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The Wind in the Willows
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2016 Group Reads - Archives > The Wind in the Willows-pre-reading chat

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message 1: by Frances, Moderator (last edited Jun 13, 2016 11:49AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Frances (francesab) | 1805 comments Mod
As many would consider The Wind in the Willows a children's story, I'd love to know what everyone's experience with this book has been.

I first read this book as a child (I don't remember how old I was, I would guess around 10) and then read it a couple more times aloud to my children when they were younger. I'm looking forward to reading it again in adult company (teenage members of the group, I consider you adults as well for the purpose of this reading) and seeing what if any new insights that might bring.


message 2: by Deborah, Moderator (new) - added it

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4461 comments Mod
I've never read it, but have a copy ordered


Lynnm | 3027 comments Looking forward to reading it. I know I read it but can't remember anything about it or even when I did read it.


message 4: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 2786 comments Mod
I am looking forward to reading it. The last time I read it aloud to my two girls who are now in their thirties.


message 5: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 8 comments I think I attempted to read this somewhere around age 10. But, unfortunately I thought I was a bit too old for talking animals and didn't complete the book. Don't remember anything about it now. I may attempt reading this to my 5 year old, but she may not quite have the attention span for it yet. It'll be fun to try it.

Fortunately I've grown out of that silliness and can now enjoy books and movies intended for children. :)


message 6: by Pip (new)

Pip | 468 comments I was in the stage version ("Toad of Toad Hall") when I was little. I was a ferret ;-) All of my ballet school year were either ferrets, stoats or weasels so the choice wasn't amazing...


Tracey (traceyrb) I have read it before and look forward to reading it again. A true classic.


message 8: by Lynn (new)

Lynn B | 17 comments I read the book at school, I was aged 8 at the time, I think and I was completely captivated. I haven't re-read it since but I remember watching an excellent TV adaptation, 2 or 3 years ago with Matt Lucas as Mr Toad.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 599 comments Haven’t read it since my first year of college, when I translated one of the chapters—“The Piper at the Gates of Dawn”—into Latin for a term assignment. Bit off a lot more than I could chew with that one! Tibicen in ostiis aurorae. Looking forward to cozying up with the English version!


message 10: by Frances, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Frances (francesab) | 1805 comments Mod
Very impressive, Abigail!

Lyn-perhaps we can organize a virtual communal viewing of the TV adaptation once we've finished the read!


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 599 comments Well, “translated” is probably an overstatement. My professor heavily corrected the first three pages and then graded me based on effort, not accuracy.


message 12: by Lori, Moderator (new)

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1297 comments Mod
Looks like I'm in the minority here, in that I've never read this book before! I'm really looking forward to it!


message 13: by Brit (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brit | 80 comments I have never read the book before either. You are not alone, Lori.


message 14: by Deborah, Moderator (new) - added it

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4461 comments Mod
Lori wrote: "Looks like I'm in the minority here, in that I've never read this book before! I'm really looking forward to it!"

That makes at least three of us


message 15: by Lynn (new)

Lynn B | 17 comments Frances, a virtual communal viewing of the TV adaptation to round off our read sounds a great idea :)


message 16: by Linda2 (last edited Jun 18, 2016 01:10PM) (new) - added it

Linda2 | 3742 comments I'm with Lori. I've never read it, but saw a TV version some time ago. Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web are also purported to be children's books, but I read them for the first time in my 40's or 50's.


message 17: by Deborah, Moderator (new) - added it

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4461 comments Mod
Rochelle wrote: "I'm with Lori. I've never read it, but saw a TV version some time ago. Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web are also purported to be children's books, but I read them for the first time in my 40's or ..."

I read Stuart Little as a child. It was a favorite


message 18: by Frances, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Frances (francesab) | 1805 comments Mod
I want to point out to people that there are lots of abridged versions floating around-we will be reading the full version so do check that that is what you've got.


message 19: by Deborah, Moderator (new) - added it

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4461 comments Mod
Frances wrote: "I want to point out to people that there are lots of abridged versions floating around-we will be reading the full version so do check that that is what you've got."

