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The Wind in the Willows
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Spend a season on the river bank and take a walk on the wild side . . .

About the Author

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.

Reviews

Gr 3-5-Stout-hearted Dorothy, dashing but naive D'Artagnan, and feckless Toad are introduced to young graphic-novel enthusiasts. Each book is a serviceable representation of the original work, hitting all relevant plot points in a somewhat rigidly paced 70 to 100 pages. Occasional anachronisms are jarring (D'Artagnan asks, "Are you okay?"). Unfortunately, the pages in Oz suffer from serious overcrowding: detail-heavy panels are arranged in an overlapping layout with no gutters between panels, making the book visually dense. Colors glare and characters appear stiff. Eric Shanower's graphic-novel edition of the same book (Marvel Classics) is easier on the eyes. Musketeers is drawn in a sharper-edged but still goofy style that emphasizes the humor in every scene. Willows is illustrated in an exaggerated cartoon style, with pop-eyed, loose-limbed characters that are a sharp contrast to depictions in other recent illustrated editions by artists such as Robert Ingpen, Luanne Rice, and Inga Moore. No library should be without these classics, but these adaptations may not be the best ones to choose.-Paula Willey, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, MD (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

A few literary staples get a new look this season, while others are adapted and retold. Mole, Rat, Badger and Toad return in Kenneth Grahame's turn-of-the-20th-century classic, The Wind in the Willows (1908), newly illustrated by Michael Foreman. The keepsake edition presents Grahame's unabridged text alongside illustrations of the picnic-bound Mole and Rat capsizing their boat into a watery blue-green world and carolers bringing Yuletide joy to Mole End. Back matter contains a brief biography of the author as well as reproductions of original letters that Grahame sent to his young son, containing the seeds of the story.

"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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