The Wind in the Willows

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Press:St Martins Pr St. Martin's Press; 1st U.S. ed edition (October 15, 1995)
Author Name:Grahame, Kenneth/ Benson, Patrick (ILT)/ Horwood, William


A new edition of Kenneth Grahame's classic story, with outstanding illustrations by Patrick Benson and a new introduction by William Horwood, author of The Willows in Winter.Since its original publication in 1908, Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows has become one of the true classics of English literature loved by children and adults alike.For the generations who have grown up with the adventures of Mole, Water Rat, Badger, and Toad, Grahame's idyllic world is as fresh now as when they first discovered his enchanting tales-of Ratty sculling his boat on the River; Badger grumpily entertaining his friends in his comfortable underground home; and the exasperating Toad being driven into one tangle after another by his obsession with motor cars.The continuing appeal of the riverbank characters have been demonstrated by the recent success of The Willows in Winter, the acclaimed sequel to The Wind in the Willows written by William Horwood and illustrated by Patrick Benson. 
Now Mr.
Benson has turned to Grahame's original work and created a delightful new edition, in which his magical illustrations give fresh life to Grahame's unforgettable story.
The Wind in the Willows is the perfect companion to The Willows in Winter.

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.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3 Up-Grahame's classic story is illustrated with a dozen full-sized paintings and numerous smaller works that adorn the chapter headings. 
Begin is a master at portraying endearing animal characters.
Her trademark style is in evidence here-richly textured colorful acrylics that convey both a sense of realism and fantasy; a skillful use of light; and animal figures with facial expressions, postures, and gestures that exude personality.
Images of a dapper Mr.
Toad dressed in driving suit complete with goggles, followed by a picture of forlorn watery-eyed Toad in his prison cell are especially effective.
Unfortunately, the double-page scene of the four friends reclaiming Toad Hall is marred by the binding gutter.
Overall, the illustrations provide charming traditional decoration for this much-loved story.
An afterword offers a brief history of the tale from its inception as a series of letters from father to son to a literary classic.
Those libraries looking for a new edition of this tale will not be disappointed with this attractive version.
However, Michael Foreman's edition (Harcourt, 2002) offers a more dynamic and profusely illustrated visual interpretation that may hold more appeal for contemporary children.Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WICopyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In spirit, in style, and in technique, Benson's illustrations for The Wind in the Willows are first cousins to the book's original ink drawings by Ernest H.
Shepard, which many consider so nearly perfect any new artwork is superfluous.
However, from the endpaper maps to the quiet scenes of woods and riverbanks to the comical pictures of Toad's adventures, Benson's sensitive cross-hatched drawings offer excellent interpretations of characters and events.
The best choice for any library would be to add this to the collection and let children choose the version that suits them.
If they come across the other editions later, it will be like looking through a cousin's photos of a long-ago family reunion: so familiar and so full of beloved characters, yet seen from a slightly different perspective.
Any way you look at it, this new edition will be treasured.
Carolyn Phelan


"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, riverbank, and wildwood." --The Cleveland Plain Dealer"The illustrations by Patrick Benson are excellent." --The Spectator

From the Publisher

7 1-hour cassettes

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From the Inside Flap

"The boastful, unstable Toad, the hospitable Water Rat, the shy, wise, childlike Badger, and the Mole with his pleasant habit of brave boyish impulse," noted "Vanity Fair nearly a century ago, "are types of that deeper humanity which sways us all." Written by Kenneth Grahame as bedtime stories for his son, "The Wind in the Willows continues to delight readers today. 
Basing his fanciful animal characters on human archetypes, Grahame imparts a gentle, playful wisdom in his timeless tales.
Few readers will be able to resist an invitation to join the Wild Wooders at Toad Hall, enjoy a quick splash in the river with Rat and Badger, or take a swerving ride with Toad in a "borrowed" motor-car.
This Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the first illustrated American edition of 1913.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

The Wind in the Willows is a book for those 'who keep the spirit of youth alive in them; of life, sunshine, running water, woodlands, dusty roads, winter firesides.'

