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Wind in the Willows – Book Review by S.A. Barone

Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame

Book Review by S. A. Barone

Wind in the Willows is one of the greatest children’s classic of all time.  It has always been one of my very favorite stories, movies, cartoons, and even Mr. Toad’s Ride at Disneyland.  Kenneth Grahame was a genius at storytelling and character development.  Michael Hague’s exciting, breathtaking illustrations are rich with old-fashioned, nostalgic qualities. 

As far as I can find out Kenneth Grahame’s Wind and the Willows was first published in 1908.  Then the second time it was published it was illustrated by E.H.Shepard, then it was illustrated again by Arthur Rackham and I think there might have been a few other artist before, after or in between Shepard and Rackham.  This particular edition of Wind in the Willows was first published in 1980 and illustrated by Michael Hague. 

The story starts out in the spring time and Mole is doing his spring cleaning.  Soon he becomes impatient with it and decides to leave his underground home and head up to get some air.  Mole ends up at the river where he meets Ratty.  Ratty takes Mole for a ride in his row boat and they get along so well that Ratty spends many days teaching Mole the ways of the river. 

Sometime later Ratty and Mole find themselves near Toad Hall and decide to pay Toad a visit.  However, Toad is about to go on a trip so he persuades Ratty and Mole to go with him. 

Later Toad gets a motor car while Mole meets Badger in the Wild Wood.  They all become good friends and seem to always be looking after Toad and trying to get him to stop his reckless driving.   By this time Toad has crashed six motor cars and has been hospitalized three times,

The numerous adventures they have and the characters that they meet along the way is entertainment at its highest.  Under the surface this charming story with its lovable characters has a subtle message of encouragement in kindness, patience, and loyalty.

The richness of the language and the enchanting illustrations adds tremendous depth to this ageless book.

I highly recommend every parent read the Wind in the Willows to their child.  A chapter or two of Wind in the Willows read every night is just a perfect way to end an evening with your child.

Happy Reading!

S. A. Barone

Shirley is a published children’s writer. She has publishing credits in Highlights for Children, Turtle, Children’s Playmate, Humpty Dumpty, and Chicken Soup for the Pre-teen Soul. Shirley  has won a Distinguished Meritorious Service Award from the California School Boards Association for authoring an elective program that was adopted in schools in the Western United States and in areas of New York City. To learn more about Shirley and her art, visit www.sabarone.com

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