The Wind in the Willows, just the title of the book reminds me of carefree days chasing and tumbling around in People’s Park, in Halifax, when I was younger. I used to spend a lot of time outdoors; collecting twigs and leaves and pebbles, lying in the grass in the summer with the sun warming my face and of course playing hide-and-seek. They were happy days…
The Wind in the Willows is a delightful tale about a group of animal friends; a mole, rat, badger, and a well-intended but rather mischievous toad. It is a classic of children's literature that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages, set in the beautiful countryside of Edwardian England.
Written by Kenneth Grahame, it was published in 1908 and the book was inspired by bedtime stories that Grahame told to his son, Alastair.
The main characters, all animals include Mr Toad, Badger, Mole, Ratty and Otter. Mole is given to mood swings of happiness, depression, and rashness, Mole is a kind-hearted little mole whose distaste of spring chores sets off the adventures of the novel. He goes barrelling through the sunlight, meeting and becoming friends with Rat, with whom he becomes roommates. Mole is happy to meet Otter, Badger, and Toad, all in due course.
This classic children’s story teaches children about life in the countryside as well as adventure, friendships, trust, love, honesty and supporting each other as well. The story delivers lessons in domesticity, home, consequences, pastoral concerns and adventure. It even teaches children the importance of having good table manners!
Why not read the story with your little one and use the stories to discuss some of these life-long lessons and habits which will support your child as they grow up and lead their own lives away from the comfort and safety of home?
And if it’s nature you’re after, why not look at my book ‘Me, you and the Sun’ for some inspiration!