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Kenneth Grahame (March 8, 1859 – July 6, 1932) was a British writer, most famous for The Wind in the Willows (1908), one of the classics of children's literature. 
He also wrote The Reluctant Dragon, which was much later adapted into a Disney movie.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter IThe River BankThe Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning  his little home. 
First with brooms, then with dusters; then on ladders and steps and chairs, with a brush and a pail of whitewash; till he had dust in his throat and eyes, and splashes of whitewash all over his black fur, and an aching back and weary arms.
Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing.
It was small wonder, then, that he suddenly flung down his brush on the floor, said, “Bother!” and “O blow!” and also “Hang spring-cleaning!” and bolted out of the house without even waiting to put on his coat.
Something up above was calling him imperiously, and he made for the steep little tunnel which answered in his case to the gravelled carriage-drive owned by animals whose residences are nearer to the sun and air.
So he scraped and scratched and scrabbled and scrooged, and then he scrooged again and scrabbled and scratched and scraped, working busily with his little paws and muttering to himself, “Up we go! Up we go!” till at last, pop! his snout came out into the sunlight and he found himself rolling in the warm grass of a great meadow.“This is fine!” he said to himself.
“This is better than whitewashing!” The sunshine struck hot on his fur, soft breezes caressed his heated brow, and after the seclusion of the cellarage he had lived in so long the carol of happy birds fell on his dulled hearing almost like a shout.
Jumping off all his four legs at once, in the joy of living and the delight of spring without its cleaning, he pursued his way across the meadow till he reached the hedge on the further side.“Hold up!” said an elderly rabbit at the gap.
“Sixpence for the privilege of passing by the private road!” He was bowled over in an instant by the impatient and contemptuous Mole, who trotted along the side of the hedge chaffing the other rabbits as they peeped hurriedly from their holes to see what the row was about.
“Onion-sauce! Onion-sauce!” he remarked jeeringly, and was gone before they could think of a thoroughly satisfactory reply.
Then they all started grumbling at each other.
“How stupid you are! Why didn’t you tell him—” “Well, why didn’t you say—” “You might have reminded him—” and so on, in the usual way; but, of course, it was then much too late, as is always the case.It all seemed too good to be true.
Hither and thither through the meadows he rambled busily, along the hedgerows, across the copses, finding everywhere birds building, flowers budding, leaves thrusting—everything happy, and progressive, and occupied.
And instead of having an uneasy conscience pricking him and whispering “whitewash!” he somehow could only feel how jolly it was to be the only idle dog among all these busy citizens.
After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working.He 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.
All was a-shake and a-shiver—glints and gleams and sparkles, rustle and swirl, chatter and bubble.
The Mole was bewitched, entranced, fascinated.
By the side of the river he trotted as one trots, when very small, by the side of a man who holds one spellbound by exciting stories; and when tired at last, he sat on the bank, while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea.As he sat on the grass and looked across the river, a dark hole in the bank opposite, just above the water’s edge, caught his eye, and dreamily he fell to considering what a nice, snug dwelling-place it would make for an animal with few wants and fond of a bijou riverside residence, above flood level and remote from noise and dust.
As he gazed, something bright and small seemed to twinkle down in the heart of it, vanished, then twinkled once more like a tiny star.
But it could hardly be a star in such an unlikely situation; and it was too glittering and small for a glow-worm.
