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The Wind in the Willows [Turtleback]

Kenneth Grahame , Ernest H. Shepard
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition CDN $0.99  
Hardcover CDN $13.68  
Turtleback, September 1999 --  
Paperback CDN $5.69  
Mass Market Paperback CDN $8.54  
Audio, CD, Audiobook CDN $14.60  
Board book --  

Book Description

September 1999
The Wind in the Willows (1908) is a book for those 'who keep the spirit of youth alive in them'. So wrote Kenneth Grahame of his timeless tale of Toad, Mole, Badger, and Rat in their beautiful and benevolently ordered world. But it is also a world under siege, threatened by dark and unnamed forces, and defended by the mysterious Piper at the Gates of Dawn. The Wind in the Willows has achieved an enduring place in our literature: it succeeds at once in arousing our anxieties and in calming them by giving perfect shape to our desire for peace and escape.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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From Amazon

"[Mole] thought his happiness was complete when, as he meandered aimlessly along, suddenly he stood by the edge of a full-fed river. Never in his life had he seen a river before--this sleek, sinuous, full-bodied animal, chasing and chuckling, gripping things with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook themselves free, and were caught and held again." Such is the cautious, agreeable Mole's first introduction to the river and the Life Adventurous. Emerging from his home at Mole End one spring, his whole world changes when he hooks up with the good-natured, boat-loving Water Rat, the boastful Toad of Toad Hall, the society- hating Badger who lives in the frightening Wild Wood, and countless other mostly well-meaning creatures. Michael Hague's exquisitely detailed, breathtaking color illustrations on almost every generous spread--along with Kenneth Grahame's elegant, delightfully old-fashioned characterizations of the animals--make this book a wonderful read-aloud. Grahame's The Wind in the Willows has enchanted readers for four generations, and this lavishly illustrated gift edition is perhaps the finest around. (All ages, or 9 to 12) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Mary Jane Begin illustrates the classic story of Mole, Badger, Rat and Toad, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. Each chapter opens with a vignette and includes a full-page painting of a dramatic moment in the proceedings. All ages.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very beautiful book---for adults Feb. 3 2003
I'm almost embarrassed to admit how much I love "The Wind in the Willows." I'd seen a movie version, with Eric Idle, I think, and knew it was kind of cute--substituting little animals for middle-aged Edwardian gentlemen, with all their foibles. But the book is so much more. It's abslutely lovely on issues like the true meaning of good fellowship, wanderlust vs. the pleasures of home, decency, conceit, the beauty of nature, faddism, etc. The section on Rat and Mole submitting to the lure of Pan is beyond moving: it's just gorgeous.
As pointed out by another reviewer, Grahame's strength is not in his plotting. It's not clear why the police don't follow Toad to his family estate and just arrest him there for his various high crimes and misdemeanors, and the old fellow's final conversion to good sense is completely out of nowhere. But his bluster and beligerance are very funny , and his escapades, however unbelievable are always enjoyable.
It's important to note, though, that this book isn't really even for older children or young adults. It's more like Trollope than Baum (though it's much more rhapsodic than either). It will be most satisfying for the middle-aged or elderly, I think. I certainly wouldn't advise trying to read it to your kids: it's one of those books that sells each generation in children's book sections in spite of never actually being enjoyed (and probably rarely finished) by more than a small handful of kids. Descriptions of the effects of smells, underground architecture, and comforting provisions are not up most 8-year-old alleys, even if some children will find Toad's preposterous escape from prison (as a washerwoman) and several of the drawings funny. I'm glad, however, that the success of "Wind in the Willows" miraculously persists, even if this is largely due to its cache as "a classic." Because whether it's for kids or not, it's a wise and beautiful book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Reading a book that is well-established as a classic offers both risks and rewards. The risk is that one's expectations might be too high, leading to disappointment. The reward is that the book matches expectations, leading to thorough satisfaction. Reading Kenneth Grahame's "The Wind in the Willows" is certainly rewarding, but also risky. It's unquestionably a classic, popularized in part by A.A. Milne's dramatization in 1929 under the name "Toad of Toad Hall." Quite honestly, expecting a child-like story, I found it on a higher level altogether, and perhaps even best appreciated by teens and older readers. It has a poetical lyrical quality that could discourage younger readers from completing it on their own.
But that aside, it's not hard to see why this book has stood the test of time. Especially the talking animal protagonists are outstanding. Shy and loyal Mole, clever and courageous Rat, gruff and gentlemanly Badger, and arrogant, adventurous and crazed Toad - the animal characters that populate Grahame's novel are thoroughly individual, real, and loveable, despite their individual quirks. They are distinctly animal-like, and yet aspects of their life (food - transport - clothing) are distinctly human, enabling us to identify with them quickly and easily and yet be charmed by their differences. Toad does ultimately repent from his conceited egotism "Henceforth I will be a very different Toad", although we cannot help get the feeling that this is not the first time he has embarked on a road of repentance only to be ambushed again by his old nature. All of this is portrayed with poetic lyricism, as well as warm sympathy and humour.
There is something here for everyone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An some-what, outrageously funny animal story Dec 31 2010
By Frances L. Arsenault TOP 1000 REVIEWER
I had read this book, and I thought it was an some-what, outrageously funny animal story, with just a hint of mysticism (the Piper). And as to the question: "Who do you think is the hero?" I think all four are heroes - Toad,Rat,Mole and Badger.

