Reviews for Wind in the Willows
Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 December 2002
Reviewed with The Wind in the Willows, illustrated by Michael Foreman.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
In this handsome edition, each chapter opens and closes with a small vignette and features one full-page painting that interprets a dramatic event. Begin's precise, finely detailed style captures both the cozy interior scenes as well as the pastoral beauty of the story's setting. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2002 July #5
Mary Jane Begin illustrates the classic story of Mole, Badger, Rat and Toad, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. Each chapter opens with a vignette and includes a full-page painting of a dramatic moment in the proceedings.
School Library Journal Reviews 2003 January
Gr 3 Up-Grahame's classic story is illustrated with a dozen full-sized paintings and numerous smaller works that adorn the chapter headings. Begin is a master at portraying endearing animal characters. Her trademark style is in evidence here-richly textured colorful acrylics that convey both a sense of realism and fantasy; a skillful use of light; and animal figures with facial expressions, postures, and gestures that exude personality. Images of a dapper Mr. Toad dressed in driving suit complete with goggles, followed by a picture of forlorn watery-eyed Toad in his prison cell are especially effective. Unfortunately, the double-page scene of the four friends reclaiming Toad Hall is marred by the binding gutter. Overall, the illustrations provide charming traditional decoration for this much-loved story. An afterword offers a brief history of the tale from its inception as a series of letters from father to son to a literary classic. Those libraries looking for a new edition of this tale will not be disappointed with this attractive version. However, Michael Foreman's edition (Harcourt, 2002) offers a more dynamic and profusely illustrated visual interpretation that may hold more appeal for contemporary children.-Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.