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The Wind in the Willows

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  125,761 Ratings  ·  3,671 Reviews
The escapades of four animal friends who live along a river in the English countryside--Toad, Mole, Rat, and Badger.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 1st 1986 by Routledge (first published October 8th 1908)
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Vicky Hunt No, hadn't thought to compare until you mentioned it. What conclusions have you drawn from your own reading? I will add that I am probably…moreNo, hadn't thought to compare until you mentioned it. What conclusions have you drawn from your own reading? I will add that I am probably under-versed in the newer children's lit and I am more familiar with "Mister Ed" than I am with Bojack Horseman. Also, I have to say that I enjoy the truly anthropomorphic nature of Grahame's birds, for example, even more than the animals who act human in a way that is less believable for their own nature, like in Charlotte's Web or Babe.(less)
Jonkonfui There are many moral lessons if you are looking for that.
Just look at the setting, a book where all animals live in peace and support, and help each…more
There are many moral lessons if you are looking for that.
Just look at the setting, a book where all animals live in peace and support, and help each other.
There are even explicit morals :
"Conversation was impossible for a long time; and when it was slowly resumed, it was that regrettable sort of conversation that results from talking with your mouth full. The Badger did not mind that sort of thing at all, nor did he take any notice of elbows on the table. As he did not go into Society himself, he had got an idea that these things belonged to the things that didn´t really matter (We know of course that he was wrong, and took too narrow a view; because they do matter very much, though it would take too long to explain why)."(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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J. Aleksandr Wootton
Trying to review The Wind in the Willows is a strange undertaking. In the introduction to my copy, A. A. Milne wrote:

"One can argue over the merits of most books... one does not argue about The Wind in the Willows. The young man gives it to the girl with whom he is in love, and if she does not like it, he asks her to return his letters. The old man tries it on his nephew, and alters his will accordingly. ... When you sit down to [read] it, don't be so ridiculous as to suppose you are sitting in
...more
Anthony Buckley
Feb 25, 2012 Anthony Buckley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, politics
This book was written in 1908, when the world was being shaken by the newly self-confident masses. Women were propagandising for the vote; the Irish were demanding Home Rule; the Trade Unions were showing their strength. Socialism theatened. A spectre was haunting Europe, and particularly England.

Wind in the Willows is an elegant parable about class struggle, about the dangers of decadant country-house-living in the face of powerful revolutionary forces.

There are maybe four generations in the
...more
Manny
PART TWO OF PETER JACKSON'S THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS (CONCLUSION)

[Night. Toad Hall, interior. STEPHEN FRY as TOAD and ORLANDO BLOOM as BADGER are in the middle of a wild melée with numerous STOATS and WEASELS.]

BADGER: It's no good, Toad! There's too many of them! [With a blow of his cudgel, he knocks a WEASEL into the open fire.]

TOAD: We can hold them off, Badger old chap!

[EVANGELINE LILLY as a HOT BADGER-BABE crashes through the window and lands next to them.]

BADGER: [Choked with emotion] You ca
...more
Jason Koivu
Feb 11, 2014 Jason Koivu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Lavishly described meandering adventures of the mild nature.

The Wind in the Willows has an intrinsically English flavor. The characters are happy to live their ordinary lives with only a hint of interest in the wider world. Too strong of an adventurous spiritedness is considered uncouth. Such hearty frivolity as Toad's is frowned upon to the utmost!

Unfortunately this goes for the author, too. Kenneth Grahame's plots are not terribly gripping due to their lack of depth. He seems pleased rather
...more
Chris
This is one of those books I want to love; I REALLY, really want to love this book. I've read so many essays by book lovers who have fond, childhood memories of being read this by their father, or who ushered in spring each year by taking this book to a grassy field and reading this in the first warm breezes of May. I want to find the tea and boating and wooded English countryside to be slow yet sonoriously comforting, like a Bach cello suite or a warm cup of cider on a cool April night.

But I j
...more
Ron
May 12, 2014 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
They don't write books like The Wind in the Willows anymore.

Today's books for children are sly rhymes, action and social engineering. Wind belongs to an older, more innocent time when even accomplished men such as Kenneth Grahame, A. A. Milne and J. R. R. Tolkien invented stories for their children.

Stories which over the years became classics of literature.
Wind isn't a fairy tale so much as it's life told for those who will inherit it. Told by those who love the inheritors.

Even if you've read
...more
Sara Steger
Jul 11, 2016 Sara Steger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
If you have children and you have not read this gem with them, do it now. Go buy a lovely illustrated edition and make a memory that I think will last beyond childhood. Mole, Ratty, Toad and Badger are characters worth knowing and visiting in childhood again and again.

When I closed the last page of this book, I was sad to see these characters go. I enjoyed the story, which had a classic quality from page one. There are numerous lessons to be learned here, the value of nature and how to live a ba
...more
Terry
Jun 15, 2012 Terry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok, second attempt at a review after the damn interwebs ate my last one. Luckily I’m composing this one offline first.

