alice grass

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame- Review

Sunday, August 17, 2014
Title: The Wind in the Willows
Author:  Kenneth Grahame
Pages:256
Publication Date: 1908
Source: Library, Ownded
Link: Wind in the Willows Goodreads, Free ebook,

Meet little Mole, willful Ratty, Badger the perennial bachelor, and petulant Toad. In the almost one hundred years since their first appearance in 1908, they've become emblematic archetypes of eccentricity, folly, and friendship. And their misadventures-in gypsy caravans, stolen sports cars, and their Wild Wood-continue to capture readers' imaginations and warm their hearts long after they grow up. Begun as a series of letters from Kenneth Grahame to his son, The Wind in the Willows is a timeless tale of animal cunning and human camaraderie. This Penguin Classics edition features an appendix of the letters in which Grahame first related the exploits of Toad.
I have been wanting to read The Wind in the Willows for a long time and am glad that I finally had the opportunity. I recently did my Project Disney on the Adventures of Ichabod and Toad which is a lesser known Disney movie. This movie uses The Wind in the Willow as a source for the story about Toad so of course I got to pick this book up and read it.  It is a beautiful fun story.

We get to follow the adventures of Mole, Water Rat, Badger, and of course Mr. Toad. Most of us have probably heard of The Wind in the Willows since it is still relevant today.  There is so much art work based off the characters, there are plays, and people even quote the book. Pink Floyd's first album is named for a chapter in this book.  I first checked this book out from the library and read that copy.  I did go to my cousin's house and look at her copy (which is the one featured in the picture above) and discovered that my copy was actually an edited version.  I probably wouldn't have noticed but the annotated version talked about a chapter that includes an adventure with Pan that is usually an edited out chapter.  I looked in the book I was reading and sure enough that chapter was missing.  What is really odd about this though is that the version I was reading includes a picture of Pan on the cover! So that was a little disappointing that it wasn't more obvious that there are edited versions out there, nothing on the cover told me this at all.  


I enjoyed this book.. but to be honest I think as a kid I might not have been interested in it.  I think the story is a little dated.  It is more of a literary classic now.  I think there are several stories going on at once. We get to follow the characters through their different home environments ( on the river, in a mole hole, Toad Hill).  I enjoyed reading about each one's home and the illustration in the book I read really drew in detail the rooms in each house.


Mole, Badger, and Ratty are always trying to help Toad get out of trouble.  Toad is very adventurous.  He eventually falls in love with cars and must have one.  So he goes and steals one, goes to prison, escapes prison dressed as a woman and then fights to get his home back from weasels. Quite an entertaining story. Toad is naughty!  I do love though the other part of the book that follows the friendships of Mole and Ratty.  The become unlikely friends when one day Mole goes outside his hole. He finds the Water Rat in his home by the river and Mole wants adventures and to live a different life.




It is a beautiful story.  I just love all the different artwork that the book has inspired. Some of the artwork depicts the characters without clothes and their actual size.  So Mr. Toad is a small toad.  Some artwork depicts them in clothing.  Just wonderful.

The crystal ball says:


Clouds are covering! A read that lets me down every now and then but peaks out of the clouds!
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34 comments:

  1. I remember liking it when I was little..but my mom was a really fun reader to listen to and did the best voices for all the characters :)

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  2. I've put this book on my Classics Club list to get to at some point. It looks like a delightful read as an adult but I don't think I would've cared for it as a child either from what you see. Actually I've found that I enjoy the so called children's classics much more when I read them as an adult versus when I tried them as a kid. Great review!

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  3. The art in this one is stunning

    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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  4. I feel like I've come across this story as a child and liked it, but I'm not quite sure. It has beautiful artwork. I'll definitely look around for this one. My cousin would probably enjoy it.

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  5. This really is a British classic, and I'm embarrassed that I've never read it all the way through. I should put in on my classics to-read list!

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  6. Ok.. now that would make this a fun book. Maybe the audio book is like that? A fun narrator?

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  7. I have to agree.. I don't know what it is? Just a new generation of children's books out now so the classics are just outdated. But as an adult I can appreciate them so I do enjoy them more.

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  8. There are so many different editions with different artists. The pictures above are from different editions!

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  9. I don't remember it as a child either.. but I am sure my mom read it to me. Though I don't know either!! LOL!

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  10. It really is a decent story.. but not the type of entertainment we are used to today. Toad stealing a car.. big deal? There is so much more going on with cartoons and children's movies now that this is not entertaining. So it really is a classic to me. Simple story telling.

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  11. Awwww, the artwork is absolutely gorgeous. Seriously. I'd love to own a book of this one just for the artwork alone :) The story wouldn't really resonate with me though O_O Maybe if I were younger it would :) I'd buy it for my future kid/s ^_^

    Faye at The Social Potato

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  12. I've always loved this book. It is charming!

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  13. That's too bad about the dated story, because you're right, young readers probably won't be able to fully appreciate this book for the classic that it is. The novel inspired artwork is absolutely stunning though; I'm going to have a hard time resisting adding this title to my TBR pile after reading your review. Actually, who am I kidding, I've already one-clicked it. LOL!