I found an annotated edition


message 20: by Lynn (new)

Lynn B | 17 comments It will be interesting to compare illustrations, I've ordered the Inga Moore book because her illustrations are so beautiful. I think that the Arthur Rackham illustrations are the best known.


message 21: by Linda2 (new) - added it

Linda2 | 3742 comments I found this one with illustrations by Paul Bransom. Still looking for Rackham.
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/27805/...


message 22: by Linda2 (last edited Jun 19, 2016 05:03PM) (new) - added it

Linda2 | 3742 comments Would this book appeal less to adults than Stuart Little or Charlotte's Web? I remember nothing from the TV version, but the other 2 are vivid for me.


message 23: by Linda2 (last edited Jun 19, 2016 09:22AM) (new) - added it

Linda2 | 3742 comments I found this one with illustrations by Paul Bransom. Still looking for Rackham.
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/27805/..."

and an appreciation:
https://thefirstgates.com/2011/08/08/...


message 24: by Lily (last edited Jun 19, 2016 10:37AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lily (joy1) | 2632 comments I've tried reading this several times, both to myself and with my son. Have never succeeded completely. Am looking forward to the read here. I will have to pull the lovely illustrated version from my shelf and check the various credits on it to know what version I have. I have, of course, encountered a number of the stories within it in various places over a lifetime -- rather like Alice in Wonderland or Peter Rabbit or Winnie the Pooh or others that can be broken into collections of overlapping independent stories.


Tracey (traceyrb) The thing with children's classics is read them slow and gently. Let the rhythm and the pace of a gentler life seep into you and suddenly the story takes on a different meaning.


message 26: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 2786 comments Mod
Good suggestion, Tracy.


message 27: by Linda2 (last edited Jun 26, 2016 12:10PM) (new) - added it

Linda2 | 3742 comments I've searched the web, and Rackham illustrated only one edition, published posthumously in 1940. He had originally turned down the job, but later regretted it. It's a limited edition with 12 illustrations. Shepard and Bransom are the other two fine illustrators. Didn't Shepard illustrate or write Winnie the Pooh?

The original Rackham editions are priced as high as $3,200. Not a typo. I've found some used reprints at Ebay, if anyone's interested. These have free shipping:
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=...


message 28: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 2786 comments Mod
Shepard did the wonderful illustrations for Winnie the Pooh.


message 29: by Rose (new) - added it

Rose Rocha dos Santos (roserocha) | 42 comments Brit wrote: "I have never read the book before either. You are not alone, Lori."

Me neither! It is the first time I actually hear anything about this book. It's not famous here in Brazil... I am looking forward to reading it!


message 30: by Jon (new)

Jon Abbott | 113 comments Seems there are several of us who missed Rat and Toad and their buddies until now. I'm in, although I don't yet know if I'll read or listen. It depends on the illustrations I find in a library copy, I expect.


message 31: by Frances, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Frances (francesab) | 1805 comments Mod
Lynn wrote: "It will be interesting to compare illustrations, I've ordered the Inga Moore book because her illustrations are so beautiful. I think that the Arthur Rackham illustrations are the best known."

Lynn-I looked up the book and indeed the illustrations are gorgeous. I did notice however that at least one of the books on offer (and there were several) is an abridged version.


message 32: by Rose (new) - added it

Rose Rocha dos Santos (roserocha) | 42 comments Frances, which version do you recommend?


message 33: by Frances, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Frances (francesab) | 1805 comments Mod
I just suggest a full text version-I know that sometimes books get shortened/abridged so the they are easier for children to read, and as I've been looking through my neighbourhood second hand bookstores for copies with attractive illustrations I've realized that quite a few versions are abridged (it should say this on the title page), and I expect any version in a "picture book" format (that is, more pictures than text) is likely abridged.

I did find some second hand versions of the Rackham edition on amazon.ca which look lovely, as did the Shepard, although they were VERY Winnie-the-pooh-ish pictures. I agree with Lyn that the Inga Moore illustrations were gorgeous but I couldn't actually see the Bransom ones.


message 34: by Lynn (new)

Lynn B | 17 comments I'm a little red faced to admit this but I've bought the annotated version of the book though I'm still awaiting delivery. I've ordered the version with the Inga Moore illustrations from my library though again I haven't received the book yet. I've actually started listening to an audio version of the book, narrated the late great Michael Hordern whose voice is so right for the story...

So I'm hoping to have the wonderful luxury of the best of all worlds when it comes to appreciating the book. I don't know whose illustrations are in the annotated version. I was rather surprised by how many illustrators there have been over the years.


message 35: by Deborah, Moderator (new) - added it

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4461 comments Mod
Lynn wrote: "I'm a little red faced to admit this but I've bought the annotated version of the book though I'm still awaiting delivery. I've ordered the version with the Inga Moore illustrations from my library..."

