Traditionalists might well shudder at the thought of a sequel to a classic--especially one written by an author other than the original. But even devout fans of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows
will breathe more easily once they pass the first sentence of The Willows in Winter
. William Horwood, while resisting slavish mimicry, remains true to the spirit of the original. Not many writers could follow such a tough act, but Horwood manages to create a story every bit as heartwarming and exciting as the first. Blustery Toad is up to his naughty old tricks, after a long period of enforced goodness. Through a comedy--and near-tragedy--of errors, Toad, along with resourceful Rat, loyal Mole, and wise Badger, is drawn into an extended wild goose chase that lasts all winter. With plummeting airplanes, tumbles in the freezing river, and courtroom high drama, this is not to be a winter of cozy hibernation. Patrick Benson's finely crosshatched illustrations transport the reader back to the familiar River and the always-looming great Wild Wood. Horwood and Benson's masterful teamwork is a tribute to the 90-year-old classic that Grahame himself would have been proud to see. (All ages) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
Horwood revisits Kenneth Grahame's classic, The Wind in the Willows, to transplant its characters to a new adventure. His story, like Grahame's, involves a series of comic misunderstandings that lead different animals into a variety of odd journeys. The trouble starts when Otter's son Portly sends Mole into a blizzard on what proves to be an unnecessary rescue mission, and Mole disappears, thus mobilizing other would-be rescuers. Meanwhile Toad, having exchanged the motor car of Wind in the Willows for a flying machine, wrests control of the plane from the pilot and sails off on a chaotic joy ride. There's a bit of mistaken identity, another disguise for Toad (who previously impersonated a washerwoman), incarceration and a ludicrous trial. Toad even has an out-of-body experience. Horwood captures most of the atmosphere of the original work, although its wild, sublime silliness escapes him. Toad, for example, remains irremediably pompous and wayward, but he is no longer Grahame's larger-than-life mock-epic hero. Nevertheless, Horwood manages a lot of mirthful moments, and those who can't get enough of the River Bank and the Wild Wood will be grateful for his work. All ages.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.