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  14. I've always wanted to read this book, but for some odd reason, I have yet to do so. I'm the same way with the Wizard of Oz books, and the Mary Poppins books. I even want to read the books The Rescuers are based off of, I have one, The Turret, but haven't read it yet either.

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  15. I do wish I had read this book when I was younger, so I could have appreciated it more. It was just okay when I read it more recently. I think perhaps it makes a better story as an animation though. I'll have to check if my copy is edited too - I had no idea they edited a chapter!


    I do think Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland is one of the better Fantasyland rides, so there's that. :D

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  16. Isn't it lovely how we catch up with literary classics and we can appreciate them even now? I'm really glad you enjoyed this one Angela, I loved it as a kid :)

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  17. I did like the story.. but it's only if you want to experience a simple story. About some friends and their everyday adventures. I suppose if you are looking for something fun and exciting then this one is certainly not for you. The artwork though is beautiful. Really you only need to google the name of the book and look at the images and you will see so many different art pieces.

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  18. So beautiful. Just a nice story to read when you just want something calming.

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  19. LOL! It is a nice story. I would say after you've read something crazy and fun and want something quick and cute then this is the book for you. I would also go out and find the movies based off the book too. I think the Disney movie does a really good job depicting the animals and Mr. Toad's personality.

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  20. It's funny how we just put books off isn't it? There are just so many books so little time so different books get pushed in front of different books. I have so many books I've been "meaning" to read. I am supposed to be getting a lot of books read this week with bout of books and I haven't even really started yet.

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  21. It is just OK... I gave it three stars. I didn't know that my copy was edited either! There were no markings or anything. Then like I said.. I mean.. really they had a picture of Pan on the book and then cut pan out???? I have heard so much about Mr Toad's Wild Ride. Did you know there used to be one at Disney World? I learned that while doing this Project Disney. They decided it was dated and I think put a Pooh ride in there instead.

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  22. Yes!! I agree! I really do enjoy Classic books. I didn't start reading them till I was in my late 20s and just have discovered so many great books.

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  23. I didn't know the ride used to be at Disney World! I can understand why they wanted to put a Pooh ride instead, I'm pretty sure not many kids know the story of Mr. Toad - but it's always a pretty popular ride (longer lines). I really like going on the ride in winter though because when you get to the part where you go to hell, it's so warm and toasty! :D

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  24. I never read it *blushes*... Is the first pic an illustration by Arthur Rackham ? I absolutely love him !

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  25. I always loved this cartoon but have never read the actual book, I totally should read this to my toddler!

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  26. I loved this story growing up but I think that is in part because it reflects the countryside where I grew up (the book was written near where I lived). Actually I liked it so much I tried to write a musical to put on at school with one of my classmates. A production that fortunately never was made thanks to my enormous lack of talent!

    I used to listen to an audio book recording read by Alan Bennett that was excellent. I am pretty sure it was an abridged copy tho!

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  27. OMG you got the artist spot on!! That art for his Wind in the Willows is so pretty. I just think it is magical.

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  28. It's super long! So I don't know...... you would have to read a little each night.

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  29. How neat that you grew up near where this book was based on. I could just picture the outdoors that the book was talking about. Mr. Toad's house always seemed so fantastic in my mind. I am still surprised about the abridged copy. I was like .. wait ... WHAT!! There was just no indication that there could possibly be a part edited out.



    I love that you wrote a musical!! I bet that was fun to do even though it was never put on at school. I hope you still put it on for your family. My sister and I used to perform for my mom and dad all the time.

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  30. It is, I'm a big fan of his art work :)

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  31. Ooh, the Wind in the Willows! I'm really glad you did a full length review of this after reading your Project Disney that half featured it. There are so many incredible editions of this story, I think, and I do find it strange that here and there are editions that are abridged but don't say they are- the Pan story is in my copy, so I'm lucky enough to have read it. It's quite beautiful and when I first read it I was struck by the fact I hadn't ever heard of it before (probably wasn't in the stories I'd been read as a child, and it's in only one of the animated films I've seen) and that it was so wonderful. It's quite possibly my favourite.


    I'd really like to look through a bunch of copies and see the different styles and illustrations- how the characters are depicted.

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  32. I thought leaving the Pan part out is quite interesting. I mean.. there rest of the book is really wordy... so why not leave this part in? I guess it is just a side adventure where they go and try to find those baby otters? I think they were otters and Pan took them and was just playing with them.

    I like to do a review on books for Project Disney if they were a decent size. So the films based on the Brothers Grimm stories I didn't do a full review on the source material. But if the book is long I like to talk about it more then just the Project Disney part.

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  33. This story made me feel a little sick. The story of Mr Toad and his dangerous behavior reminded me of addicts that I know as friends or family. Disturbing!

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  34. Mr. Toad could be seen as an addict of sorts I suppose. He can't get enjoyment out of ordinary things. Like a adrenaline junkie. I did think Toad was not a good character. His friends would try to help him out of everything but he just could care less and was not very thankful for it. That was the sad part. I have a friend who is never thankful for anything people do for him. He only sees the wrong in everything.

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