Then, as he looked, it winked at him, and so declared itself to be an eye; and a small face began gradually to grow up round it, like a frame round a picture.A brown little face, with whiskers.A grave round face, with the same twinkle in its eye that had first attracted his notice.Small neat ears and thick silky hair.It was the Water Rat!Then the two animals stood and regarded each other cautiously.“Hullo, Mole!” said the Water Rat.“Hullo, Rat!” said the Mole.“Would you like to come over?” enquired the Rat presently.“Oh, it’s all very well to talk,” said the Mole rather pettishly, he being new to a river and riverside life and its ways.The Rat said nothing, but stooped and unfastened a rope and hauled on it; then lightly stepped into a little boat which the Mole had not observed.
It was painted blue outside and white within, and was just the size for two animals; and the Mole’s whole heart went out to it at once, even though he did not yet fully understand its uses.The Rat sculled smartly across and made fast.
Then he held up his forepaw as the Mole stepped gingerly down.
“Lean on that!” he said.
“Now then, step lively!” and the Mole to his surprise and rapture found himself actually seated in the stern of a real boat.“This has been a wonderful day!” said he, as the Rat shoved off and took to the sculls again.
“Do you know, I’ve never been in a boat before in all my life.”“What?” cried the Rat, open-mouthed: “Never been in a—you never—well I—what have you been doing, then?”“Is it so nice as all that?” asked the Mole shyly, though he was quite prepared to believe it as he leant back in his seat and surveyed the cushions, the oars, the rowlocks, and all the fascinating fittings, and felt the boat sway lightly under him.“Nice? It’s the only thing,” said the Water Rat solemnly as he leant forward for his stroke.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing—absolutely nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.
Simply messing,” he went on dreamily: “messing—about—in—boats; messing—”“Look ahead, Rat!” cried the Mole suddenly.It was too late.
The boat struck the bank full tilt.
The dreamer, the joyous oarsman, lay on his back at the bottom of the boat, his heels in the air.“—about in boats—or with boats,” the Rat went on composedly, picking himself up with a pleasant laugh.
“In or out of ’em, it doesn’t matter.
Nothing seems really to matter, that’s the charm of it.
Whether you get away, or whether you don’t; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you’re always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you’ve done it there’s always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you’d much better not.
Look here! If you’ve really nothing else on hand this morning, supposing we drop down the river together, and have a long day of it?”The Mole waggled his toes from sheer happiness, spread his chest with a sigh of full contentment, and leant back blissfully into the soft cushions.
“What a day I’m having!” he said.
“Let us start at once!”“Hold hard a minute, then!” said the Rat.
He looped the painter through a ring in his landing-stage, climbed up into his hole above, and after a short interval reappeared staggering under a fat wicker luncheon-basket.“Shove that under your feet,” he observed to the Mole, as he passed it down into the boat.
Then he untied the painter and took the sculls again.“What’s inside it?” asked the Mole, wriggling with curiosity.“There’s cold chicken inside it,” replied the Rat briefly: “cold tonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrenchrollscresssand wichespottedmeatgingerbeerlemonadesodawater—”“O stop, stop!” cried the Mole in ecstasies.
“This is too much!”“Do you really think so?” enquired the Rat seriously.
“It’s only what I always take on these little excursions; and the other animals are always telling me that I’m a mean beast and cut it very fine!”The Mole never heard a word he was saying.
Absorbed in the new life he was entering upon, intoxicated with the sparkle, the ripple, the scents and the sounds and the sunlight, he trailed a paw in the water and dreamed long waking dreams.
The Water Rat, like the good little fellow he was, sculled steadily on and forbore to disturb him.“I like your clothes awfully, old chap,” he remarked after some half an hour or so had passed.
“I’m going to get a black velvet smoking-suit myself some day, as soon as I can afford it.”“I beg your pardon,” said the Mole, pulling himself together with an effort.
“You must think me very rude; but all this is so new to me.
So—this—is—a—River!”“The River,” corrected the Rat.“And you really live by the river? What a jolly life!”“By it and with it and on it and in it,” said the Rat.
“It’s brother and sister to me, and aunts, and company, and food and drink, and (naturally) washing.
