Cheryl in CC NV's Reviews > The Wind in the Willows

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
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Jul 02, 12

Read in July, 2012

They are such boys! Quite uncivilized, except when it comes to the codes of honor and of hospitality. They do love their food and their adventures - but they don't need to make a living. Tasha Tudor's illustrations are wonderful; she makes the landscape enchanting and the friends handsome (Ratty most of all ;). The language is both witty and lyrical, and accessible (not the least bit difficult to read even after all these years). The personalities are vibrant - especially Badger's, and the stories are either mythic or hilarious, or both.

What surprised me was that these aren't just a unified series of adventures. I imagine most readers skim over Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Wayfarers All; maybe they're even left out of abridgements. I know it'd take me another reading to appreciate those fully. But they definitely belong in the book and enhance it's appeal in the sense that the child reader knows *something* wonderful is being shared, and he's expected to be able to strive for it.

But I don't like how there is no consistent sense of the animals' relation to humans. I mean, sometimes they're small enough to burrow in the riverbank, and sometimes they're big enough to drive motorcars. Mostly they live their lives undetected, but even the barge-woman knows of Toad Hall. I never did read this as a child, and now I know why - even then I was too pragmatic.
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