The Wind in the Willows (Courage Literary Classics)

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Press:Courage Books Courage Books (September 1999)
Publication Date:1999-09
Author Name:Kenneth Grahame


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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

Reviewed with The Wind in the Willows, illustrated by Michael Foreman.Gr. 
Two artists have illustrated new, unabridged editions of the English classic.
Begin, an American illustrator whose books include Bethany Roberts' A Mouse Told His Mother (1997) and Thomas Hood's Before I Go to Sleep (1999), contributes a series of acrylic and watercolor paintings in warm, glowing colors for this large-format edition.
Ranging from small vignettes to full-page pictures, the scenes vary in tone from cozy to dramatic to comical.
Capturing the story on wide, horizontal pages, English illustrator Foreman approaches the same material with a little more restraint in color and a broader range of effects in his art.
Intriguing picture maps on the endpapers set the stage for the action, and almost every turn of the page brings a new illustration, from the delicate drawing of a flower or butterfly to a dynamic, double-page painting brimming with action.
His draftsmanship is sensitive and often lively, the watercolors are skillfully handled, and some of the pictures are simply beautiful.
Each book includes an afterword with background information on Kenneth Grahame and how he came to write the book.
For libraries with the shelf space and budgets, these volumes offer intriguing interpretations of the timeless story.
Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association.
All rights reserved

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


"Narrator Shelly Frasier's clear, pleasant voice carefully distinguishes [Rat, Toad, Mole, and Badger].... 
The naughty toad is her best creation she seems to understand his dreamy but destructive love of motor cars completely." --AudioFile

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

From the Publisher

7 1-hour cassettes

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

From the Inside Flap

A children's classic comes to life in an enchanting dramatization narrated by Alan Bennett. 
Enter the world of the great river and meet the marvelous riverbank animals: the poetic Rat, his friend Mole, and the boastful Toad, as they voyage down the river and into the Wild Wood to great adventures! Thisexclusive BBC production features a full cast, authentic sound effects and sweeping music to warm hearts young and old.
"From the Paperback edition.

--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 was a British writer, mainly of the sort of fiction and fantasy written for children but enjoyed equally if not more by adults.

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

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

From Gardner McFall’s Introduction to The Wind in the WillowsWhat began as a bedtime story for Grahame’s son soon became a story for the child in himself and a compensatory site of reclaimed joy. 
Grahame turned from his life’s disappointments—his mother’s death, his abandonment by his father, his uncle’s refusal to send him to Oxford, his passionless marriage—and created an alternate reality, an animal fantasy set in a pastoral landscape, reminiscent of the one he’d loved as a child and marked by the strong bonds of male companionship.
In this world, the animal characters who behave like people are sensitive to nature and each other; though danger lurks both in the Wild Wood and the Wide World, it is mastered or avoided altogether; and, significantly, death never intrudes.For all the personal reasons Grahame had for creating The Wind in the Willows, the historical moment also exerted its force on him.
A “mid-Victorian” (Green, p.
2), Grahame increasingly felt, as did many writers and artists of the day, the impact of the industrial revolution, with its loss of an agrarian economy and the ascendancy of a middle class dedicated to accumulating wealth.
He felt that materialism and the accelerated pace of life had robbed man of a soul, had domesticated life’s miracles, and forced man to neglect the animal side of his nature, all themes he had previously explored in his essays.
Ambivalent about social change, a reflection of which is perhaps found in Grahame’s pitting the Wild-wooders against the River-bankers, Grahame took refuge in his writing.
Like other authors of the “golden age of children’s literature,” roughly the years from 1860 to 1914, he outwardly conformed to society’s standards.
Though these were standards he criticized openly in Pagan Papers and indirectly in The Golden Age and Dream Days, in The Wind in the Willows he subsumed his critique in a fantasy whose rejection of everyday reality in favor of an alternate one can be read as a fundamental rebellion against the norms.Like Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll, and J.
Barrie, Grahame found solace in the world of fantasy he created out of recollected childhood memories, many of which were bound up with nature.
Indeed he preferred the world of nature to that of people.
Like Walt Whitman, who praised the virtues of animals in Leaves of Grass, a work Grahame knew and admired, he favored animals for what they could teach people about how to live in the world.In The Wind in the Willows, the animal characters appear inherently superior to the human ones.
They have more discriminating senses, as Mole shows in his keen ability to recognize his home through his sense of smell.
Badger’s home, built upon the remnants of a human dwelling, implies the triumph of the animal kingdom over human civilization; it attests to the futility of man’s endeavors.
As he tells Mole, “They were a powerful people, and rich, and great builders.
They built to last, for they thought their city would last for ever.
People come—they stay for a while, they flourish, they build—and they go.
It is their way.
But we remain.” Grahame’s view of human folly, expressed through Badger’s conversation with Mole, is reminiscent of the Romantic poet Shelley’s in his famous sonnet “Ozymandias,” which Grahame would have known,Explaining his preference for animals, Grahame once said, “As for animals, I wrote about the most familiar and domestic in The Wind in the Willows because I felt a duty to them as a friend.
Every animal, by instinct, lives according to its nature.
Thereby he lives wisely, and betters the tradition of mankind.
No animal is ever temped to belie its nature.
No animal .
knows how to tell a lie” (First Whispers of “The Wind in the Willows,” p.
28).We sense Grahame’s deep appreciation for his animal characters on every page of The Wind in the Willows.
While Grahame borrowed certain characteristics from people he knew in creating them (Grahame himself has been identified with Mole and Alastair with Toad), much of Grahame’s sympathy for these animals comes from having observed them in the wild, as both a child and an adult.
On one occasion, he rescued a mole and brought it inside in a box to show Alastair, only to have it escape during the night and die under the maid’s broom the following morning.
In 1898, in his introduction to A Hundred Fables of Aesop (from the English version of Sir Roger L’Estrange with pictures by Percy J.
Billinghurst), he objected to the use of animal characters for man’s moral, didactic purposes.
Perhaps for this reason, though Grahame’s characters behave in anthropomorphic ways—boating on the river, enjoying picnics, driving motor cars—they also retain their animal features.
Mole, Toad, and Rat, for instance, have paws, not hands; and the barge-woman reacts to Toad as a woman might to an unwelcome “horrid, nasty, crawly” amphibian, tossing him by a fore-leg and a hind-leg into the water.

From AudioFile

Listeners won't find familiar passages from Grahame's classic in this dramatization. 
Nevertheless all should be delighted with Alan Bennet's adaptation which portrays the familiar characters of Ratty, Mole, Mr.
Toad and friends.
There's great music, gurglings of The River, hoots from the motorcars and the sounds of nature the characters cherish.
The whole presentation will entertain devotees and initiates of all ages.
The program is a great example of how, with imagination and care, a beloved story can be changed from the original text and succeed beautifully.
(c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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


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Comment List (Total:15)

  •     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!
  •     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.
  •     Great book to be passed down to t he other generations.
  •     Another wonderful story by grahame
  •     As children, we had to read "The Wind in the Willows" to earn our first watch and the book wound up a family treasure.
  •     Excellent story with such beautiful illustrations. I would buy the illustrations as framed art if I could.
  •     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 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.
  •     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.
  •     I love Usborne Illustrated Originals. This is a nice addition to our collection since it is OOP for independent consultants from Usborne.
  •     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...
  •     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.
  •     This is hands-down the best children's book ever written. It endures, it works for every generation.

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