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The Wind in the Willows (Sterling Illustrated Classics) Hardcover – March 6, 2012
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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 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.
One thing about it; as you get older, and hopefully wiser, you discover observations of human nature in the pages of this book that are often times overlooked by the young reader. As an old man I can now read this book and picture in my mind individuals I have known and met throughout my life that are living parallels to the characters in this book...good grief, I can even find myself if I am dead honest with myself!
This one is considered a classic and for good reason. I suspect that it will remain so for years and years to come. Some stories are simply timeless.
Chris MacDonnell as narrator is an excellent choice, his character's speaking voices are so perfect. Mole is voiced as a slightly self-deprecating creature, but his voice strengthens as he grows wiser later in the book. Badger is a big gruff voiced animal, and Toad is voiced just as a toad should be, with a slight nasally tone that comes from not having a proper nose. MacDonnell gives little touches to the story like chuckles and car horns, they fit right in.
I was provided a copy of the audiobook by Chris MacDonnell in exchange for an honest review. I really think this audiobook would be perfect for a nostalgic adult or to play for a child as a bedtime story.