Book Review: The Wind in the Willows

The end is near – the end of the Back to the Classics Challenge for 2016! I completely fell off my pattern after moving. I can blame it on that: moving cross country, setting up new routines, whatever. Realistically, Pinterest gets a fair share of the blame as well… I’m swapping some of my original choices around to accommodate some lighter reads. I won’t get 12 done (there’s only 18 days left in the year!) but I’m aiming for 9. This is book #7.

Originally published in 1908, The Wind in the Willows is a collection of episodes of anthropomorphized animal friends. We begin with Mole who just *has* to leave his spring cleaning to go enjoy the weather. He quickly stumbles upon the Water Rat. This kindly soul collects Mole for a boating adventure and picnic as we get a brief introduction to life by the river side. Mole moves in with Rat and they begin a life of leisure along the waterfront.

I’m going to add a break so I can “spoil” some of the story; click read more for the rest.

This isn’t a heavy handed story. If there are deeper meanings, I skipped right over them to just delight in the antics of the characters. Badger’s wisdom, Ratty’s poetry, Mole’s desire to please, Toad’s conceit… it makes for a hilarious chain of events. I love how the poor humans who suffer due to Toad’s motorcar obsession don’t seem to even realize – or care – that he is a toad and not a human. They *know* it (the jailer’s daughter does at least) but it makes no difference. The reader must not expect it to make sense; it is a story for pleasure sake.

I don’t really get “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.” It seems a step away from the oddly-believable world of talking animals into pure mythology. I need to read this chapter again to grasp it better.

I wish Rat had gone with the Sea Rat, even just for a bit. It would have been fascinating. Of course, that would lose the flow of the story around the one particular river front though. It just makes me curious – what if?

I love the character of Toad. He made me laugh out loud repeatedly. His cycles of humility and conceit are both hilarious and relatable. I found myself at the end smiling for joy at his attempts to be a good toad. I wish him the best on his life changes ❤

I love these characters; I love this book. They feel like old friends and I’ve only read it once! I can’t wait for it to come up on Grace’s curriculum in a couple years. I look forward to sharing it with her.

This is my 7th book for the Back to the Classics Challenge. I rearranged a few of my previous reads to make room for this as my “20th Century Classic” (published 1908). You can find the rest of the link up here.


One thought on “Book Review: The Wind in the Willows

  1. Ahhh, such good memories your post has conjured up in my mind! I too loved Wind in the Willows. I read it to my daughters years ago (back in our homeschooling days!) and together we thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact after reading your post I want to go find the book and read it again!

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