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Return to the Willows

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  364 ratings  ·  84 reviews
Mole, Ratty, Toad, and Badger are back for more rollicking adventures in this sequel to The Wind in the Willows. With lavish illustrations by Clint Young, Jacqueline Kelly masterfully evokes the magic of Kenneth Grahame's beloved children's classic and brings it to life for a whole new generation.
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 30th 2012 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (first published September 18th 2012)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  364 ratings  ·  84 reviews

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Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
How preposterous! The cheek, to write a sequel to the beloved Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham. Jacqueline Kelley has some audacity, but I have to commend her, for it is not misplaced. Jacqueline Kelly has done an amazing job recreating the world of Ratty, Mole, Badger, the Weasels, and Toad. plus a couple of great new characters, including a love interest for Ratty. She has tapped into Graham's style and vocabulary giving each character distinct voices, just as one finds in the original. ...more
The Dusty Jacket
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"The Mole and Water Rat drifted along the River in a tiny blue-and-white rowboat. The current gurgled and chuckled, delighted with its comrades for the day. The sun smiled down upon our heroes and gladdened their hearts; the lightest of zephyrs ruffled their fur. There was not a hawk in the sky, and even the dark fringe of the Wild Wood glowering in the distance could not cast a pall upon the shining hour."

This first paragraph sets the stage for a wonderful and, dare I say, epic tale that awaits
Shanshad Whelan
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg, childrens, fantasy
I have a confession. I've never read The Wind in the Willows. It's not because I've never wanted to or picked it up and put it down again. It's just . . . simply never been in my book pile when I've had time to pick it up and I sort of always knew it was going to be around for me to read in years to come. I don't have any problem with anthropomorphic animals, after all I'm a huge fan of the Redwall series. But for whatever compilation of reasons, I've never picked up the original classic. That's ...more
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fun romp with the Wind in the Willows bunch. Kelly captures the original characters' voices and personalities so well that Kenneth Graham might have been whispering in her ear as she wrote. Footnotes throughout the book provide clever commentary. I laughed out loud -- books that bring laughter are a gift.
Monica Edinger
Oct 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'm so skeptical of any messing around with books (messing around with boats being totally fine), but have to say this one works. Kelly clearly knows and loves the original and manages, as few have before her, to pay homage while creating something new at the same time.

She perfectly captures the nature of the three original heroes: Ratty, Mole, and Toad and even manages to bring out gruff old Badger a bit. And then she successfully adds in two new characters: Toad's nephew Humphrey and a female
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Return to the Willows is an adorable continuance of the original Wind in the Willows, and Jacqueline Kelly has done a fabulous job bringing the characters of the original classic to life again. Mole, Rat, Toad and Badger are back, and new adventures abound in this adorable tale with wit, voice, and beautiful illustrations by Clint Young. Though this is a chapter book, it is packed with a number of little adventures and amusing footnotes, making it an appealing story for young readers, and an ...more
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this book a few days ago from McMillan Kids and immediately started reading and could not put it down. I am a huge fan of The Wind in the Willows and still have my old hardcover copy from the ancient times. This "sequel" for lack of a better word is such a sweet book and it remains true to the spirit of The Wind in the Willows. All the wonderful characters are back along with some new ones. The narrator is funny and a bit sarcastic. I loved the wit and the intertwining of ...more
Julie Salinas
Sep 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: won-book
Ok, did you read Wind in the Willows? It was one of my favorite books growing up. I loved the animals and the grown up mannerisms and lighthearted adventures of these creatures. It helped that I had Willows outside my window. This book is a keeper, like on your special book shelf keeper. No way is this book going to be loaned, selfish me. Jacqueline Kelly has managed to capture the mood and feel of the original book, but what makes this book so special is the wonderful artwork, the special ...more
Tory Wagner
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, classic
Jacqueline Kelly's Return to the Willows is a truly delightful read. I instantly traveled back to my childhood and the joy of reading on a sunny afternoon. All my favorite characters from The Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame) including Mole, Ratty, Badger and, of course, Frog return for a new adventure. Kelly's style is reminiscent of Grahame's and I felt like I was meeting up with childhood friends. She also includes numerous footnotes that help new reader's with British slang. The ...more
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book. From the dialogue to the animation to the plot to the little footnotes, everything was delightful, and I laughed my way through reading the entire thing. A definite read for little kids and older ones alike!

