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Old Mother West Wind

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,129 ratings  ·  91 reviews
Perfect for gift-giving--a classic illustrated by Michael Hague, in a beautifully redesigned edition.

Thornton W. Burgess said that imagination was "the birthright of every child." His Old Mother West Wind stories, first published in 1910, have worked their magic on generations of children.
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (first published 1914)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,129 ratings  ·  91 reviews


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Susan
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the kind of book I would check out from the library and which would normally be rejected at bedtime for a story with more pictures or something less "babyish" or of the character of--not my favorite--Diary of a Wimpy Kid. But both my 10-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter listened with great interest to every story in this collection. Though they were written early in the 20th century, the stories still have some kind of magical appeal that taps into the very thing I am clinging to ...more
Karin
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My 7 yr old gave these books a 5. I agree. "His books are awesome' she says.I liked the way morals were told in an entertaining way. I bet my daughter didn't feel she was being moralized at because she wanted to hear the whole book. I've tried others that had a distinct 'moral' or 'value' and she hates it.(Books that go ... is thankful or ... learns to be honest. blah.

Burgess books are interesting entertaining and a good read. Hopefully the little lessons learned by the animals were
...more
momma.hailey
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chapter-books
Magical! An incredible book, one I wish I had known about sooner. This captivated the attention of each of my children (ages 2-9), and they begged for more each time I read aloud. "Johnny wood chuck chuck chuck, Johnny Woodchuck". Looking forward to other stories by this author.
Melissa (ladybug)
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children and the Young at heart
A childhood favorite. I can remember checking them out from the library. very nice moral animal stories.
Joan
I love the stories. However, I am virtually certain the language was changed in places which annoys me. Certainly there was no claim to being unabridged but I think they should acknowledge the change. I realize some things are dated in these books. All the animals are male, except for mothers and Grannies (Granny Fox). The "females" are Old Mother West Wind and Dame Nature which is not a phrase I remember from the original series. I didn't find Hague's illustrations all that interesting in this ...more
Jon E
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I liked the chapter "The Windful Little Breeze" and I liked in the chapter where the Windful Little Breeze played with the nodding buttercups. And rested behind the bush. And wished that Old Mother West Wind was there.
Haley
Have spent the last few weeks reading the charming adventures of Johnny Chuck, Reddy Fox, Peter Rabbit, and company aloud to Scarlett. Time well spent together! We will seek out more of TWB's animal stories for sure.
Betsy
An old favorite of mine when I was a kid, these stories still draw kids in. All three of my kids listened to these stories intently. Simple tales, highly moral, old-fashioned, anthropomorphic animals.... yet for some reason, they still appeal. A nice read aloud choice for younger kids just learning to sit for chapter books--each chapter is a self-contained story. They're also a nice choice for a new reader just learning to read a chapter book.
Kay
Apr 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
My 5 year old actually LOVES the stories in this book. Each story is only a few pages long and has great animal/nature characters to relate to. Each story has a subtle 'moral' that's not very preachy. We're looking forward to investigating more books by Burgess after finishing all the lovely stories in this book.
Kari
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
I don't know how I've never heard of this book before. Hinton talked about it a lot because his teacher read it to them at school, and then he started "writing a sequel" (Old Father East Wind), so I decided it was time for me to read the original. :-) A book that has gentle lessons taught by wildlife creatures, with enough practical jokes thrown in to keep everyone entertained.
Deanna
Jan 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-a-louds
I'm not a fan of talking animal books-just a personal preference-but my son loves these books and they contain good moral stories. Well written. And our Burgess books are old and so just reading out of them makes me happy. I love old books!
Kathryn
I'd forgotten all about Mother West Winds children, the Merry Little Breezes. And all of the fun characters of the forest Peter Rabbit, Jimmy Skunk, Sammy Jay, Grandfather Frog, to name just a few. This was a delight to read.
John
Oct 13, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-alouds, 2016
Good, short instructive stories.
Amy
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a soft spot in my heart for this book. I first read it when I was in elementary school sometime between 3rd-5th grade when I was obsessed with any fable or mythology I could get my hands on. I do remember being amazed by people who came up with ‘origin’ stories. I am still amazed by this creative talent.
The version of the book I borrowed at my elementary school had these fantastic picture plates. And the stories about Billy Mink and Johnny Chuck captivated me. I bought the book this
...more
Jodi
The animals in this book were mischievous and treated each other rather poorly most of the time. Sometimes they got their just desserts, sometimes not.

