Off the Shelf: Wind in the Willows

There’s this awesome strip mall near my home that’s just one thrift store after another, and I was browsing through the kids’ books (hopefully people think I’m a second grade teacher rather than a really low-level reader when I do that) and I found this lovely copy of The Wind in the Willows.

I’ll admit, this was not one of my childhood favorites, but I couldn’t resist the colorful illustrations by Helen Ward. She’s gives her pictures a funny-strange depth, and when you combine that with the hard black outlines, it makes for a cartoony yet classically pretty composition.

Here’s one of Mole and Ratty picnicking by the river.

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Don’t you just love Ratty’s loafers and suspenders? There’s a lot of fun detail here, and the way the willow leaves frame the picnic blanket makes it seem like we’re peeking through the trees at them.

Here’s a sorrowful scene: the canary yellow cart overturned and the automobile going “poop poop” down the road.

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Even Ward’s winter illustrations are beautifully monochromatic and cozy.

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I was really taken with this one of Mole all bundled up in the snowy forest. Aren’t these illustrated characters just begging to be crocheted? They are so perfectly geometric.

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Here’s Toad at it again. Get a load of his shoes. I love the details.

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Finally, here’s an irresistible one of the river bank friends facing their future together. Sorry about the glare on the right side.

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I’m not sure how well kids today would connect with The Wind in the Willows. The language is kind of high falutin’. Either way, these illustrations put me in a good mood today. Hope they do the same for you!

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2 thoughts on “Off the Shelf: Wind in the Willows

  1. Please, leaving a remark that children today couldn’t read such a high falutin written story other than admire the illustrations…is sad. READ to your children…set the example.

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