ALSO YOU GUYS I CAN'T GET OVER RATTY AND *screams* you have to read the book to find out but AHHHH
Aug 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
A Lovely Return to Kenneth Grahame's 'The Wind in the Willows'

It is difficult to believe that it has been over 100 years since the original book `The Wind in the Willows', a classic of children's literature by Kenneth Grahame was first published in 1908. That novel children's book, alternately slow moving and languid and fast paced as in wild adventures, focused on four anthropomorphized animal characters - Mole, Ratty, Toad and Badger -in a pastoral version of England. That novel is notable for
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Very few times in all the years I’ve been reading have I come across a book that is a sequel to a classic that manages to capture the essence of the first book we all fell in love with. This one, unfortunately, is not one of those.
The magic of the first book is lost in this one. Instead, this “sequel” feels sluggish and, dare I say it, quite dull. The main story doesn’t start until way too late in novel, making me wonder how children, to whom this book is geared, will make sense of what’s going
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
It's a sequel to the classic 'the wind and the willows'. However, the book can stand alone , and it isn't necessary to have read the original.

The book contains interconnected stories about the animals from the original, including the rat, the mole, toad and badger. The animals all take on human characteristics and emotions.

The stories and adventures are fun, and try to teach lessons. Additionally, have the characters learn moral tales as well.

There are numerous footnotes throughout the book
Nov 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: j-fiction
Grahame's cast of characters returns for new adventures mostly starring Toad's visiting nephew Humphrey, kidnapped by the Wild Wood's weasels and stoats to repair Toad's hot-air balloon.
Well-plotted and engagingly told, this is a treat for its language though after a while that can get a bit tiresome. (I've lost my enthusiasm for "messing about" with anything.) Footnotes translate the Briticisms for American readers. Some of this is probably more aimed at the adult Wind in the Willows lover, but
Srinidhi.R Srinidhi.R
perfect sequel to "The wind in the willows"..loved it..
Karen Gedeon
Return to the Willows by Jacqueline Kelly with illustrations by Clint Young continues the classic Kenneth Grahame story of Toad, Ratty, Mole and Badger’s adventures. Return finds Toady flying high in a hot air balloon and with his usual carelessness an accident occurs leaving his precious balloon lost in the Wild Wood. In the meantime, Ratty falls in love and Toad’s nephew Humphrey comes to visit for the summer with his latest hobby: fireworks. Toad lovers can guess what may occur when Humphrey ...more
Blabby Gabi
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book!!! It’s such a great sequel to the Wind in the Willows:) I originally wasn’t planning on reading it, but the illustrations inside made me start the first chapter.... I couldn’t put it down!!!!!!!!!! The characters are just as you remember them and more IKNOW you’ll love this book:) ...more
Andrea Drews
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Cute story, beautiful pictures, awesome description and imagery. Recommend for 6th grade and up because of some challenging words and phrases. I didn't read The Wind In The Willows first and this one made sense and was still a fun read!
Julie Zilkie
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my very favorite read alouds of the year! I probably enjoyed this more than the original Wind and the Willow, but it definitely made me appreciate both of them, and will read them from now on together! Every child from 17 on down enjoyed this one!
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The author has thoroughly succeeded at capturing the characters of Mole, Rat, Toad and Badger. I enjoyed everything about this book!
Ranting Dragon
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: guests

