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One of the true classics of English literature, here are 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.
Originally published in France in 1996, this edition collects the four corresponding English-language volumes that were first issued between 1997 and 2002 by NBM. Plessix's style has been called "detailed impressionism," and the limpid watercolors of his lavish adaptation give that "Somewhere Else" quality to the classic story-2008 is the 100th anniversary of Graham's novel. So many adaptations have so little space to work in that they seem more like CliffsNotes versions. But Plessix has truly adapted the tale with most of the narrative details intact-and a few new twists at the end. And while the anthropomorphic animal characters have a cute, cartoony quality, the overall effect of a timeless, golden world is not thereby disrupted; all the looniness and love of nature from the original come through beautifully. Somehow the world of Mole and his friends suggests an animal Hobbiton in a Ring-less alternative universe, where talking animals and humans coexist amid a gloriously bucolic world of water, woods, and fields based on preindustrial rural England. Unfortunately, the pages are a little too small to showcase the details of Plessix's lush art as it deserves. For all ages.
"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents,"grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
"It's so dreadful to be poor!"sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress.
"I don't think it's fair for some girls to have lots of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all," added little Amy, with an injured sniff.
"We've got father and mother, and each other, anyhow,"said Beth, contentedly, from her corner.
The four young faces on which the firelight shone brightened at the cheerful words, but darkened again as Jo said sadly?
"We haven't got father, and shall not have him for a long time." She didn't say "perhaps never,"but each silently added it, thinking of father far away, where the fighting was.
Nobody spoke for a minute; then Meg said in an altered tone, "You know the reason mother proposed not having any presents this Christmas, was because it's going to be a hard winter for every one; and she thinks we ought not to spend money for pleasure, when our men are suffering so in the army. We can't do much, but we can make our little sacrifices, and ought to do it gladly. But I am afraid I don't;"and Megshook her head, as she thought regretfully of all the pretty things she wanted.
"But I don't think the little we should spend would do any good. We've each got a dollar, and the army wouldn't be much helped by our giving that. I agree not to expect anything from mother or you, but I do want to buy Undine and Sintram for myself; I've wanted it so long,'said Jo, who was a bookworm.
"I planned to spend mine in new music,"said Beth, with a little sigh, which no one heard but the hearth-brush andkettle-holder.
"I shall get a nice box of Faber's drawing pencils; I really need them," said Amy, decidedly.
"Mother didn't say anything about our money, and she won't wish us to give up everything. Let's each buy what we want, and have a little fun; I'm sure we grub hard enough to earn it,"cried Jo, examining the heels of her
boots in a gentlemanly manner.
"I know I do, teaching those dreadful children nearly all day, when I'm longing to enjoy myself at home," began Meg, in the complaining tone again.
"You don't have half such a hard time as I do," said Jo. "How would you like to be shut up for hours with a nervous, fussy old lady, who keeps you trotting, is never satisfied, and worries you till you''e ready to fly out of the window or box her ears?"
"It's naughty to fret, but I do think washing dishes and keeping things tidy is the worst work in the world. It makes me cross; and my hands get so stiff, I can't practise good a bit." And Beth looked at her rough hands with a sigh that any one could hear that time.
"I don't believe any of you suffer as I do," cried Amy; "for you don't have to go to school with impertinent girls, who plague you if you don't know your lessons, and laugh at your dresses, and label your father if he isn't rich, and insult you when your nose isn't nice."
"If you mean libel I'd say so, and not talk about labels, as if pa was a pickle-bottle," advised Jo, laughing.
|Chapter 1||The River Bank||1|
|Chapter 2||The Open Road||25|
|Chapter 3||The Wild Wood||48|
|Chapter 4||Mr. Badger||70|
|Chapter 5||Dulce Domum||94|
|Chapter 6||Mr. Toad||121|
|Chapter 7||The Piper at the Gates of Dawn||146|
|Chapter 8||Toad's Adventures||165|
|Chapter 9||Wayfarers All||191|
|Chapter 10||The Further Adventures of Toad||221|
|Chapter 11||'Like Summer Tempests Came His Tears'||250|
|Chapter 12||The Return of Ulysses||281|
The 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 graveled 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 glowworm. 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?" inquired 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 Wind in the Willows Book and Charm. Copyright © by Kenneth Grahame. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Posted November 12, 2009
I was disappointed when I got it home to find it had been abridged- the language simplified. I kept it for the illustrations but was very disappointed in the simplified style.