It’s my world, and I don’t want any other.
What it hasn’t got is not worth having, and what it doesn’t know is not worth knowing.
Lord! the times we’ve had together! Whether in winter or summer, spring or autumn, it’s always got its fun and its excitements.
When the floods are on in February, and my cellars and basement are brimming with drink that’s no good to me, and the brown water runs by my best bedroom window; or again when it all drops away and shows patches of mud that smells like plum-cake, and the rushes and weed clog the channels, and I can potter about dry shod over most of the bed of it and find fresh food to eat, and things careless people have dropped out of boats!”“But isn’t it a bit dull at times?” the Mole ventured to ask.
“Just you and the river, and no one else to pass a word with?”“No one else to—well, I mustn’t be hard on you,” said the Rat with forbearance.
“You’re new to it, and of course you don’t know.
The bank is so crowded nowadays that many people are moving away altogether.
O no, it isn’t what it used to be, at all.
Otters, kingfishers, dabchicks, moorhens, all of them about all day long and always wanting you to do something—as if a fellow had no business of his own to attend to!”“What lies over there?” asked the Mole, waving a paw towards a background of woodland that darkly framed the water-meadows on one side of the river.“That? O, that’s just the Wild Wood,” said the Rat shortly.
“We don’t go there very much, we river-bankers.”“Aren’t they—aren’t they very nice people in there?” said the Mole a trifle nervously.“W-e-ll,” replied the Rat, “let me see.
The squirrels are all right.
And the rabbits—some of ’em, but rabbits are a mixed lot.
And then there’s Badger, of course.
He lives right in the heart of it; wouldn’t live anywhere else, either, if you paid him to do it.
Dear old Badger! Nobody interferes with him.
They’d better not,” he added significantly.“Why, who should interfere with him?” asked the Mole.“Well, of course—there—are others,” explained the Rat in a hesitating sort of way.
“Weasels—and stoats—and foxes—and so on.
They’re all right in a way—I’m very good friends with them—pass the time of day when we meet, and all that—but they break out sometimes, there’s no denying it, and then—well, you can’t really trust them, and that’s the fact.”The Mole knew well that it is quite against animal-etiquette to dwell on possible trouble ahead, or even to allude to it; so he dropped the subject.“And beyond the Wild Wood again?” he asked; “where it’s all blue and dim, and one sees what may be hills or perhaps they mayn’t, and something like the smoke of towns, or is it only cloud-drift?”“Beyond the Wild Wood comes the Wide World,” said the Rat.
“And that’s something that doesn’t matter, either to you or me.
I’ve never been there, and I’m never going, nor you either, if you’ve got any sense at all.
Don’t ever refer to it again, please.
Now then! Here’s our backwater at last, where we’re going to lunch.”Leaving the main stream, they now passed into what seemed at first sight like a little landlocked lake.
Green turf sloped down to either edge, brown snaky tree-roots gleamed below the surface of the quiet water, while ahead of them the silvery shoulder and foamy tumble of a weir, arm-in-arm with a restless dripping millwheel, that held up in its turn a grey-gabled mill-house, filled the air with a soothing murmur of sound, dull and smothery, yet with little clear voices speaking up cheerfully out of it at intervals.
It was so very beautiful that the Mole could only hold up both forepaws and gasp: “O my! O my! O my!”The Rat brought the boat alongside the bank, made her fast, helped the still awkward Mole safely ashore, and swung out the luncheon-basket.
The Mole begged as a favour to be allowed to unpack it all by himself; and the Rat was very pleased to indulge him, and to sprawl at full length on the grass and rest, while his excited friend shook out the table-cloth and spread it, took out all the mysterious packets one by one and arranged their contents in due order, still gasping: “O my! O my!” at each fresh revelation.
When all was ready, the Rat said, “Now, pitch in, old fellow!” and the Mole was indeed very glad to obey, for he had started his spring-cleaning at a very early hour that morning, as people will do, and had not paused for bite or sup; and he had been through a very great deal since that distant time which now seemed so many days ago.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From AudioFile