The kiddos did really enjoy this one. There were some fun stories, and I think they liked the fact that they were already acquainted with the characters because of the last Burgess book we read (Adventures of Jerry Muskrat).

Thought I'd note: There are a few "origin" stories, like why the frog has no tail, and why the skunk has a stripe, that are
...more
Jessica
We read these stories off and on over the last month. Some were fun and silly. Most had a lesson to learn. There were four illustrations in the whole book, given the age of the book I understand.

However, some of the writing was hard for me reading aloud. It was repetitive and unimaginative. I kind of abhor "very" and "very,very" as the only adverbs. I was soon eliminating them as I read. However, I did enjoy the term "by and by" which occurs in older books and rarely makes an appeara
...more
Chris Meads
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I grew up on Mother West Wind and the Merry Little Breezes, and all the animals of the forest and meadows. You will get to know Peter Rabbit (not the one of Beatrix Potter), Jimmy Skunk, Reddy Fox and others.

Thornton Burgess started writing these stories for his son (in letters) while he worked as a magazine writer and editor. These stories originated from his own boyhood, remembering his wanderings in the forests and meadows of his own home. Old Mother West Wind is the first book of
...more
Breanne
Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-books
I read chapter books to my kids, it gives them a love of reading and helps them hear the flow of reading. I read this with my 4 year old and she surprisingly loved it; she took it to preschool for show and tell. I was surprised because the language and sentence structure is a little difficult (written 1910) and I was not sure she would be able to understand the story. Each chapter is a different story about the group of animals living in the Green Forest and she was enthralled. I do not think th ...more
Yusuf Sahin
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Old Mother West Wind" was a good book to me and it had fun stories that kept me entertained. I really liked it because of the good lessons it taught me like if you make mischief, something bad is going to happen sooner or later. The book tells you fantasy stories like why an adult frog doesn't have a tail and how a skunk got its stripes.
Julianne
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely LOVE this book! I found out it was one of my Dad's favorite-his dad read it to him when he was younger. My favorite part of a recent family vacation was reading a few chapters to my kids each night-they loved it as much as I did! Such charming personified nature characters and cute stories and lessons taught naturally. Can't wait to read more in this series!
Jim Heath
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My favorite children's book of all time!

My mom would read me chapters from this book when my dad was working nights. Each chapter has a morality lesson in it, and the characters are wonderful.

This is really an amazing book written so long ago. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Josiah
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such an amazing book for kids and adults of all ages. Burgess takes us readers into a world of animals, including Jimmy Skunk. Johnny Chuck, Happy Jack Squirrel, Peter the Rabbit, and so many more. We follow them in their adventures and it even has added humor. 5 stars!
Willow
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lovely book from my childhood that I read to my almost 4-year-old. She looked forward to the funny characters and giggled about the slippery slide. I think it activated her imagination, which is really what the goal is.
Brian Hurst
Jun 02, 2019 rated it liked it
It was just okay. I appreciated the brevity more than anything.
Anna
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sweet and stands the test of time.
Christine Scott
Jun 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Read this aloud to my 6 and 4 year old boys, and we enjoyed the cadence of the stories for bedtime. We all lost interest, however, before the end of the book.
Michelle
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very fun book about lessons learned and why animals are the way the are. I really enjoyed chapter 12 the best thing in the world.
Laura
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love these stories and totally surprised I haven't come upon them earlier in my life.
Kate
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fun educational book for young children.
Malissa Chapin
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Currently reading with my 1st grader. So sweet and excellent language.
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Thornton W. (Waldo) Burgess (1874-1965), American author, naturalist and conservationist, wrote popular children's stories including the Old Mother West Wind (1910) series. He would go on to write more than 100 books and thousands of short-stories during his lifetime.
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