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The Wind in the Willows (Sterling Illustrated Classics) Hardcover – March 6, 2012
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
First off, Wind in the Willows is a beautifully written tale, as many others here have already told. So well written, it is, that some people believe it shouldn't be illustated at all. However, as an artist, I am not in that camp. I appreciate a person willing to render 2D or 3D life to the written word. What a task!
This is a book which one can pick it up and put it down as one wishes. We sometimes read our favorite bits over and over. Grahame's writing is perfection, and we voice his characters for fun sometimes. There's a silly claymation television series that was done in the 1980s if you want to show the kids the t.v. version after you've read it to them. It was available on Netflix - not sure if it still is.
Also, for 'purists', fyi, this is the book in its unabridged form (the original full length tale).
For those looking for the abridged version, with lovely illustrations, check out the version with Inga Moore as illustrator. Moore has illustrated a version of The Secret Garden which is also lovely.
I wish people would review products for what they are, not what they wish they were; the book is clearly an abridgement and does not claim to be anything else. And it is really a very good abridgement. I often, reading to my 5 year old, have to make "on the fly" abridgements of my own, as I guage his patience, his interest, and the appropriateness of the subject matter. I didn't have to do that with this book.
I also looked for "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" when I first opened this book and was saddened to see it wasn't there. But then I went online and found the text of it (as the book is out of copyright, there are a number of e-texts available). It's a truly gorgeous piece of writing - but it really is not going to appeal to the age range at which this book is aimed.
The illustrations are lush and colorful, and (important detail when reading chapter books to someone moving up from picture books) there is at least one illustration of some kind on nearly every page. The chapters selected to be presented are vivid and interesting and a good introduction to the book for smaller children.
When he's older, I'll read the full version to him - or hand it to him to read himself. But this book is a lovely thing in its own right.
But now we come to this one. A totally beautifully illustrated rendition it is (though it really is hard in my mind to beat Ernest H. Shepard's wonderful Rat, Badger, Toad and all!). The reason for the 1 star is two fold. One, it's an abridged version. Yes, I know it's for consumption by younger folk. I was, however, maybe 4 or 5 when it was first read to me. Why do we continue to sell our children short? The biggest reason though for the poor rating is that several chapters have been left out. The one I have always loved the best is "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn." A beautiful tale of heroism, compassion, and love. It's not in this edition. An outrage! I will NOT buy this book and I will certainly NOT recommend it to others!
It seems that reviewers either loved this book for the peerless color illustrations by Inga Moore, surpassing even the charm of Shepherd's original ink drawings, or they are deeply disappointed by the abridgement.
I have to say that I fall into the first category. Moore's many charming and highly detailed pictures are a genuine treasure, and evoke the mood of the book and the personality of the characters pefectly. In my opinion they add to the experience of the book considerably.
In the store, before I bought the book, I made a word-by-word comparison for some of the most memorable passages and found no differences whatsoever. So, from what I can gather, the abridgment seems to consist of leaving out a few episodes entirely, rather than shortening here and abbreviating there. I think this approach leaves far more of Kenneth Grahame's original voice intact - a very good thing indeed. I would also add that, at 180 pages, it's not an extensive abridgement; most of the original is still there.
Why not all of it? I don't know. But don't let that stop you from buying this lovely book, another gem from the outstanding Candlewick Press.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved this book as a kid and really have enjoyed reading it to my kids. Recommended for kids from kindergarten and up.Published 3 days ago by pimpin
I love this version of this book. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is delightful. The paper is good quality, and this is the type of volume that when well tended can... Read morePublished 28 days ago by TDD
Beautifully illustrated on quality stock. A wonderful addition to a child's library.Published 1 month ago by Janice M. Demaat