From Kirkus Reviews
In a second sequel to Kenneth Grahame's classic The Wind in the Willows, Horwood (The Willows in Winter, 1994) revisits the River Bank and the beloved characters of Toad, Mole, Rat, and Badger. Portraits of loyal Mole, practical Rat, and wise Badger remain faithfully intact (in text as well as in Benson's black-and- white illustrations); however, Horwood seems captivated with Grahame's own notion of ``an altered Toad,'' and much of the plot dances around this idea. Toad's normal vanity and conceit are seen in ``alarming transmutation,'' thanks to Cupid's arrow, which has left Toad smitten and contemplating matrimony. A parallel plot bears the overriding theme of immortality, which prompts Mole and Rat to journey up river in their desire to ``get a little nearer to the mystery we have called Beyond.'' The two threads intersect at journey's end, where Toad willfully escapes ``the eternal bond'' of marriage, proving himself as irresolute as ever. The formal style of writing adequately mimics Grahame's own; that, and the sophisticated themes may be better appreciated by adults who loved the original. Nevertheless, the River Bank animals have fans who will be happy to pause awhile in such good company. (Fiction. 11+) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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"With its humor, tenderness, suspense, and happy ending...[Toad Triumphant is] a pleasant story and a good read." --The Christian Science Monitor
"The old characters pop back to life as you begin reading." --The New York Times
"Faithful to the original...Festive...A winsome winner." --The Chicago Tribune
"The Willows in Winter transports us back to the familiar rivery world almost as authoritatively-and entertaingly-as a sequel by Grahame himself." --Atlanta Journal Constitution
"Patrick Benson's cross-hatched illustrations seem to have been lovingly guided by the hand of Ernest Shepard, whose 1931 drawings of The Wind in the Willows continue to transport young readers to meadow, river bank, and wild wood." --Cleveland Plain Dealer