeah, that was a chapter. Did you like it?" "How could you not like a book about a bear?" Pooh said proudly. "That was how I felt," William confirmed.

A wonderful little book that not only introduces one to the thoughts of Taoism but also shows you how a clear mind without worry can make your life better. Don't be a Bisy Backson. Pick up this book and sit down and enjoy it. That's the whole point, right?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
aarti yadav
This is the perfect Bathroom Book. Who else would tell you that in a review, yet it's true? It reads best in small pieces, with time in-between to contemplate what you've just learned and build anticipation for more. Everything else that you need to know about this little gem has already been covered in the 225+ reviews for it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tbishop
People. It is a beautiful spring day today. The sun is shining, a warm breeze is caressing, the clouds are puffy cotton, the squirrels are scurrying and the birds are chirping. (Which is o.k. as long as they don't fly overhead!). Your Metamorpho decided to take his pen and pad to the ol' babbling brook to get into the reflective mood to write this next review. I sat down against an old oak tree and started to write. However, it was so peaceful I started to doze off. In the middle of envisioning Sondra the Seerest doing her latest belly dance, I felt a furry hand tugging at my white linen cuff.

"Wake up Mr. Metamorpho, wake up!" a voice said. I blinked my eyes open to find Pooh there, face full of honey.

"Oh it's you Pooh," I said with surprise. "Funny you should be here. I was just going to write about you."

"You were?" he said with eyes wide open. "Why?"

"Well, because I'm here writing a review of Benjamin Hoff's book called 'The Tao of Pooh', which is about you."

"It is?" he asked. "Wow!"

"No, Tao Pooh", I corrected.

"What is Tao Mr. Metamorpho?" he asked with a puzzled look.

"Well, I think it is one of the great teachings of China. A philosopy of sorts. Mr. Hoff equates this with how you are. An uncarved block, as he puts it."

"He thinks I'm a blockhead?" Pooh said, as a lone tear started to form.

"No no Pooh. Even though you are a bear of simple brain, Mr. Hoff explains that you are not stupid, but representative of the simplicity one needs to lead a calm and natural life. Go with the flow, if you will."

"That sounds better," he smiled.

"Sure does. The concept of Tao is very interesting, but, essentially the belief is that there is constant evolution in the world. In other words, there is a natural balance in nature and the universe. It is the concept that total harmony will be achieved by letting things be, to run their own course, if you will."

"I ran a course once, along with Kanga and Roo," he said smiling.

"Well, it's not exactly like that," I said. "You see Pooh, he believes in yin and yang. Two energies that, although opposite, are complimentary and needed for harmony. This applies to many facets of life."

"Maybe I should ask owl," he said.

"Well, you could," I said. "But he makes a distinction here between knowledge and true wisdom. The answers don't lie in a book per se, they just are, within yourself, if you are aware of the interconnectivity of all things in the universe."

"You mean I am?" he said with surprise.

"Mr. Hoff seems to thinks so. And I wouldn't apply this to any of your friends. Rabbit never slows himself down long enough to recognize the simple pleasures of life," I said. "Eeyore, well, you know Eeyore, he brays over things he can't control. And Piglet, although very small, is uncertain and afraid to take action."

"I'm hungry. Do you have a jar of honey with you?" he asked.

"No, but I have this," and I handed him a honey graham cracker. "There is much more to this philosophy, but the main thing is that the only constant in the universe is change. If you war against it you will only produce unnatural and artificial results, which could produce much unhappiness because it goes against the natural rythmn and flow of life."

"I don't think I am unhappy Mr. Metamorpho," he said.

"No Pooh, you aren't," I smiled. "You are a living, breathing, stuffed example of Tao."

"Well, Mr. Metamorpho, I'm not stuffed yet. No honey, huh?"

"No, Pooh. But, I have no doubt that you will find it. Tao provides beary nice things for those who follow the path."

