Reviews for Wind in the Willows
Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 December 2002
Reviewed with The Wind in the Willows, illustrated by Mary Jane Begin.Gr. 3-5. Two artists have illustrated new, unabridged editions of the English classic. Begin, an American illustrator whose books include Bethany Roberts' A Mouse Told His Mother (1997) and Thomas Hood's Before I Go to Sleep (1999), contributes a series of acrylic and watercolor paintings in warm, glowing colors for this large-format edition. Ranging from small vignettes to full-page pictures, the scenes vary in tone from cozy to dramatic to comical. Capturing the story on wide, horizontal pages, English illustrator Foreman approaches the same material with a little more restraint in color and a broader range of effects in his art. Intriguing picture maps on the endpapers set the stage for the action, and almost every turn of the page brings a new illustration, from the delicate drawing of a flower or butterfly to a dynamic, double-page painting brimming with action. His draftsmanship is sensitive and often lively, the watercolors are skillfully handled, and some of the pictures are simply beautiful. Each book includes an afterword with background information on Kenneth Grahame and how he came to write the book. For libraries with the shelf space and budgets, these volumes offer intriguing interpretations of the timeless story. ((Reviewed December 1, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2003 Spring
Foreman's illustrations for this edition range from mystical, dreamlike scenes, such as the animals' visit to the god Pan, to comical renditions of the adventures of Toad. An oversize oblong with full-color watercolors throughout, the book has a pleasing heft and feel. With its glossy coated paper, full cloth binding, and detailed endpaper maps, this is an edition to cherish. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2002 November #1
A few literary staples get a new look this season, while others are adapted and retold. Mole, Rat, Badger and Toad return in Kenneth Grahame's turn-of-the-20th-century classic, The Wind in the Willows (1908), newly illustrated by Michael Foreman. The keepsake edition presents Grahame's unabridged text alongside illustrations of the picnic-bound Mole and Rat capsizing their boat into a watery blue-green world and carolers bringing Yuletide joy to Mole End. Back matter contains a brief biography of the author as well as reproductions of original letters that Grahame sent to his young son, containing the seeds of the story.
School Library Journal Reviews 2003 January
Gr 3 Up-Here, Grahame's text is profusely illustrated with small decorative drawings and watercolors, as well as panoramic spreads and bordered full-page pictures. The watercolors are often dominated by blues and greens, creating a sense of the river and countryside. Overall, Foreman's visual treatment is lighthearted, whimsical, and spirited. Some pictures are quite comical, such as a sobbing Mr. Toad after he receives a much-deserved tongue-lashing from Badger and Mr. Toad crooning his "last little song" to a set of empty chairs. Others are full of energy, movement, and drama such as scenes of the attack on Toad Hall. The endpapers are designed as maps of the countryside. Information about the author and his most famous work is included, as are reprints of the four letters sent to the author's son, which began the tales, and photographs of father and son. The combination of this timeless story and Foreman's dynamic pictures is sure to be a hit. Both this version and the one illustrated by Mary Jane Begin (North-South, 2002) are attractive and appealing, but libraries that can only afford one should consider Foreman's offering.-Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.