Friday, November 20, 2020

Book Review - Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Published by: Everyman's Library
Publication Date: 1908
Format: Hardcover, 256 Pages
To Buy

The Wind in the Willows has always been odd to me. There's a disconnect between the animals being occasionally very animal like and then occasionally being anthropomorphic with Toad and his car. Unlike many of my mother's other favorite books she never read The Wind in the Willows to me, just bought me a lovely slipcased edition and expected me to read it on my own, which I don't think I did until I was in my twenties. Therefore I think I was too old to gloss over the more annoying characteristics of Toad and suspend disbelief. The result of this is I have been drawn to the art more than to the story, something that helped enable my mom's love of buying beautiful editions of all her favorite books. There's our edition illustrated by Michael Hague, a little cartoonish but nice, the newer Robert Ingpen edition, the anniversary Ernest H. Shephard edition, cohort of A.A. Milne, my slipcased edition illustrated by Inga Moore, Everyman's Library's Arthur Rackham edition, and favorite of all, the Charles van Sandwyk edition. Charles van Sandwyk is a Canadian artist whom everyone should know. He has the technique of Rackham but there's more richness and humor than Rackham was ever able to capture. Sadly this edition during various moves has been misplaced. So the least we can do to honor my mother is buy myself, buy yourself, this edition and try to suspend disbelief and go along for a ride with Mr. Toad.  


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