"Thanks Mr. Metamorpho. Speaking of path, I should go find Christopher Robin. He should be home about now," he said and then sauntered off.

And people, if you have read this so far, you will know I will take full advantage of the deus ex machina (a popular method in Greece) to tell you that when I woke up, I remembered this meeting word for word, and wrote it here for your amazement. Now, let me get back to my daydream of Sondra. It was a very pleasurable experience, but I wished she would stop fluttering those stupid silk scarfs in my face. The things one puts up with for love. I tell ya.

For the child in all of us -- Metamorpho
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rose marie
This was definitely a nice change to the usual book about philosophy, but a lot of it was repetitive. It's a pretty fast read, I got through it in one day. I liked the many "Pooh" examples used throughout the book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
fairymoon fuller
This was a really great book! I read it after I had done a school project on Taoism, so I had a slight clue as to what I was reading about, but I really wish I had found this book when I was doing the project! Its explanations of the concepts of Taoism are wonderful in that nearly everyone can understand them. Pooh and pals are very public figures and most people are familiar with their basic personality traits, so using those traits to explain Taoism was a very smart idea.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
sherie
After reading this 158 page book filled with old friends of my childhood; Eeyore, Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Pooh and other western world friends, six times for my school required reading, I regret to inform that this story does not uphold the Taosim aspect of this book. I believe it was a good idea for Benjamin Hoff to write a novella based on A.A. Milne's childhood stories of Winnie the Pooh, but I was let down on how he explained Taoism. In his attempt to explain this teaching of China, he managed to insult many other lifestyles and ways of living. In this book I learned that people should basically meditate all day long and not live in houses, not use cars, and not partake in activities that many people of the world are involved in such as jogging or eating at a fast food place once in a while. I was also enlightened by the fact that basically things happen to Pooh for no reason whatsoever, and also that everything proved by modern science is false and can basically be interpreted as "We don't know". There were some rich teachings of Taosim in the Tao of Pooh, such as the painting of the Vinegar Testers and how that related to Bhuddism, Taoism, and Confucianism, but overall I think Benjamin Hoff should have left the book to that instead of showing how the other practices in life are inferior the Taosim. In my opinion, Eeyore, Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Pooh, Christopher Robin, Kanga, Roo and Tigger are representatives of the various people in the world and their different backgrounds and personalities, and we should all repect and learn from each other inspite of our various walks of life, instead of believing that one school of thought, Taoism, is more superior than other beliefs, which is the feeling Benjamin Hoff imposed on me when I read the Tao of Pooh. I think I'll stick to my wise and knowledgeable Uncle Alan for information on Taosim.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
heatherlynn
I was once told that the truth of life is so simple only the blind can see. I think, the truth is found when one ceases to look for it. Pooh never looked for it and it seems to have found him. This book speaks on the simple truths of nature, purity, and gives an inner look into life. I really love this book, its an easy-reader and you'll finish it in one sitting. It's also a great gift idea. After you read this book, you'll see the simple truths that make life so very special. Each character in the book brings a diiferent perspective of life. Their is a thinker, a dreamer, a calculator, and most of all a wonderer. This is a thriving story that, once read, will make you want live again, and you'll want to move mountains because of it. A must read..
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
deidra
Most books with the word "Tao" in their title have nothing to do with the Tao. THE TAO OF POOH actually explores the Tao and its finer points in a simple and delightful way. Hoff shows a deep understanding of ancient Taoist principles and presents them in the nurturing environment of A.A.Milne's classic WINNIE-THE-POOH. Very creative, and a fine introduction to the teachings of Lao Tzu. Of benefit to readers of all ages.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tanawut tantisopharak
Accept it for what it is, don't expect it to be what it is not.

It is an excellent book, it is not the end all be all of the philosophy.

