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The Wind in the Willows

Kenneth Grahame

Book Overview: 

This much-loved story follows a group of animal friends in the English countryside as they pursue adventure … and as adventure pursues them! The chief characters – Mole, Rat, and Toad – generally lead upbeat and happy lives, but their tales are leavened with moments of terror, homesickness, awe, madcap antics, and derring-do.
Although classed as children’s literature, The Wind in the Willows holds a gentle fascination for adults too. The vocabulary is decidedly not “Dick and Jane”, and a reader with a love of words will find new ones to treasure, even if well-equipped for the journey. Parents will appreciate the themes of loyalty, manners, self-restraint, and comradeship which are evident throughout the book. When the characters err, they are prompt to acknowledge it, and so a reading of this book can model good behavior to children, who will otherwise be enchanted with the many ways in which the lives of these bucolic characters differ from modern life.
This book was so successful that it enabled the author to retire from banking and take up a country life somewhat like that of his creations. It has been adapted for screen, stage, and even a ride at the original Disneyland.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Mole was not there.

He listened for a time. The house seemed very quiet.

Then he called "Moly!" several times, and, receiving no answer, got up and went out into the hall.

The Mole's cap was missing from its accustomed peg. His goloshes, which always lay by the umbrella-stand, were also gone.

The Rat left the house, and carefully examined the muddy surface of the ground outside, hoping to find the Mole's tracks. There they were, sure enough. The goloshes were new, just bought for the winter, and the pimples on [Pg 66] their soles were fresh and sharp. He could see the imprints of them in the mud, running along straight and purposeful, leading direct to the Wild Wood.

The Rat looked very grave, and stood in deep thought for a minute or two. Then he re-entered the house, strapped a belt round his waist, shoved a brace of pistols into it, took up a stout cudgel that stood in a corner of the hall, and set off for the Wi. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Some of the best children’s classics have started with an adult inventing stories to tell to a child. “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, “Winnie the Pooh”, “Peter Pan” and even “Watership Down” all began this way, as did many others. The Wind in the Willows is another such. Like them, it is a no...more

This book was written in 1908, when the world was being shaken by the newly self-confident masses. Women were propagandising for the vote; the Irish were demanding Home Rule; the Trade Unions were showing their strength. Socialism theatened. A spectre was haunting Europe, and particularly England...more

PART TWO OF PETER JACKSON'S THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS (CONCLUSION)

[Night. Toad Hall, interior. STEPHEN FRY as TOAD and ORLANDO BLOOM as BADGER are in the middle of a wild melée with numerous STOATS and WEASELS.]

BADGER: It's no good, Toad! There's too many of them! [With a blow of his cudgel, he kno...more

They don't write books like The Wind in the Willows anymore.

Today's books for children are sly rhymes, action and social engineering. Wind belongs to an older, more innocent time when even accomplished men such as Kenneth Grahame, A. A. Milne and J. R. R. Tolkien invented stories for their child...more

I have read this book together with my almost 7 years old daughter, let’s say she has read it to me...
The stories are a bit odd, but the friendship between the mouse, the badger and the mole is nice.... my daughter did not like the toad at all, classic character typical of our days " all pretensi...more

Trying to review The Wind in the Willows is a strange undertaking. In the introduction to my copy, A. A. Milne wrote:

"One can argue over the merits of most books... one does not argue about The Wind in the Willows. The young man gives it to the girl with whom he is in love, and if she does not li...more

Lavishly described meandering adventures of the mild nature.

The Wind in the Willows has an intrinsically English flavor. The characters are happy to live their ordinary lives with only a hint of interest in the wider world. Too strong of an adventurous spiritedness is considered uncouth. Such he...more

If you have children and you have not read this gem with them, do it now. Go buy a lovely illustrated edition and make a memory that I think will last beyond childhood. Mole, Ratty, Toad and Badger are characters worth knowing and visiting in childhood again and again.

When I closed the last page...more

So fun and whimsical!

A genuinely refreshing little romp through tunnels & pastures. Zen is something that's somehow-- & very surprisingly-- reached. This is the ultimate impression the reader is left with.

Outstanding, engaging and more fun than Aesop's menagerie, it moralizes vaguely on fidelity, the value of...more

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