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The Wind in the Willows [Paperback]

by Kenneth Grahame, Ernest H. Shepard
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (355 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 31, 1989 068971310X 978-0689713101 6 and up 1 and up
Since its beginnings as a series of stories told to Kenneth Grahame's young son, The Wind in the Willows has gone on to become one of the best-loved children's books of all time. The timeless story of Toad, Rat, Mole, and Badger, brought to vivid life by Ernest H. Shepard's illustrations, has delighted readers of all ages for more than eighty years.

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The Wind in the Willows + The Comedy of Errors (Folger Shakespeare Library)
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Inspired by correspondence from Wind in the Willow's author Kenneth Grahame to his young son, award-winning illustrator Michael Foreman took up paint and brush to follow Mole, Ratty, Mr. Badger, and Toad through another edition of this well-loved kids classic.

Grahame's time-honored story, an adventure-filled idyll that meanders across a lovingly described English countryside, cemented its status as a masterpiece generations ago. But this newest edition adds some noteworthy extras: the unabridged text includes two chapters that don't appear in some modern versions ("The Pipers at the Gates of Dawn" and "Wayfarers All"), and the book closes with reproductions of two of Grahame's actual letters to his son Alistair ("My darling Mouse") in 1907, written on ornate, old-timey stationery from two Cornwall hotels and recounting one of Toad's first adventures (which Toad fans will recognize as the train-assisted escape of a certain "washerwoman").

These inclusions alone might merit a new edition, but Foreman's illustrations stand shoulder to shoulder with those of previous Winds artists (among them Ernest Shepard, the original illustrator, and Arthur Rackham, both of whom Foreman modestly stands "in awe" of). The lively, full-color illustrations appear generously throughout the book, as they convincingly capture both the story's small moments (like the washerwoman's weeping, for one) and more explosive events (like the storming of Toad Hall). (All ages) --Paul Hughes --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.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: 1 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1140L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin (March 31, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068971310X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689713101
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (355 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
206 of 209 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Continues to stand the test of time 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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78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another classic for all ages November 29, 1999
By A Customer
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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101 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book to read to your kids 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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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous! October 27, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is absolutely gorgeous! I received it today and have begun reading it. So far the story is lovely. But the illustrations are truly wonderful. Some of the illustrations are cover the full page, while others are only on part of the page. I paged through the book and there are only two page-spreads that do not have any illustrations. I look forward to reading this to my kids and having them enjoy the story as well as the illustrations.
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76 of 82 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You get what you pay for 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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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MR. TOAD RIDES AGAIN 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Every page a pleasure
Delightful vignettes on nature, friendship, domestic pleasures, and adventure, skillfully strung together. This is a book to be read slowly and reread more than once.
Published 25 days ago by Mariko E. Cantley
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy the hardcover. You won't be disappointed.
The story itself is beautifully written. I read it aloud to my oldest child and speaking the words is like performing a linguistic dance. Read more
Published 28 days ago by QueenofAwkward
5.0 out of 5 stars A trip back in time!
It's been 50+ years since I last read this. The tales of Mole, Rat, Badger and Toad are as enjoyable now as they were back then. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Colin McAfee
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Reading
The Wind in the Willows is so beautifully written that I found myself smiling with the words and loving Mole and Ratty and their loyalty and friendship and finding Toad absolutely... Read more
Published 1 month ago by REB
4.0 out of 5 stars The True Version
It was a pleasure to discover the true story by Kenneth Grahame, and his beautiful writing, and not the silly Walt Disney version.
Published 1 month ago by Benjamin Stahl
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Classics
I love this book. It's a book a child would enjoy and profit from, but it's certainly a book for adults, too. Read more
Published 1 month ago by L. N. Howe
5.0 out of 5 stars A Story for all Ages
I have read this book to my family through the years and now that I am reading it again to the youngest children the older ones come in the room just to relive the wonderful... Read more
Published 1 month ago by A.K. Frailey
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read for my 5th grade class.
Everyone enjoyed the adventures of Toad, Rat, Mole and Mr. Badger. Their favorite part was when Toad first encounters the automobile. We had a great time reading this book aloud.
Published 1 month ago by B. A. Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
This wonderful book will live for ever. A classic book for all ages. Also gives insight to the emotions of animals. Read more
Published 1 month ago by FINCHLEY
5.0 out of 5 stars We love this book!
I was surprised to find that this book actually has a fair amount of cursing in it for a children's book, a fact which my husband and I got a good chuckle out of, but felt we had... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Carla Archibald
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