The Wind in the Willows
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The Wind in the Willows

By (author) Kenneth Grahame , Introduction by Brian Jacques

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The much-loved classic tales of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad. When Mole goes boating with Ratty instead of doing his spring-cleaning, he discovers a whole new world. As well as adventures on the river and in the Wild Wood, there are high jinks on the open road with that reckless ruffian, Mr Toad of Toad Hall. Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad become the firmest of friends, but after Toad's latest escapade, can they join together and beat the wretched weasels once and for all? The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame is one of the twenty wonderful classic stories being relaunched in Puffin Classics in March 2015.

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  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 128 x 174 x 22mm | 240.4g
  • 01 Apr 2008
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • Puffin Classics
  • London
  • English
  • b & w line chapter heads
  • 014132113X
  • 9780141321134
  • 5,924

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Author Information

Kenneth Graham (1859-1932) was born in Edinburgh, but grew up with relatives in Berkshire where he developed his love for the countryside surrounding the upper parts of the River Thames. He was educated at St Edward's in Oxford, but instead of going on to Oxford University he joined the Bank of England, where he rose to become Secretary. He wrote several books including The Golden Age and Dream Days which includes the short story 'The Reluctant Dragon' (later made into a Disney movie). Kenneth Grahame developed the character of Toad in The Wind in the Willows to amuse his young son, Alistair. It was published in 1908 and still remains a best-loved children's classic.

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Review quote

"It is what I call a Household Book . . . a book which everybody in the household loves, and quotes continually ever afterwards; a book which is read aloud to every new guest."-A. A. Milne

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Review text

Does The Wind in the Willows need an annotated edition? Suggesting that Grahame's prose, "encrusted with the patina of age and affect," has become an obstacle to full appreciation of the work, Lerer offers the text with running disquisitions in the margins on now-archaic words and phrases, Edwardian social mores and a rich array of literary references from Aesop to Gilbert and Sullivan. Occasionally he goes over the top - making, for instance, frequent references alongside Toad's supposed mental breakdown to passages from Kraft-Ebing's writings on clinical insanity - and, as in his controversial Children's Literature, a Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter (2008), displays a narcissistic streak: "This new edition brings The Wind in the Willows...into the ambit of contemporary scholarship and criticism on children's literature..." Still, the commentary will make enlightening reading for parents or other adults who think that there's nothing in the story for them - and a closing essay on (among other topics) the links between Ernest Shepard's art for this and for Winnie the Pooh makes an intriguing lagniappe. (selective resource list) (Literary analysis. Adult/professional) (Kirkus Reviews)

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Customer reviews

A charming piece of literature!

'The Wind in the Willows'... ah! A perfectly lovely read that families should be enjoying by their fireside. The animals in the story will become your closest friends. What a joy to watch their antics unfold! Especially Toad... poor, misguided Toad. The one thing I could have done without? There was a certain word that the author used on several occasions throughout the story. I was quite shocked to find it in a children's book, but, oh well. To Ratty and Moley: I do hope you'll both visit me again sometime. If only I could visit the River Thames...show more
by Tarissa