The Wind in the Willows

By Kenneth Grahame; Seth Lerer (Editor)
(Belknap Press, Hardcover, 9780674034471, 273pp.)

Publication Date: May 2009

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Begun as a series of stories told by Kenneth Grahame to his six-year-old son, "The Wind in the Willows" has become one of the most beloved works of children s literature ever written. It has been illustrated, famously, by E.H. Shepard and Arthur Rackham, and parts of it were dramatized by A.A. Milne as "Toad of Toad Hall." A century after its initial publication it still enchants. Much in Grahame s novel the sensitivity of Mole, the mania of Toad, the domesticity of Rat permeates our imaginative lives (as children and adults). And Grahame s burnished prose still dazzles. Now comes an annotated edition of "The Wind in the Willows" by a leading literary scholar that instructs the reader in a larger appreciation of the novel s charms and serene narrative magic.

In an introduction aimed at a general audience, Seth Lerer tells us everything that we, as adults, need to know about the author and his work. He vividly captures Grahame s world and the circumstances under which "The Wind in the Willows" came into being. In his running commentary on the novel, Lerer offers complete annotations to the language, contexts, allusions, and larger texture of Grahame s prose. Anyone who has read and loved "The Wind in the Willows" will want to own and cherish this beautiful gift edition. Those coming to the novel for the first time, or returning to it with their own children, will not find a better, more sensitive guide than Seth Lerer.

About the Author
Susan Cooper, one of today's most distinguished children's book writers, won a Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor for books in her fantasy sequence, The Dark is Rising. She is also the author of "King of Shadows, " a "Boston Globe-Horn Book "Award" "Honor Book; Seaward"; Victory"; Ghost Hawk"; and "Green Boy", which was called "an intriguing and truly lovely book" by the "New York Times Book Review." She lives in Massachusetts, and you can visit her online at

Seth Lerer is dean of arts and humanities at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of many books, including the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning "Children's Literature: A Reader's History, from Aesop to Harry Potter."
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