To me Kenneth Grahame’s _The Wind in the Willows_ is a particularly fine novel. It’s a children’s story and normally that would get my back up. I’m generally not a big fan of children’s lit or YA, and to add to this I didn’t even read this book as a child and thus have the requisite rose-coloured glasses to lend credence to my love for the story. Somehow, however, this tale of th
...more
Jan-Maat
An Edwardian children's book that ends with the reimposition by force of the traditional squirearchical social order on the upstart lower orders as represented by Weasels, Stoats and Ferrets.

It is a through introduction to traditional British conservatism, of the Country Life rather than the Economist variety, for children with a side order of mild paganism. As such is an unwitting counterpoint to The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.

As with How to Read Donald Duck, once you look at it and shrug
...more
Nathan
May 07, 2008 Nathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found Wind in the Willows to be one of those rare books that contains true joy. Several times since I have moved in with the Kenyons, I have gotten in a disagreement with another opinionated member of the household over the value of "dark" literature versus "light" literature. "It is so easy to write about dark things," she might say. "Why don't we focus on happiness?" I think when most people read a "happy" story, they find it shallow, unrealistic, and boorish since, as any random perusal of ...more
Pamela
I feel like I am the only person in the universe to not *get* this book. Perhaps I am not really human, but rather a troll or some other such hard-hearted creature.

I suppose my main issue with this book is that I couldn't quite understand the world that Mr. Grahame created. Pithy words of wisdom on What It Means To Be A Child tell us that children don't have preconceptions and thus accept things more readily, being shaped only by the prejudices of adults. I assume most people would use that arg
...more
Fabian
Sep 30, 2016 Fabian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A genuinely refreshing little romp through tunnels and pastures. Zen is something that's somehow--& very surprisingly--reached. This is the ultimate impression the reader is left with.

Outstanding, engaging and more fun than Aesop's menagerie, it moralizes vaguely on fidelity, the value of friendships & associations... The final sentence even addresses finally the main target audience-- the 'lil tykes and treasured ones; and even sustains with the theory that looks may be deceiving... the
...more
Sue
Nov 12, 2011 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sue by: Anne Reach and Judy
I found myself smiling as I finished this reading of The Wind in the Willows. Yes I enjoyed the tale of Rat and Mole and Badger and Toad and all the other assorted animals and their people who populate that corner of England.

What struck me most during this reading, which is my second as far as I recall, is that this just doesn't feel like a children's book in so many ways. The language is so rich. The descriptions, whether of characters or places, are so full. I find this better in some ways as
...more
Laurie
Aug 11, 2011 Laurie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The real way to travel... The only way to travel! O bliss! O poop-poop!... What carts I shall fling into the ditch! Horrid carts-- common carts-- canary-coloured carts!.... Me complain of that beautiful, heavenly vision! That swan, that sunbeam, that thunderbolt!"

--Frog on automobiles
Kimmie
May 21, 2008 Kimmie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I forgot how much I loved this book. Previous reviewers I have read seem to find it wordy or cumbersome. Personally, I find it beautifully descriptive. I am currently reading it to my 3 and 4 year old boys at bed time, a half a chapter at a time, and they seem to be enjoying it, as well. No, its not a quick, easy read, but it is worth it for all the lost vocabulary that we see so seldom in modern author's works.
Parthiban Sekar
It takes a mean adult to criticize a children's book; and a mean child to moralize a children's book, IMO.
Jim
2016: Wonderfully read by Mary Woods, this children's classic was poetic & dream-like. Animals that live in the wild, yet like humans complete with breakfasts of eggs & bacon. They speak to horses, yet keep them for the carriages & a Toad in a dress is easily mistaken for a washerwoman. Grahame's descriptions were sometimes a bit long, but always evocative & his characters were wonderful. Ratty, Badger, Mole, & Toad were a hoot, especially Toad, of course. His addiction to ca ...more
Alex
Sep 12, 2016 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: boring grown-ups
I was suspicious of this book when I was a kid. It's all, "Hey kids, here's a fun story about talking animals," right? And I was like no, this is just you banging on about trees. This is a pastoral poem in disguise. It's boring. This book is like the guy who comes into your classroom and sits backwards on a chair all, "Sammy the sock puppet is here to get real about abstinence!" It's like when your mom was like "I froze this banana and it's just as good as a popsicle!" It is not. Mom is full of ...more
Rhiannon
Mar 17, 2008 Rhiannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up at a library sale for about $2. I'm reading it aloud to the kids as "bedtime stories." We're also intermittenly watching a few of the million movie versions.

