Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disneyland is based on this book! But there is so much more in here. You’ll meet Ratty, Mole and Badger as well as Mr. Toad as they travel, vacation, work and FIGHT together! Their lives are at times slow and sweet (Christmas at Mole’s house) and at other times full of danger and adventure (the rescue of Toad and Toad Hall!).
If you are a fan of the Redwall books by Brian Jacques (a beloved series in our home), you’ll see the roots of those stories in Wind in the Willows. And like the Lord of the Rings and the Winnie the Pooh books, Wind in the Willows grew out of the bedtime stories Mr. Grahame told to his little son, Alastair.
When my children were young, we rotated who chose the next bedtime novel for me to read aloud (since I’m terrible at making up stories!). Merrick, my middle daughter, chose Wind in the Willows over and over again! I think we read it three times! When she was in high school, she drew a sketch for me of Mole abandoning the drudgery of his Spring Cleaning rituals to enjoy the glorious outdoors and pursue adventure. There’s a spring in Mole’s step and his nose is raised to catch the fresh new scents of the forest, and above her sketch Merrick quoted, “‘This if fine!’ Mole said to himself. ‘This is better than Whitewashing!'” This sketch still hangs in my laundry room and reminds me not to miss out on the best parts of my life!
I think that’s one of the many messages of this delightful book.
Middle Grade Reading Level, 224 Pages, Fantasy, Animals, Adventure, England, Published in 1908.