I never thought that I would love a mole, a water rat, a badger and a toad so much. For those of you not so familiar with this timeless children’s tale, it is a story of the adventures of four animals, all good friends, who live alongside a riverbank. From exploring the wild woods, to getting each other out of trouble, the reader follows these beautiful, well-written characters as they discover true friendship. Badger evoked a sense of bravery and kindness in myself, while Mr. Toad just made me want to scream in anger at his arrogance and silliness. I found myself connecting the most with Mole, beings that he is an emotional animal and easily attached to familiar things.
As the novel was originally published by Kenneth Grahame in 1908, the language and exposition might be a bit outdated and difficult for children to read on their own. However, if presented as a nightly read-aloud or read together with parents, I believe The Wind in the Willows will easily find itself loved dearly by children, especially for those with a love for animals. If used as a read-aloud or read-along, I recommend the Palazzo 100th Year Celebration Edition, illustrated by Robert Ingpen.
The Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame
Originally published in 1908