I re-read it every so often, enjoyable read, and light enough to allow me something to do on a noisy lunch hour.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
gidget
Our "poised" and "civilized" friend Rob from the west proves a good point: give anyone an inch, and they'll walk all over you. In this case, the inch represents the Internet and Rob's review is the heal in your face. His tactless and myopic tirade would make anyone of sound mind want to vomit shards of glass (especially his little jewel about kung-pao chicken, which by the way ISN'T Chinese). Way to go triumphant, two-dimensional Western ideology! When it comes to stereotyping, it definitely takes the cake.

This book, by no means, tries to bash or villanize Wester culture. Hoff just calls it as he sees it, which doesn't make it romanticized rants. What this book tries to accomplish is to get the reader to acknowledge the importance of simplicity, an idea lost and distorted in our ever-growing megalomanic society. As Mies van der Rohe put it: Less is more! Hoff doesn't try to widen the schism between science and spirituality, but instead finds the middle ground in which both are dependent upon each other and ultimately complement one another. Regardless of what is and what isn't on your reading list, find some room and make time for this book. It's no Dostoevski, but I'm sure you'll find something in it that'll catch your fancy, so long as you read it with an open mind set.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
michael pagendarm
It is one of the best books I haver ever read in my life. It portrays the wrongdoings of many people in this world that think personal satisfaction is the key for their life and that success is defined as one having a lot of green pieces of paper. The book tells people that if one flows like water, leads people in good ways, always thinks that the truth is the most important thing in the world, the world will benefit as a whole, and thus we all would-not only the rich people that scrounge money out of other people's hands - experience the harmony and the beauty that this world has to offer to us. The book enforces people to change the negative force into positive force, and that patience, sincerity, virtue, kindness, generosity, and fidelity should be the essence of human beings and that we all should apply these words of ardor into our everyday lives
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
marinka
I loved the Tao of Pooh. I love Piglet. But I didn't love the Te of Piglet. This was a case of taking a great thing too far. My advice to Hoff is to write another, deeper, continuation book about the Taoist ways of Pooh bear and, as Milne did, leave the loveable cast of characters as just that, a cast of characters.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
eslam
I first read the Tao of Pooh in college and many of the ideas had a direct and lasting impact in my life. Finally, I picked up the Te of Piglet, only to find that as insightful as it tried to be the author has some serious hang ups. There were some very serious misinterpretations in this book that I consider dangerous. Mr. Hoff confuses lesbianism and feminism with man-hating, something many lesbians and feminist do not subscribe to. If you can ignore some of the sweeping mis-statements, there is something of value to be found in these pages.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tyler
Through the eyes of Pooh I've learned that wisdom above all things should be the goal. In a quest for knowledge I found myself in contempt of the natural order of things and became ultimately confused . Bejamin Hoff simplifies the process of "the way" in a thoughtful manner easily understood.I saw myself as each character described.
Not interfering with the "ebb and flow" of nature leads to wisdom. This theme, throughout the book, characterizes how to enjoy life and all its simple pleasures.
Read this book and breathe easy again!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
clara baker baldwin
The Te of Piglet,
Taoism as Described Through the Famous Lovable Character of Piglet
The Te of Piglet, written by Benjamin Hoff, is not your ordinary run of the mill novel. While most novels have a plot and a conflict, The Te of Piglet is educational in nature. The Te of Piglet continues to teach Taoism, an ancient Chinese philosophy, much like the book's predecessors, The Tao of Pooh.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I am a person who gets bored while reading straight information; I need the knowledge to be presented in an interesting and fascinating way. That is why I love The Te of Piglet. I can't think of a better way to talk about philosophy than through familiar lovable characters that we know from our childhood. I thoroughly enjoyed the way Hoff combined interaction with the characters, ancient stories, other philosophers and his own ideas. This allowed for the teachings of the beliefs of Taoism in a way that is easy to understand and interesting to read. I would highly suggest this book to anyone who either enjoys different, ancient philosophy or simply is a fan of Winnie the Pooh. This was a great read!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
ashley anderson
I picked up this book because it seemed so charming. The author took the stories and characters of A.A. Milne and juxtaposed them with the Taoist teachings of people such as Lao Tzu.

