"The Wind In The Willows"

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

This is another children's book I somehow missed as a child and am just getting around to reading now. It's also the first book I've ever read on an e-reader.

I enjoyed both the book and the e-reader. I found myself trying to turn the non-existent pages about a million times but I'm sure I'll get used to it. It's perfect in the middle of the night when I can't sleep, and the highlighting, bookmarking and searching abilities are great. In fact I was reading a "real" book yesterday and found myself wishing it had a search feature so I could find a line I'd forgotten to mark. I'm still a loyal book lover though and will always prefer the feel of a real book in my hand. Enough about the reader....back to the book.

The story of Mole, Water Rat, Badger, Toad and their lives on the river is endearing as well as entertaining. They are lovable  characters with good hearts and plenty of idiosyncrasies that land them in one predicament after another. Themes include loyalty to friends, honesty, the importance of a work ethic and accepting responsibility for your actions.

A few times one of the characters uses the word "ass" in reference to another character, as in: "Stop it, you silly ass!" and "Indeed, I have been a complete ass and I know it." It only happens 3 or 4 times but it might be something you want to be prepared for if you decide to read it to your children. I was surprised to see the word there at all, but maybe when the book was written in 1908 it wasn't considered a "bad" word. On the other hand I've also read that it never was meant for children anyway. Peter Hunt, Professor Emeritus in children's literature at Cardiff University, said in his introduction to one edition that it could be "the greatest case of mistaken identity in literature". As I was reading I did at times feel it might be more appealing to adults than children, but whoever it was intended for, I loved it.

The writing is beautiful. I love the way Grahame puts words together: "They recalled the languorous siesta of hot mid-day deep in green undergrowth, the sun striking through in tiny golden shafts and spots; the boating and bathing of the afternoon; the rambles along dusty lanes and through yellow cornfields; and the long cool evening at last, when so many threads were gathered up, so many friendships rounded, and so many adventures planned for the morrow." I'm hoping he has other books to discover. It's such a pleasure to read his writing.

This one gets a "thumbs up" from me. If you don't have kids to read it to, get it for yourself. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. 


A Cuban In London said...

This is indeed a magical book. I first read it in Spanish and then in English when I was in uni.

Greetings from London.

Ordinary Reader said...

Hi. I was looking at your blog and that picture of the dancers on your home page is absolutely amazing. Exquisite form. I also loved the quote from the Sanscrit poem. "Look well to this day for it is life". So beautiful. Thanks so much for for stopping by.

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