During World War I, the bear mascot of Canadian soldiers from Winnipeg was deposited at the London Zoo when the troops were sent to the battlefields in France. At the zoo, Winnie, named for the city of his troops' origins, became the favorite attraction of a youngster Christopher Robin Milne, who changed the name of his own teddy bear from Edward to Winnie. The boy's father wrote stories based on the boy's bear and other toy animals and their charming exploits in the 100-Acre-Wood. So began the endearing and enduring tales of Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne. The first of the books, illustrated by E. H. Shepard, appeared in 1926. Three more books followed before 1930. Since their introduction, the books have sold an estimated 20 million copies; other additions followed, including Pooh tales in 25 different languages. Walt Disney purchased the rights to the Pooh stories in 1966; ever since, Pooh has been a feature of every American child's upbringing. Disney Enterprises reports that Pooh is the second most popular of its characters, after Mickey Mouse.