I have the annotated version too


message 36: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 8 comments Lynn, I will also be listening to the audiobook. The version I have has a different narrator, but at least it is unabridged. I will be stuck in a car for 24 hours as of Friday evening, driving north to visit family, so I hope to knock out a few books during the commute.


message 37: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 2786 comments Mod
Jennifer, that is a long time to spend in a car.

I requested the book from the library, and they sent me a paperback, so I went to the children's room and found a lovely hardcover version, so now I have two versions.


Linda | 228 comments I haven't participated with this group for awhile, but seeing that you guys are going to be reading The Wind in the Willows got me excited. :) I read it for the first time maybe ten years ago, so I was well into adulthood. My husband gave me a copy as a gift after he was shocked to find out that I had never read it before then. That edition was illustrated by Ernest Shepard. But your talk of editions and illustrators prompted me to check the old hardcover copy that I have high up on a shelf (to be admired and only carefully handled) that had once belonged to my grandfather. It has an old nameplate inside which my mother must have put there when she was a girl as it has her name carefully written in cursive. Anyway, it is a 1940 edition illustrated by Arthur Rackham, where each illustration is it's own glossy color page. I had never read it before because I didn't want to stress the book anymore than it already was. The book is actually in really good shape, but the dust jacket is well-worn.

I would love to revisit Toad and friends with the group as I've been meaning to reread this one for too long now.


message 39: by Frances, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Frances (francesab) | 1805 comments Mod
Oh, Linda that sounds like a book to treasure for many reasons!


message 40: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 2786 comments Mod
Linda, what a wonderful book to have in your family.


Linda | 228 comments Thank you, Frances and Rosemarie. It is definitely a treasure. It's sitting next to my grandfather's copy of King Arthur from 1927, which is literally falling apart. That one has my grandfather's name written in it, and it looks like he wrote it when he was a boy. So yes, that one is on the top shelf as well. :)


message 42: by Lori, Moderator (new)

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1297 comments Mod
I downloaded a version from Gutenberg, but can't tell if it's abridged or not. It says it's produced by Mike Lough and David Widger.


Lynnm | 3027 comments I got the one copy that was in my library. It definitely isn't abridged, but very little illustrations. Someone by the name of Scott McKowen.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 599 comments Sigh, my grandmother’s Rackham-illustrated edition of The Wind in the Willows having been sold by one of her daughters-in-law (insert decades-long family drama here), I am reading a Dell Yearling paperback edition with some pretty basic illustrations by Robert J. Lee.


message 45: by Jon (new)

Jon Abbott | 113 comments Recently there was an Andy Warhol exhibit at the Williams College Art Museum. What may be common knowledge was news to me: He was an illustrator of children's books before he ... did what he did later.

Philistine that I am, I much prefer his illustrations to his pop art. Here are some:
https://www.google.com/search?q=andy+...

They are much better seen in person, life (well book) size.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 599 comments Definitely an improvement over the pop art, Jon!


message 47: by Linda2 (last edited Jun 21, 2016 11:19AM) (new) - added it

Linda2 | 3742 comments Rackhams's characters wear Edwardian dress, Bransom's are naked, so you can spot them on some of the covers.

I'm going to change your life, for which I expect some kind of payment. Just slip your money into a stamped envelope:
www.bookfinder.com
will find any book from a long list of vendors. If you have some time, try "grahame rackham" or "grahame bransom" in the "Author" box. I'm presuming it doesn't do Ebay because their stock is not permanent.

I have my mind set on this reprint on Ebay, because I've had some income coming in. I can put it next to my reprint of Alice in Wonderland that I've never opened.:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/THE-WIND-IN-T...


message 48: by Linda2 (new) - added it

Linda2 | 3742 comments Jon wrote: "Recently there was an Andy Warhol exhibit at the Williams College Art Museum. What may be common knowledge was news to me: He was an illustrator of children's books before he ... did what he did la..."

I like them, although I wouldn't place him with the top illustrators. News to me too, so maybe the industry has brushed them off.


message 49: by Jon (new)

Jon Abbott | 113 comments Abigail wrote: "Definitely an improvement over the pop art, Jon!"

Yes. I like my Campbell's soup inside me, snuggled up with a toasted cheese sandwich. If I'm off my diet, I'd add a piece of Canadian bacon to the sandwich.


Tracey (traceyrb) Linda wrote: "I haven't participated with this group for awhile, but seeing that you guys are going to be reading The Wind in the Willows got me excited. :) I read it for the first time maybe ten years ago, so I..."

What a wonderful thing to have to cherish now and pass on to future generations.


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