At first the kids stared blankly off into space as I read, as the words are bigger and more complex even than the ones I use with them (and more than a few people have taken notice of how "big" I speak to my kids). Even I had to read pages a second time to understand what exactly we were reading about. But once we got i
...more
helen the bookowl
This book has everything that you need in a children's book! Caricature animals, morals in disguise, adventure and humour. It also has a special ambiance about it that makes you feel safe and content while reading this story. I'm surprised I haven't read it before, because I know I would've absolutely loved it as a child.
My favourite character was the Mole; however, the absurd and stupid Mr. Toad cracked me up, and I ended up absolutely loving him as well. I also loved the setting of the woods
...more
Candi
The audio version of this timeless classic was very charming! This was actually my very first audio book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am not certain that this format will work for me with very many books, but it certainly proved to be quite entertaining here. Narrated by Alan Bennett, this version featured some of the voices from Alan Bennett’s stage adaptation at the National Theater in 1990. The music and sound effects really added to the experience for me and the various voices were so much ...more
Clouds

Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my BEDTIME STORIES list.

I have a little boy and love reading to him, so this reading list will cover the classic (and new) children’s stories we’re enjoying together.


The Wind in the Willows is a funny old book, isn’t it?

The adventures of Ratty, Mole and th
...more
Knjigoholičarka
May 07, 2015 Knjigoholičarka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dečije, 2015
To je prijateljstvo, kada trpiš nečije budalaštine, pa mu opet na kraju pomogneš i sve oprostiš.

Krtice, nemoj da veslaš!
Krtica uzme da vesla i prevrne čamac.
Krtice, nemoj u Mračnu Šumu!
Krtica ode u Mračnu Šumu, izgubi se i povredi nogu.
Žabac, okani se automobila, ne znaš da voziš!
Žabac ukrade auto, posvađa se sa policijom, završi u mardelju i kuću mu okupiraju lasice i tvorovi.

Prijateljstvo, pravo prijateljstvo, pa, to je najčistija forma bezuslovne ljubavi. :)
Nick Pageant
Sep 11, 2016 Nick Pageant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, kiddies
How have I neglected to rate this? This was far and away my favorite book as a child. It's funny, sweet, and sometimes magical. There's no way to avoid falling in love with the magnificent creation that is Toad. Great stuff!
Mark Hoppus
Jul 26, 2014 Mark Hoppus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd never read this book before this week. I always thought it a children's book, but the themes seem more geared toward adults/young adults. The terrific descriptions of the English countryside and its lifestyle remind me why I like being there so much. I also love the way Grahame anthropomorphises everything. Example: Toad was called at an early hour; partly by the bright sunlight streaming in on him, partly by the exceeding coldness of his toes, which made him dream that he was at home in bed ...more
Sarah
Apr 04, 2016 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful story about individuality, friendship, nature and life. Mole, Ratty, Badger and Toad are a pure delight through their numerous escapades involving motor car envy, messing about in boats, picnic pleasures and untimely snow storms. Set in the English country lanes, woods and riverbanks. It is a beautifully written little gem.
KerryH
May 09, 2016 KerryH rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Poop - Poop

Wind in the Willows is by most definitions a fantasy, but is it merely a tale of four anthropomorphic animal heroes and their adventures in a fictional landscape, or is it a fairly accurate observation of middle and upper-class Edwardian society at that time and its fears? Fears that were centred in worries about encroaching modernity and its perceived threat to their comfortable and privileged existence. Kenneth Grahame was writing at a time when Britain was undergoing profound socia
...more
Carrie
Dec 16, 2009 Carrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This is my favourite book of all time.
Perhaps it is the very Timelessness of the Tale that makes it so appealing.
I love the ambience; reminiscent of gentler times, unencumbered by the material frippery, with which we surround ourselves in this rapid and relentless 21st Century.
I never tire of reading the exquisite dialogue; check out the one about the door mat! Just thinking about Ratty and his love affair with the peaceful riverbank, makes me calm and flow!
Toad is infuriating with his fads an
...more
Sandy
This is an exciting children's story which has enough depth to be enjoyed by adults also. It truly showcases an author who has a sensitive appreciation of both the rhythms of the natural world and the foibles of humanity. An added bonus was that, unbeknownst to me, the public library copy which I requested was a 2012 gift edition, superbly illustrated by David Roberts. Having turned the last page, I could easily be tempted to close the covers and open the book again at the first page. It's that ...more
Kathy Worrell  ツ
I am so glad to have finally read this wonderful, heart warming, 107 year old adventure.

The Wind in the Willows is about an anthropomorphic Rat, a Mole, a Badger, and my favorite: a Toad.

I am amazed at the beauty of the words the author uses in a children's story. The characters were charming, endearing, and witty.

I read the Kindle version of this book, but love it so much that I'm going to go order a hard copy.




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Kenneth Grahame was a British writer, most famous for The Wind in the Willows (1908), one of the classics of children's literature. He also wrote The Reluctant Dragon; both books were later adapted into Disney films.
More about Kenneth Grahame...

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“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.” 1051 likes
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” 210 likes
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