“The boastful, unstable Toad, the hospitable Water Rat, the shy, wise, childlike Badger, and the Mole with his pleasant habit of brave boyish impulse,” noted Vanity Fair nearly a century ago, “are types of that deeper humanity which sways us all.” Written by Kenneth Grahame as bedtime stories for his son, The Wind in the Willows continues to delight readers today.
Basing his fanciful animal characters on human archetypes, Grahame imparts a gentle, playful wisdom in his timeless tales. Few readers will be able to resist an invitation to join the Wild Wooders at Toad Hall, enjoy a quick splash in the river with Rat and Badger, or take a swerving ride with Toad in a “borrowed” motor-car.
A few literary staples get a new look this season, while others are adapted and retold. Mole, Rat, Badger and Toad return in Kenneth Grahame's turn-of-the-20th-century classic, The Wind in the Willows (1908), newly illustrated by Michael Foreman. The keepsake edition presents Grahame's unabridged text alongside illustrations of the picnic-bound Mole and Rat capsizing their boat into a watery blue-green world and carolers bringing Yuletide joy to Mole End. Back matter contains a brief biography of the author as well as reproductions of original letters that Grahame sent to his young son, containing the seeds of the story.