Pooh as western Taoist starts off interestingly enough but halfway through it I came to the realization that it was making me want to just read the actual Milne, who was frankly probably a genius writer. Those were great books with great characters, each with their own type of intelligence.

Then about two thirds through the book, it just becomes insulting. The author is against pretty much anything useful. Rather than believing in the give and take of Ying and Yang (or any other name it may go under) he's against intellectuals who are secretly foolish for trying to figure anything about the world, against people who work hard and care about their jobs or contributions (again that's just foolish), people who enjoy sports or exercise...heck he's against leaving your house or caring about the rest of the world. I understand the idea behind the Busy Backson rant, but is there no middle ground at all?

The idea of the Indian American culture being superior to that of the almighty Puritans is used as an example, which could be built upon in several interesting ways, but instead the author chooses to illustrate how everything that came after was just silliness without supplying a single idea about how it could be done better...yet useful.

At one point he actually uses the example of (paraphrasing here) turning on the T.V. news to hear "`Thirty thousand people were killed today when five jumbo airliners collided over downtown Lose Angeles" *click* Stop worrying about everything and go about life. Listen to the birds chirp, they will tell you more about the world." ---wait, we shouldn't care about thirty thousand humans being killed in a horrific accident?

I am in no way an expert on Taoism, but unless everyone who IS finds that idea posing as a representation of their philosophy to be offensive, I want nothing to do with it. It isn't enlightened to go around hating everything while doing nothing. And I'm sure the author realizes this since he spends so much time writing best=selling books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
benjamin frymer
This book was a stocking stuffer at Christmas. I had never read or even heard of Benjamin Hoff before then.

Intrigued by the concept of Taoism being explained with the help of Pooh and other companions from the Hundred Acre Woods, I started reading this a week after Christmas. I had finished it by next afternoon. This is such a remarkably wonderful book; deep and simple at the same time. It left me thoroughly enthralled, and I have already reread it thrice.