15 out of 18 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 21, 2011
I have come to this book for the first time very late. I was swept away by it. This is a children's book only in that it is meant to be read *to* children, not read by them. The vocabulary and sentence structure is out of reach for most young readers, but the rhythmic flow and loveliness of the prose cries to be read aloud. Find a child, cuddle up on the nearest sofa, and read. The story and characters are enough to entrance a child. The prose will entrance the adult.
12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 26, 2011
I got this book on my nook.Its alot better then the hard cover or paper back.You can find the meaning of a word so much faster.Being only 12 this was a great help.
7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 5, 2000
The book called The Wind in the Willows is about animals named: Water Rat, Mole, Badger, and Mr. Toad. In this book, Mr. Toad gets hooked on driving motor cars. He crashes them each time and gets hurt, but he still buys more and more. Water Rat, Mole, and Badger all try to stop him from this craze that Mr. Toad had brought on himself. They were finally able to stop him and set him straight by keeping him in Toad Hall and watching over him so he could get out and buy more motor cars. Right after they did that, the bad, mean weasels that came from the Wild Wood invaded Toad Hall. The animals all set up a plan to attack them in order to get Toad Hall back¿Will they get Toad Hall back or not? Read the book called The Wind in the Willows written by Kenneth Grahame to find out. I liked this book because it had some adventure tied into it. it also had good friendships between the animals in it. It showed how friends should act towards each other. I would recommend this book for anyone who likes to read a good story with happiness and friendships.
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 3, 2012
Posted April 7, 2011
This book is my favorite all time "children's" book... the language and wording is definitely a bit beyond the vocabulary and understanding of modern children, but a great one to read aloud. Some of my favorite memories of childhood involve sitting on my mother's lap when she read this book. It is full of dreaminess and imagination - definitely go with an illustrated copy. The picture just make it that much better.
4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 13, 2009
the wind in the willows was great!! i love animal stories so i liked this book a lot. also the characters had a lot of personality and i liked reading about Toad and Mole and Ratty and their adventures! except there were still some hard words that i couldn't figure out like sixpence and tranquility. also sometimes i was completely LOST because kenneth grahame used a looooottt of description!
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 16, 2012
This was one of my favorite books when I was a child. My children also loved it. Now I'm reading it to my young grandchildren and they are loving it.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 28, 2012
This edition of the classic is full of black and white illustrations by Ernest H. Shepard which are spaced at good intervals to keep kids interested as you read. I am quite pleased with it. As to the tale, well, it remains my one of my children's (ages 37 & 34) favorites and we are now introducing it to our twin grandsons (age 6) whose response has been very warm and favorable. We live on west coast and they on east coast and this is a book we've chosen to use for Skype video chats. We read a paragraph, then one of them of their father reads the next. We bought the beautiful annotated version of The Wind in the Willows for them. It, however, has most of its pictures in a center section. That section has illustrations from many, many editions, but these are not spaced throughout the story. By the way, we've used this tandem reading via video chat with other books, including O'Sullivan Stew and Shrek. We've ALL enjoyed it and it, of course, keeps us in the loop a bit better despite the distance between us.
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 29, 2013
Posted April 17, 2013
I thought this book was very good! I usually don't like these types of book, but I really enjoyed it.
I think the author, Kenneth Grahame wrote this book well.
I also think that you would have to have a big imagination to write something like this, and he had one.
Overall it surprised me how much I like this book. i would definitely read it again.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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