It’s Thursday which means it’s time for our first book #TBT! Each week I’ll re-read a beloved book from my childhood and then I’ll share my memories of the book as a kid and my thoughts re-reading as an adult.
Book: The Wind in the Willows // Kenneth Grahame
Memories as a kid: I remember I had this really nice hardcover copy of The Wind in the Willows with pretty color illustrations of the animals. Of all the characters, I most remember Toad, probably because he was always causing trouble and doing crazy things like stealing cars and making up ridiculous songs. I feel like I watched an animated movie of The Wind in the Willows…but I could also be making that up.
Thoughts as an adult: Re-reading The Wind in the Willows was super fun and I realized how much of the story I did not actually remember. Mole and Water Rat are clearly the real main characters of the book, and we meet the other animals – Toad, Badger, Otter, etc. – through their adventures. I have a lot more sympathy for Mole as an adult; he was definitely not one of the characters I loved when I was a kid but as I read about his bumbling self, I developed a soft spot for him. Toad, on the other hand, was a major dick and deserved all the troubles he endured. I did notice how many times one of the characters call another an “ass” which I DEFINITELY do not remember from childhood. I suppose it’s not as strange in the U.K. for children’s books to have “swear words” in them (if this had been published in the U.S. in the recent past, it would be challenged/banned to high heaven).
Does the book hold up? Yes! I have fond memories of The Wind in the Willows as a child and I really enjoyed re-reading it as an adult. The story, while clearly for children, has enough depth that I think it can be enjoyable at any age.
Next week’s #TBT will be Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. If you’ve read it, let me know what you love/hate/feel about it – comment here or tweet me @EMurch.
Until next time, happy reading!