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The Wind in the Willows Paperback – April 25, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

Review

<DIV>"Narrator Shelly Frasier's clear, pleasant voice carefully distinguishes [Rat, Toad, Mole, and Badger].... The naughty toad is her best creation---she seems to understand his dreamy but destructive love of motor cars completely." - --AudioFile</div>

From the Back Cover

Generations of children have roamed the English countryside in the company of Rat, Mole, Toad, and Badger, the immortal animal friends of The Wind in the Willows. From their genesis nearly a century ago as bedtime stories for the author's young son, these timeless tales of friendship amid the natural world have captivated readers of all ages.
The adventures begin when Mole, feeling all the restlessness that springtime brings, abandons his burrow to discover the magic of the great river. With the able assistance of Rat, Mole learns to row and swim, and the chums fill their idyllic days with summertime rambles along the river and cozy fireside feasts on crisp nights. The pair take to the open road with the pleasure-loving Toad, track reclusive Badger to his snug lair, and stand together to reclaim Toad Hall from an invasion of stoats, ferrets, and weasels.
This memorable collection of stories, now available in an inexpensive and unabridged edition, offers a joyful retreat to a rustic world of wonders. Young readers (and listeners) will want to return again and again to the ageless charm of Kenneth Grahame's childhood classic.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Grahame Cracker Books (April 25, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613823290
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613823293
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #881,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A. J. House on February 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I'm very pleased with this version of this classic, must-have work of children's literature. For less than the price of a typical paperback, this attractive hardcover version is very well bound and perfect size and format for reading aloud to little ones. Black and white illustrations are sparse but beautifully done. It even has a ribbon place-holder. Very acceptable addition to your heirloom children's library. Would definitely get more from this series.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By rico567 on September 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This review isn't about the story; if you haven't read it by now, get the book and read it. This is a nice solid hardcover with a place marker ribbon, a good choice for our six year old granddaughter. The biggest drawback to this edition (and the reason for the 4 stars) is the relatively small number of illustrations.....but what there are are good.
I would probably have preferred an edition with the illustrations by E.H. Shepard or Arthur Rackham (although the former would be more appropriate for someone who is six. However, neither of those editions was available on Amazon at less than collector's prices.

The most dismaying thing in my search for this book is the number of abridged versions for sale, which I believe to be unconscionable. I can well imagine those sections of the book that a modern editor / publisher might feel "superfluous," particularly for young readers. Well, if someone finds a chapter tedious, skip over it. It's not like that won't be necessary later in life, and with any number of other books.
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34 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Ankle Marmot on September 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
When this book arrived I thought it was the wrong book. Clearly it is not an "unabridged" edition of this classic. My old edition is roughly twice as thick with smaller print. The volume itself has neither "Unabridged" nor "Unabridged Classic" anywhere in it or on the DJ.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Skip Goforth on September 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book, and a great gift for a chid in your life.

I first read it as a little boy many years ago.

I am 56 years old and read it every year!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peter Andefer on May 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I remember being a "late bloomer" where this book is concerned and reading it just after college, while most first came to first know it as children. Even at that late age (my age, that is), it lost none of its magic. It was still a beautiful and elegant story, with a writing style like fine china. It's no surprise it's inspired so many generations and even sparked some of the Pythons to do a film version. Just goes to show you that, no matter what age you're first introduced to it, it's still appealing, and isn't "just" a children's story. It's themes, mostly that of friendship and loyalty, are timeless and resonate at any age.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Greg Deane on May 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows is a children's story though the literacy skills required to read it as it deserves to be read are more sophisticated than those of most children and most adults. Grahame subtly blends anthropomorphism with gentle, even erudite humour, centred on the rural Thames, as Toad is brought to appreciate his role as a leader in the community around Toad Hall. He tests the friendship of Rat, Mole and Badger, who rescue him from his giddy egocentrism and his disastrous obsession with motor cars, a passion that was gargantuan contrasted with his passing fancies for boats and caravans. His three friends are as passionate about their homes. But they see that the essential good in the aristocratic Toad is far better than the vulgar, uncouth weasels and stoats, the base churls who are not fit to replace Toad on his seat in the Hall.

The story demonstrates the power of friends to make a difference in each other's lives, of the value of a solid sense of community, as when Badger is generous to the cockney squirrel children who bring him a message, or when Rat and Mole find Otter's lost son, who has been enchanted by Pan; and when the four friends arm themselves with cudgels, cutlasses and pistols to drive the stoats and weasels from Toad Hall. Of course, the varlet ferrets are ridiculously easy to dislodge, but the story is more about kindness than one providing descriptions of an orgy of vindictive violence.

But before Toad can be restored to his ancestral home, he must undergo the indignities of a picaresque hero, being sentence by a stern judge to prison for stealing and smashing a motor car.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By othoniaboys on April 19, 2013
Format: Paperback
Around the time of my sixth birthday, in 1949, I was delighted by the Disney version of this book, although the movie plot is somewhat different from the book plot. I recently got around to reading the book in the Signet Classics edition with illustrations by Alex Tsao ("Alex Taso" on the title page, but it is Tsao). This is a wonderful book and it was perfectly written, although the vocabulary is likely to go over the heads of younger readers. The descriptions of nature are so poetical as to leave me on the verge of tears. Several things need to be explained to younger readers, such as the meaning of the chapter heading "The return of Ulysses" which refers to the climax of Homer's Odyssey. Also there is the little matter of the great god Pan, whose name is not mentioned. The motor car needs to be explained, as this is a 1908 antique, and not the automobile of a century later. The story of Toad of Toad Hall is, of course, a story with a moral: pride goeth before a fall. I perhaps could wish that Grahame had not made his animals so humanlike, especially when he has Toad brushing or combing his hair, as if toads had hair. Toads also don't live in mansions and drive motor cars, so we must accept the absurdities or else reject the whole tale.
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