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The Wind in the Willows: The Centennial Anniversary Edition 75 Anv Edition

343 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0684179575
ISBN-10: 0684179571
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Editorial Reviews Review

"[Mole] thought his happiness was complete when, as he meandered aimlessly along, suddenly he stood by the edge of a full-fed river. Never in his life had he seen a river before--this sleek, sinuous, full-bodied animal, chasing and chuckling, gripping things with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook themselves free, and were caught and held again." Such is the cautious, agreeable Mole's first introduction to the river and the Life Adventurous. Emerging from his home at Mole End one spring, his whole world changes when he hooks up with the good-natured, boat-loving Water Rat, the boastful Toad of Toad Hall, the society- hating Badger who lives in the frightening Wild Wood, and countless other mostly well-meaning creatures. Michael Hague's exquisitely detailed, breathtaking color illustrations on almost every generous spread--along with Kenneth Grahame's elegant, delightfully old-fashioned characterizations of the animals--make this book a wonderful read-aloud. Grahame's The Wind in the Willows has enchanted readers for four generations, and this lavishly illustrated gift edition is perhaps the finest around. (All ages, or 9 to 12)

This reviews refers to ISBN 0805002138. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Mary Jane Begin illustrates the classic story of Mole, Badger, Rat and Toad, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. Each chapter opens with a vignette and includes a full-page painting of a dramatic moment in the proceedings. All ages.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: 1 and up
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; 75 Anv edition (September 1, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684179571
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684179575
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (343 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

228 of 233 people found the following review helpful By grahamer on December 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
When I was very young (about six thousand years ago), our school master used to read to us from Wind in the Willows. The stories had a magical quality and a few weeks ago, as a somewhat older person, I got to wondering whether they would still have that sense of enchantment that held us so captivated all those years ago.
I was NOT disappointed. Toad was just as cantankerous and difficult as ever. Badger, Rat and Mole were just as supportive - just as memorable. Badger is unpredictable but protective (and sometimes mean). Mole is timid and shy. Rat is courageous and romantic. And who could ever forget those dreadful gun-toting weasels, ferrets and stoats glorying in their take-over of Toad Hall? Wind in the Willows is a true masterpiece of allegory with endless moral lessons disguised as a children's story. It is also a lesson in things long-forgotten... the glory of floating noiselessly down a river at dawn, past loosestrife, willowherb, bulrushes and meadowsweet. How many of us have even heard of these meadow plants, never mind seen them. But it doesn't matter, because it evokes nostalgia either for things long-forgotten or for things never-known.
At a child's level, Wind in the Willows is about friendship and about life in an imagined world centered around the river. At a less innocent level, Wind in the Willows draws many parallels with life, though Kenneth Grahame managed to avoid preaching his lessons. Not the least of Graham's parables is that 'the bigger they are, the harder they fall' because Toad is as egotistical and as self-important as they come until being thrown in jail for 'borrowing' a car.
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82 of 84 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I was introduced to the denizens of the river when I was very small - maybe age three or four. My edition was illustrated by Arthur Rackham, still the best version to this day, IMO (much as I love Ernest Shepherd's work...)
I still remember being entranced by the juxtaposition of lyrical descriptions and occasionally wild and crazy action, expecially when Mr. Toad was involved - prefect balance for a child, and a terrific introduction to the wonders of the language in the hands of a true master. And one phrase - "Be my eyes, Ratty!" - has stayed with me ever since - that was when I really GOT the idea of helping and selflessness.
I still have my beat-up old book and make sure that all the children of my acquaintance have a good hardback Rackham copy. This classic - forget Disney - is right up there with the original Poohs, and I'm sure it will remain a favorite for generations to come. Do yourself and the children in your life a favor and read it - preferably out loud - and prepare to laugh, smile, shed a tear, and never forget.
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107 of 114 people found the following review helpful By Joanna D. #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Wind in the Willows is a longtime favorite of many people (and I just re-read it as an adult.) The story centers around the animal citizens of an English riverbank. Each animal has a different personality, from easy-going Mole to the wise and wiley Badger, the spoiling-for-a-fight Weasels and of course boastful Toad, the owner of splendid Toad Hall who has too much money and too little sense to know what to do with it. The education of Toad by his well-meaning friends is a good lesson. The battle for Toad Hall near the end of the book is also exciting.

The content is entirely suitable for kids. The prose is a pleasure to read out loud and creates such pictures in one's imagination. And it's funny, too (the scene where Toad is nearly struck down by a car, which he has never seen before, and decides he MUST have one is absolutely hysterical.)

If you are starting a reading-out-loud program at home, this should be at the top of your list. I'd also add Swiss Family Robinson to that list. I have wonderful memories of my teachers and parents reading these books to me. Why not give your kids the same lasting delight in good literature, reading and family fun.

Note: suitable for grades 4-8 and the writing is somewhat complex, so some 4th graders will find it a rough go.
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87 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Booklover on April 22, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"The Wind in the Willows" remains a masterpiece, with adventures and talking animals to appeal to the kiddies, and lyrical descriptions and dry humor for their parents - but this edition is missing not only Ernest Shepard's evocative (and, some would say, essential) drawings, but every last one of the songs - and that really eviscerates the book. I don't know if the other versions available for Kindle have the entire book, but it would be worth paying something to get the real thing instead of just a part of it.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Vicki Arkoff on February 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
What a difference a month makes. Just a few weeks ago I pronounced Seastar Books' new edition of "The Wind in the Willows" the best gift edition of the 1908 children's classic since illustrator Ernest Shephard's classic version, due to the glorious acrylic and watercolor paintings by Mary Jane Begin ("The Porcupine Mouse," "A Mouse Told His Mother"). Yet surprisingly, it has already been surpassed, so I must pass the trophy to Harcourt's new unabridged edition. It's beautifully presented in a wide, landscape format with a satin ribbon bookmark to keep your place when the stories dutifully fulfill their destiny as bedtime reading. The notable source of the book's special appeal, of course, is the charming new artwork by extraordinary English watercolorist Michael Foreman. The pages are filled with gently expressive mixed-media paintings, from the end-papers map of Wildwood and its surroundings, to a rollicking train ride, and the wild rumpus at Toad Hall. And the illustrations are generously plentiful: nearly every two-page spread contains at least one color sketch. The sheer number of illustrations tremendously enriches the story, and the Foreman's light-handed technique, previously apparent in "Michael Foreman's Mother Goose," "Joan of Arc" and "Arthur, High King of Britain" -- is a lovely tribute to the similar style of Shephard himself. Well done.
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