Tuesday, 29 October 2019

"The Wind in the Willows" by Kenneth Grahame and Grahame Baker-Smith (Templar Classics)

Here's a book we've seen many, many different versions of during our (nearly) ten years of blogging about books, and one that many illustrators have put their own particular style to, drawing up the well-known and well-loved scenes from Kenneth Grahame's timeless children's classic.

This time, one of our favourite children's illustrators, Grahame Baker-Smith brings his deft touch to "The Wind in the Willows", complimenting a largely unabridged version of the original classic story with the most stunning images, making this already atmospheric story even more inviting and daydreamy.

The classic tale of Mr Toad, Ratty, Mole, Badger and the rest of the riverside animals - swapping between scenes of tranquil idyll while boating and picnicing on the river, through to Mr Toad's rather unfortunate incidents with motor vehicles, his dramatic escape from prison, and the fight to take back Toad Hall from a bunch of ferrety ne'er do wells may be very well known, but there's always something new to discover, something charming and brilliant - even though we still consider this book to be quite a tough read for a modern audience.

But ah, Grahame Baker Smith's illustrations really do give this whole thing a really classic feel (cloth-bound and instantly a keepsake the minute you see it presented just like the old fashioned editions of the books I first got my grubby mitts on as a tiny tot).

Gorgeous or what?

Sum this book up in a sentence: A gorgeous gift edition of one of the most timeless and well-loved children's classics, beautifully illustrated by a master of evocative and atmospheric paintings for children's books.

"The Wind in the Willows" by Kenneth Grahame and Grahame Baker-Smith is out now, published by Templar (kindly supplied for review).