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Old Mother West Wind

Thornton W. Burgess

Book Overview: 

Thornton Waldo Burgess was a conservationist and author of children’s stories. He loved the beauty of nature and its living creatures so much that he wrote about them for 50 years. By the time he retired, he had written more than 170 books. Many of his outdoor observations in nature were used as plots for his stories. In his first book, “Old Mother West Wind,” the reader meets many of the characters found in later books and stories. These characters include Peter Rabbit, Jimmy Skunk, Sammy Jay, Bobby Raccoon, Joe Otter, Grandfather Frog, Billy Mink, Jerry Muskrat, Spotty the Turtle and of course, Old Mother West Wind and her Merry Little Breezes. Note to parents of very small children: in Chapter 15, little Tommy Trout gets eaten by a pickerel.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .They were very, very proud of them and took the greatest care of them, brushing them carefully ever so many times a day.

There was a Jimmy Skunk then, just as there is now, and he was head of all the Skunk family. Now this Jimmy Skunk was very proud and thought himself very much of a gentleman. He was very independent and cared for no one. Like a great many other independent people, he did not always consider the rights of others. Indeed, it was hinted in the wood and on the Green Meadows that not all of Jimmy Skunk's doings would bear the light of day. It was openly said that he was altogether too fond of prowling about at night, but no one could prove that he was responsible for mischief done in the night, for no one saw him. You see his coat was so black that in the darkness of the night it was not visible at all.

Now about this time of which I am telling you Mrs. Ruffed Grouse made a nest at the foot of the Great Pine and in it she laid fifteen be. . . Read More

Community Reviews

My 7 yr old gave these books a 5. I agree. "His books are awesome' she says.I liked the way morals were told in an entertaining way. I bet my daughter didn't feel she was being moralized at because she wanted to hear the whole book. I've tried others that had a distinct 'moral' or 'value' and she...more

I'm not a fan of talking animal books-just a personal preference-but my son loves these books and they contain good moral stories. Well written. And our Burgess books are old and so just reading out of them makes me happy. I love old books!

My 5 year old actually LOVES the stories in this book. Each story is only a few pages long and has great animal/nature characters to relate to. Each story has a subtle 'moral' that's not very preachy. We're looking forward to investigating more books by Burgess after finishing all the lovely stor...more

This is the kind of book I would check out from the library and which would normally be rejected at bedtime for a story with more pictures or something less "babyish" or of the character of--not my favorite--Diary of a Wimpy Kid. But both my 10-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter listened wi...more

A childhood favorite. I can remember checking them out from the library. very nice moral animal stories.

An old favorite of mine when I was a kid, these stories still draw kids in. All three of my kids listened to these stories intently. Simple tales, highly moral, old-fashioned, anthropomorphic animals.... yet for some reason, they still appeal. A nice read aloud choice for younger kids just learni...more

I love the stories. However, I am virtually certain the language was changed in places which annoys me. Certainly there was no claim to being unabridged but I think they should acknowledge the change. I realize some things are dated in these books. All the animals are male, except for mothers and...more

I'd forgotten all about Mother West Winds children, the Merry Little Breezes. And all of the fun characters of the forest Peter Rabbit, Jimmy Skunk, Sammy Jay, Grandfather Frog, to name just a few. This was a delight to read.

Magical! An incredible book, one I wish I had known about sooner. This captivated the attention of each of my children (ages 2-9), and they begged for more each time I read aloud. "Johnny wood chuck chuck chuck, Johnny Woodchuck". Looking forward to other stories by this author.

I don't know how I've never heard of this book before. Hinton talked about it a lot because his teacher read it to them at school, and then he started "writing a sequel" (Old Father East Wind), so I decided it was time for me to read the original. :-) A book that has gentle lessons taught by wild...more

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