I'd highly recommend this book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rebecca hickman
I read this book years a go when I was trying to understand why there is so much violence in the world. I came across it while living abroad and thought it looked very interesting. I am just finishing a Master's Degree in history and out of all the books I read throughout my life, this book by far taught me the most about acceptance, understanding and tolerance. I wrote a million and one notes throughout the book and still utilize the concepts to this day. I think this book is great for a ten year old to read or a ninety year old. Grasping many different concepts at different ages is the beauty behind the Tao of Pooh.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
angela stringer
I loved the Tao of Pooh when I was younger so was looking forward to reading this when I recently received it as a birthday present. However, it has little of the humour and presence of the first book and spends most of it's time being an 'Eeyore' and whinging about the world around it. If you want to feel depressed and/or pissed off about the state of the world this is the book for you. If you're looking for a book that melds Eastern wisdom with Western humour look elsewhere.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
donna bossert
This book is a delightful little read - it aims to put Taoism in practical and friendly terms by looking at Whinnie the Pooh, and succeeds at this.
The writing style is engaging and makes for a fast read.
If there's any down side, it's that sometimes a slight bitter tone from the author comes through at. But all in all it's a very worthwhile read; I've read it twice and have recommended it to several friends/family.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
luana
As a lover of the Winnie the Pooh stories, I was intrigued by the idea of using the characters to teach Taoism, something that may be a little difficult for people who have never heard of it to understand at first. A friend loaned me the book, and I had to buy a copy of it for myself later! Besides teaching Taoism, the reader begins to see how the beloved characters reflect who we are. Suddenly, Christopher Robin seems to be wise indeed to have chosen such wonderful friends. In my house, we have already determined that I am a Pooh (although with a strange Tigger streak at times) and my husband is definitely Eeyore. Any adult who has ever lost him or herself in the Hundred Acre Wood and not wanted to come back should read this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sneha
When I first heard of this book I thought it sounded ridiculous. But at the time I had no idea what Taoism was. When I finally read it I was so impressed that I am now a Taoist. This is perfect for someone who really wants to understand Taoism. It portrays a complex idea in a simple way and it's fun to read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sonny
You don't have to be Chinese to be Taoist. In fact, you don't even have to be human. You could be a teddy bear, and do just fine. Upon reading this book, I found that I had always been Taoist and not known what to call it. The simple yet powerful explanations of the basic Taoist principles in this book are absolutely invaluable. Taoism, after all, should come naturally. Simplicity is it's key, and so this book captures it perfectly. Playful and juvenile to some, maybe, but brilliant and wise to those who truly understand the ideas within. Actually, is there any difference between the former and the latter?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jennifer healey
I recently became interested in learning about Taoism when I viewed the movie The Tao Steve, so I went to my high school libary and found a couple books on Tao Philosphy. All of the books seemed to be a bit outdated except The Te of Piglet. I liked this book because when reading about religon the information can become distorted and complicated and this book steers away from those downfalls. I also could relate better to Pooh,Piglet,Tigger, and the other characters better then i could relate to an ancient oriental rice farmer. This book tells how tao can help you in modern day life and in all aspects of that.I was a freshman in high school when i read this book and recommend it to people my age and above who are good at comprehending the material they read; SO go to the bookstore and and ask for the Te Of Piglet and a word of advise don't pronounce it teh because it's pronouced deh and I wouldn't want you looking stupid.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
vilde
The concept is nifty, but, alas, in the implementation, this book seems only able to exalt the Tao by denigrating other paths of wisdom. It ridicules science and insults religion. The "real" Tao is a balance, but this book, for all its well-meaning, falls from that balance into the "my way is the only way" fallacy.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
parminder
If you are already a Taoist, this book will serve as a cute reminder of "the Way". If you are not familiar with Taoist principles, you may find this a bit too brief to really understand Taoism. I recommend "365 Tao: Daily Meditations" by Deng Ming-Dao, for daily reminders and teachings.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
megan
In todays world of hypocrasy and corruption, it is often difficult to find a voice of reason and prosperity. Benjamin Hoff is this voice. His book The Tao of Pooh, and the follow up The Te of Piglet, are two pieces of literature that have seriously influenced my life. i cannot recomend these books enough. after reading, which i have done repeadedly, i always feel better and more capable of successfully living my life. the chapter THE EEYORE EFFECT, should be requiered reading for everyone once in high school, once in college, and numerous times later in life. in a world of questions and problems, Hoff offers the answers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
laurie albright
I doubt A.A. Milne ever thought his characters would be a launching point for teaching Taoism! Hoff does a great job at using characters familiar to most of us to teach a thought system unfamiliar to many of us in the West. This book is a fun look at a different worldview.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
julie graves
I didn't find this book as lovable as Tao of Pooh. Piglet while seemingly an ideal model to learn the Te from there is alot more ranting and raving then the simple lessons from Pooh. Maybe Piglet needs a change in his prescriptions.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kayla webley
I'm 52 now....but when I was a kid I knew that Pooh knew the way. He was the greatest then (and now), and, thanks to this book, I now know why. This book is not only a wonderful intro to Taoism, it is also a confirmation of what every child hopes for and secretly knows. Because in the western world, Pooh is more well known than the Tao and he is known to the child within us, he is the perfect prophet.
Bravo...this book captures all the awards...it is profound yet so simple that even a child can see the truth in it.
A Must Read for People who have or want to have a soul.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
cong
I found the book to be very entertaining at the start, but it got old and it isn't even a very big book. Muddled thinking leads to muddled conclusions. For example: Hoff praises the simple mindedness of Pooh and uses an illustration of someone who is rational and purposeful getting into a car wreck because he is that way, when my experience has been that simpleminded Pooh-type people cause most car wrecks. I wouln't buy it. Check it out from your library first.
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