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The Wind in the Willows Turtleback – Sep 1 1999


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Product Details

  • Turtleback
  • Publisher: Demco Media (September 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0606173234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0606173230
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 12.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)


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4.6 out of 5 stars
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Walter Horn on Feb. 3 2003
Format: Hardcover
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 By Godly Gadfly on Aug. 5 2003
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Hardcover
`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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