This classic adventure story, set in early twentieth-century Britain, features the lovable characters Rat, Toad, Mole, and Badger. 
Narrator Shelly Frasier's clear, pleasant voice carefully distinguishes these four creatures, and it's easy to keep their identities straight, though her throaty characterization of Ratty's voice occasionally makes one want to cough.
However, Frasier must constantly switch from her native American accent to the British voices of her characters, which is somewhat distracting at first, though one gets used to it as the story moves along.
The naughty toad is her best creation--she seems to understand his dreamy but destructive love of motor cars completely.
© AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Children's Books,Classics,Literature & Fiction,Animals

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Comment List (Total:15)

  •     Another wonderful story by grahame
  •     Kenneth Grahame's classic children's novel, "The Wind in the Willows", makes the translation to graphic novel in this Campfire Classics edition. The novel, based on the bedtime stories that Grahame used to tell his young son, concern a group of animals near a river in southeast England. In the beginning, Mole will be introduced to the river, and to "messing about in boats" by his new friend Ratty the Water Rat. Through Ratty, Mole will meet the wise Badger and the wealthy, wild and irresponsible Toad of Toad Hall. This adaptation concerns itself primarily with Toad's adventures and misadventures with horse-drawn coaches, automobiles, boats, a prison break, and even a siege of his very own Toad Hall. The heart of the narrative is the effort by Badger, Ratty, and Mole to teach the carefree Toad to live responsibly, hopefully before he ruins himself or gets someone killed. The narrative pushes a moral point of view about responsibility in a gentle and sometimes humorous, sometimes exciting way. The artwork is nicely done, more than adequate to tell the story. This reviewer is very pleased to see the novel resurrected, even in an abbreviated fashion, for a new generation of young readers. Well recommended.
  •     One of my all time favorites! This book is beautifuly written and illustrated, a true timeless classic that should be a part of every childhood!
  •     I love Usborne Illustrated Originals. This is a nice addition to our collection since it is OOP for independent consultants from Usborne.
  •     This is a beautiful version of the book, with outstanding illustrations. But note that the text is abridged - some of the great chapters are missing ("Wayfarers All",...
  •     This is hands-down the best children's book ever written. It endures, it works for every generation.
  •     Excellent story with such beautiful illustrations. I would buy the illustrations as framed art if I could.
  •     As children, we had to read "The Wind in the Willows" to earn our first watch and the book wound up a family treasure.
  •     This review isn't about the story; if you haven't read it by now, get the book and read it. This is a nice solid hardcover with a place marker ribbon, a good choice for our six year old granddaughter. The biggest drawback to this edition (and the reason for the 4 stars) is the relatively small number of illustrations.....but what there are are good.I would probably have preferred an edition with the illustrations by E.H. Shepard or Arthur Rackham (although the former would be more appropriate for someone who is six. However, neither of those editions was available on Amazon at less than collector's prices.The most dismaying thing in my search for this book is the number of abridged versions for sale, which I believe to be unconscionable. I can well imagine those sections of the book that a modern editor / publisher might feel "superfluous," particularly for young readers. Well, if someone finds a chapter tedious, skip over it. It's not like that won't be necessary later in life, and with any number of other books.
  •     A wonderful, classic story of friendship, beautifully told. I read it the first time in a children's literature course in college, and was sorry no one had given it to me as a...
  •     This is a classic of English literature with superb illustrations. It is a joy for anyone of any age who can appreciate beautiful stories in delightful English prose.
  •     i collect different editions of this book, as out of all literature in the world, it is easily in my top echelon. widely regarded as a children's book, this is far more than can be classified in words (or one genre).while the story is technically about creatures and "their" river, it is truly about so much more. the essence and magic of life is hidden in these pages. it is a issues with this particular edition are twofold:one: according to the book, it appears to be edited. i have not compared word for word to the full text, however it seems to be a bit short in length. if it is edited, what a disservice to the text.two: i should have paid more attention to this in the description, but ernest h. shepard's dear illustrations are nowhere to be found. i certainly do not require illustrations for a meaningful read, however with such iconic images, it seems an unfortunate omission.if you have never read this book or are looking for a solid edition, please look into the aladdin classics edition (also available here on amazon). it not only has the full text with illustrations, but the forward by susan cooper is one of the most intelligent and touching essays ever written on kenneth grahame (it makes me emotional just to think of it).i genuinely hope you read this book. there is something for everyone to find in these pages.
  •     With Robert Ingpen's illustrated edition, The Wind in the Willows is now given a beautiful makeover. I have read several different editions of Wind in the Willows to my children. Each one is gloriously beautiful, but I do adore Ingpen's color and his detail. Fans of Ingpen know his work on such books as Treasure Island.First off, Wind in the Willows is a beautifully written tale, as many others here have already told. So well written, it is, that some people believe it shouldn't be illustated at all. However, as an artist, I am not in that camp. I appreciate a person willing to render 2D or 3D life to the written word. What a task!This is a book which one can pick it up and put it down as one wishes. We sometimes read our favorite bits over and over. Grahame's writing is perfection, and we voice his characters for fun sometimes. There's a silly claymation television series that was done in the 1980s if you want to show the kids the t.v. version after you've read it to them. It was available on Netflix - not sure if it still is.Also, for 'purists', fyi, this is the book in its unabridged form (the original full length tale).For those looking for the abridged version, with lovely illustrations, check out the version with Inga Moore as illustrator. Moore has illustrated a version of The Secret Garden which is also lovely.
  •     This book is absolutely gorgeous! I received it today and have begun reading it. So far the story is lovely. But the illustrations are truly wonderful. Some of the illustrations are cover the full page, while others are only on part of the page. I paged through the book and there are only two page-spreads that do not have any illustrations. I look forward to reading this to my kids and having them enjoy the story as well as the illustrations.
  •     The wonderful classic story with David Petersen's fascinating and impeccable illustrations.

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