This Christmas, just last week, I read this final installment in the continuing series of books by William Horwood. I've read his other three, and of course, Grahame's endearing and unforgettable template. This one, The Willows At Christmas leaves me wishing that there were more of the stories to read.
I am old.
But these stories refresh me, and rekindle the youngster in me.
All that Mole wants is a nice peaceful Christmas (don't we all?)... to have a little party on Twelfth Night, and sip his famous "sloe and blackberry" with his newly acquired friends Toad, Badger, Ratty and Otter. Along with this, a reunion with his long-lost sister would be nice also. He begins to try to arrange a get together at Mole End, but soon finds that a guest at Toad Hall is throwing the countryside into a state of fear and downright Yuletide attrition! Horwood introduces us to the villainous Mrs. Ffleshe... the veritable Cruella DeVille of the Riverbank! She has taken over Toad Hall and the once proud Toad is reduced to humiliating servitude until (no real surprise) even WORSE things happen to him!
Yep. Only THIS time Mole is also caught in the same trap, and Christmas joy of any kind now seems to be definitely beyond reach!
Every available resource and ingenuity must be called upon if Mole and Toad are to be rescued, and Christmas restored to its proper place of peace and joyful togetherness.
The Willows At Christmas is a great story about the power of friendship and loyalty, justice and forgiveness, and the beauty of reunion.
Horwood once again proves that he is worthy of carrying on in the tradition of the one and only Kenneth Grahame. A lofty task.
Is it only a book for kids?
Yes, but no matter what AGE they find themselves to be!