The characters I love are Rat and the jailer's daughter, to me she's like the first animal-activist - hates animals being locked up. And I also love the "Duck's Ditty," it's really catchy. Overall, I love this book from beginning to end; that's all I could say. One last thing I should mention: When it comes to driving, Mr. Toad could be like the poster-boy for things NOT to do on the road!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Picnic in the Willows May 12 2008
`Straighten up, everybody,' commanded the Badger in his best parade ground voice. 'We must all give a good impression to the reviewer. This means you too, Ratty.'
'Why yes badger,' cried Ratty, hastily stuffing his tea cake under the picnic table. 'Best behaviour, what?'
'Where is Mole?' continued the Badger, glancing sternly at the cake crumbs clinging stubbornly to the Rat's whiskers.
The Mole broke surface directly beneath the picnic table, almost scattering the Rat's carefully laid out treats to the four winds. Clambering out from under, he turned towards the stern Badger.
'Here I am, sir,' squeaked the Mole anxiously.' I do hope I am not late?'
'Of course not, Moley, Just in time, what?' Laughed the Rat as he straightened his table. It would not do to leave good, picnic food unstraightened. It would only, he knew, attract the Weasels. Or even a stoat or two.
'When you have quite finished,' announced the Badger, striving to maintain the dignity of the occasion, 'I would like you to impress upon the good people reading this that Mr Grahame's novel, which is all about us, I hasten to remind you, is the finest tale of riverside life ever written by human or animal. I want you to impress upon anyone who asks that this is a cheery-up of a book, a time to relax of a book, a best reward of a book, to warm the hearts of all.' The Badger unshipped a particularly stern glare. 'Do I make myself clear?'
'Why of course, Badger, 'replied the Rat while doffing his boater at a pair of passing rabbits and their giggling brood, 'Wind in the Willows is the finest book of its kind. I would advise folk everywhere,' he smiled at the rabbits, 'to read it to their children for double the pleasure.'
'Yes quite', the Badger harrumphed.
'Now, on the next item on the agenda.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex
This was a very interesting book. As I read it I felt like Toad was a 'Prodigal Son', who came back only far enough to receive acceptance, then returned to his bad habits till he... Read more
Published on Dec 7 2008 by Steven R. McEvoy
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex
This was a very interesting book. As I read it I felt like Toad was a 'Prodigal Son', who came back only far enough to receive acceptance, then returned to his bad habits till he... Read more
Published on Dec 7 2008 by Steven R. McEvoy
5.0 out of 5 stars A primer on friendship
The Wind in the Willows is a delightful children's classic that touches upon many things; wonder, pastoralism, but most of all friendship between individuals very different from... Read more
Published on March 16 2004 by Bukkene Bruse
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of Children's Literature
I am perplexed regarding the previous, one-star review. . . I own this edition of The Wind in the Willows, and it is complete and unabridged. Nothing is missing. Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2004 by MamaZia
3.0 out of 5 stars Toads adventures
At the start of this book, it's boring, but by the middle it gets exciting. In the beginning, it is difficult because you don't know what they're doing and what the author is... Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of Fantasy, wonder and awe! A book for all ages
This was a wonderful book showing the importance of friendships between all types of creatures great and small. Read more
Published on Dec 29 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Put down Redwall and pick up The Wind in the Willows
I really loved this book because there was a lot of action. Mr. Grahame is wonderful in the way that he combines people and animals so flawlessly. Read more
Published on Nov. 24 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars The wind in the Willows
The Wind in the Willows
I would recommend this book to others because it's hard to put it down .I read the whole book in a half day. Read more
Published on Sept. 8 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars A mellow sojourn in a gentle world
This classic features stirring prose, a peaceful country setting, and characters that you can relate to (even if they ARE animals ;-) I think I liked the social and natural setting... Read more
Published on July 19 2003 by Carol
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful adventures
The Wind In The Willows is a flawlessly recorded audio CD edition of the classic children's story by Kenneth Grahame which was originally published in 1908. Read more
Published on June 17 2003 by Midwest Book Review
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