When choosing to write a posthumous sequel to a book that is arguably one of the finest examples of children’s literature to date, you must do so very carefully. Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows, first published in 1908, laid the literary groundwork for novels such as Richard Adams’s Watership Down and even Brian Jacques’s Redwall series. So to say the undertaking of a sequel is an ambitious task would be an understatement (see William Horwood’s
Kathleen Pacious
Jacqueline Kelly has taken on the challenge of writing a sequel to Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows, one of the most beloved books written for children, and yet treasured equally (and sometimes even more so) by adults. Return to the Willows brings us back to the idyllic English countryside, complete with old friends Rat, Mole, Toad, and Badger who get into countless adventures together. Kelly captures these characters’ voices extremely well and gives a delightful picture of friendship, ...more
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Any adorng fan of Grahame's original.
To attempt a sequel to one of the most beloved children's books in the Western cannon might seem audacious at best, arrogant at worst. But with only a few missteps, Jacqueline Kelly manages to pull it off, and the result is a loving continuation of the whimsical adventures of Mole, Rat, Badger, Toad, and a few new friends.

The original 1908 classic is one of my favorite books of any genre--I simply adore it. I've read it twice in the last 18 months, and I picked it up again tonight after
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads, juvenile
I won a free copy of the ARC through First Reads.

This was fantastically fun to read. Unfortunately I never read The Wind in the Willows but I did see the cartoon rendition. This book was very much in the spirit of that. I really liked the author's quirky footnotes. I think some of the vocabulary used is probably above the level of the targeted age group but Kelly did address a lot of these words with her footnotes.

I did find Toad to be absolutely annoying. This was only made worse by his
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
Review first published on My Blog.

A sequel to Wind in the Willows written many years after the fact and by a different author.

Toad has a new obsession, hot air balloons, which leads our friends off to new adventures and even more when his nephew, Humphrey, comes to visit with his scientific ways and keen interest in fireworks and other explosives. The weasels and stoats are lurking in the shadows as well so one must be always on their guard but even worse than that, according to Mole, is the
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
First off I received this book for free from Goodreads First Reads.
I read the original tale many many years ago and must confess that I don't really remember it anymore. That said I read this as though it was my first experience with the characters and with no expectations or comparisons to the original. I thought this was great. I really enjoyed some of the little footnotes. Although I knew what almost all of them were I found many of them comical but also great for a younger reader who would
The Erudite Gryffinclaw
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: kids, adults, young adults, redwall fans, animal book fans
Shelves: humor, fantasy
First off let me go ahead and get this out of the way...I ENJOYED this book!

Ok now that I've gotten that out of the way. I loved how the book was written just like the original just without all the synonyms.

The writers stayed true to the original characters design, that was deffinantly a good thing. Even though when you finished the book and thought back on it, you think "Yeah I could see where it was going." But you still feel the need to comment on sections of the book. Such as "Poor Ratty."
Oct 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
The only reason I am not giving this book 5 stars is that the author already had the characters developed for her in The Wind in the Willows. That said Ms. Kelly does a masterful job capturing the spirit and excitement of the original book. All the characters are their as they bravely go off into new adventures. The weasels are the villains but they really aren't that bad making their captive toad brush his teeth. You always know how the book will end (happy) but it is a very creative journey ...more
Larry Saunders
Jan 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This sequel was only "okay" in my opinion. I liked the series of 4 sequels written by William Horwood ("The Willows in Winter," "Toad Triumphant," "The Willows at Christmas," and "The Willows and Beyond") much better - closer to the writing style of the original. They may be harder to find (I borrowed them from my local library, and my library had to send to get them from other libraries). As for this attempt, my feeling was that the author was trying too hard to be funny. Not a bad effort in ...more
Sep 05, 2012 rated it liked it
I loved the Wind in the Willows when I was growing up...I didn't love this. It did bring back some memories but I have to wonder how a younger generation is going to enjoy it. I'm not even sure in Wind in the Willows is still read. Some of the language feels antiquated and the group of characters is a little dated too. Regardless of how this book might now be received, I found this easy to put aside for other books. The beginning was also a little weird as the main adventure didn't start for a ...more
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Jacqueline Kelly was born in New Zealand and moved with her parents to western Canada at an early age. She grew up in the dense rain forests of Vancouver Island, so you can imagine her shock some years later when her family moved to the desert of El Paso, Texas. She attended university in El Paso and medical school in Galveston (lovingly known as “Galvatraz” among the inmates). She practiced ...more