Wind in the Willows

There's a homebound joy wanderers can't know, and a glory in the road those who never leave their garden can't fathom. The Wind in the Willows celebrates both. Mole begins a little too attached to his hole, and Mr. Toad is overly addicted to fast machines, but their friendships do what friendships ought—offer balance where there is none.

Kenneth Grahame's talking animal story of rural England began the way all talking animal stories begin, as tales for his son. The novel, however, grows with readers. Children love the Battle of Toad Hall, Ratty's gypsy caravan, Mole's timidity, and Badger's gruffness. Teens like Toad's songs and absurdity. Adults appreciate Toad's (often forgotten) heartfelt change.

All readers can appreciate Grahame's rambling poetic style. We smell the river, hear Mole clattering around his hole, taste Rat's food, see Toad crashing cars, feel Badger's mighty club smacking weasels in the head. You don't have to be an Englishman to appreciate his caricatures of British country types, or to instantly recognize them.

When Ratty and Mole meet the Piper at the Gates of Dawn we realize this isn't simply a bucolic adventure story. Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad are real people, animals only in name, who can be afraid, comfortable, enraged, silly and curious just as we can. The wanderlust that overcomes Ratty isn't just a desire to cover more terrain, it's a mystical urge to expand the soul.

Toad's exploits, by contrast, are mere indulgence—except that even his seemingly swampy soul is cleared, drained and replanted amid all his zaniness. Grahame doesn't beat us with an Aesop-like moral, however; The Wind in the Willows is and shall remain a mature work of literary art fit to delight and instruct for generations to come.

We're working on a comparison of numerous editions of Wind in the Willows. Below, we've compiled a list of illustrators that we know of, but we understand there were about 90 major and minor illustrators between its first publishing and 2008, so we know we're missing a few! 

Published 1908 simultaneously in America by Scribners and Britain by Methuen. The Methuen edition includes three illustrations by Graham Robertson, and these were used in the three reprints until 1913.

  • 1918, Paul Branson illustrated 8th edition
  • 1922, Nancy Barnhart
  • 1927, Wyndham Payne **
  • 1931, 33, Ernest Shepard (republished with color plates in 1953 and fully colorized by 1971)
  • 1940, Arthur Rackham
  • 1966, Dick Cuffari (IJL)
  • 1966, Tasha Tudor
  • 1966, Roberta Carter Clark (Companion Library) **
  • 1968, David K. Stone (Golden Press)
  • 1980, Michael Hague
  • 1982, John Worsley
  • 1983, John Burningham
  • 1985, Rene Cloke (adapted) **
  • 1986, Johnathan Langley **
  • 1988 Steven Smallman (Apple Classics) **
  • 1989, Eric Kincaid (adapted) **
  • 1993, Don Daily (adapted)
  • 1993, Paul Cox (Readers Digest) **
  • 1994, Patrick Benson **
  • 1995, James Lynch (Folio #1)
  • 1996, Inga Moore (abridged)
  • 2000, Helen Ward
  • 2001, Michael Foreman **
  • 2004, Anna Leplar
  • 2005, Charles van Sandwyk (Folio #2)
  • 2005, Scott McKowen (Sterling)
  • 2007, Robert Ingpen
  • 2012, Ross MacDonald **
  • 2012, David Roberts (slightly abridged) **
  • 2013, Justin Todd (Calla edition) **
  • 2017, Sebastian Meschemmoser **

** haven't seen these--would love to get a peek at sample illustrations!

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30 Items found Print
Annotated Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Fantasy for 4th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$33.96
Breeze in the Willows
by Allen Johnson
from Ten Speed Press
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Classic Tale of the Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame, retold by G. C. Barrett and illustrated by Don Daily
abridged edition from Courage Books
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows (Adapted)
by Michael Bishop, illustrated by Rene Cloke
from Crescent Books
for Preschool-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Willows At Christmas
by William Horwood, illustrated by Patrick Benson
First U.S. Edition from Thomas Dunne Books
for 4th-8th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
Willows in Winter
by William Horwood, illustrated by Patrick Benson
from St. Martin's Press
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Wind in the Willows
Illustrated Junior Library Series 4
by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Dick Cuffari
from Grosset & Dunlap
Animal Fantasy for 4th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Wind in the Willows
Everyman's Library Children's Classics
by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Arthur Rackham
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Historical Fiction for 4th-8th grade
$18.95
Wind in the Willows
Companion Library
by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Roberta Carter Clark
from Grosset & Dunlap
Humorous Animal Fantasy for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Wind in the Willows
Puffin Classics
by Kenneth Grahame
from Puffin Books
Humorous Animal Fantasy for 4th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$5.94
Wind in the Willows
Sterling Classics
by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Scott McKowen
Unabridged from Sterling Publishing Co.
Humorous Animal Fantasy for 4th-8th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: FIC-STE)
$7.96
Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Arthur Rackham
from Heritage Press
for 4th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard
75th Anniversary Edition from Atheneum
for 4th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$10.20 (1 in stock)
Wind in the Willows
Heritage Illustrated Library
by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Arthur Rackham
from Heritage Press
for 4th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Patrick Benson
from St. Martin's Press
for 4th-9th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Wind in the Willows
Illustrated Junior Library Series 1
by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Dick Cuffari
from Grosset & Dunlap
Humorous Animal Fantasy for 4th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard
from Charles Scribner's Sons
Humorous Animal Fantasy for 4th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Wind in the Willows
Calla Editions
by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Justin Todd
from Dover Publications
for 3rd-7th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by David Stone
from Golden Press
Humorous Animal Fantasy for 4th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Michael Hague
from Holt, Rinehart and Winston
Humorous Animal Fantasy for 4th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$10.63 (1 in stock)
Wind in the Willows
Children's Classics
by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Paul Bransom
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
Historical Fiction for 4th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$10.20 (1 in stock)
Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Tasha Tudor
from Collins
Humorous Animal Fantasy for 4th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by John Worsley
from Gallery Books
Humorous Animal Fantasy for 4th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Wind in the Willows
Illustrated Junior Library Series 3
by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Dick Cuffari
from Grosset & Dunlap
Animal Fantasy for 4th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Paul Bransom
from SeaWolf Press
Historical Fiction for 4th-8th grade
in Seawolf Illustrated Classics (Location: FIC-SW)
Wind in the Willows
Children's Classics
by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Paul Bransom
from Longmeadow Press
Historical Fiction for 4th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$7.65 (1 in stock)
Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Anna Leplar
from Parragon Publishing
Animal Fantasy for 4th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$5.10 (1 in stock)
Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame, abridged and illustrated by Inga Moore
from Candlewick Press
for 4th-9th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$6.38 (1 in stock)
Wind in the Willows - MP Student Guide
by Leigh Lowe
from Memoria Press
for 8th grade
in Memoria Press Literature & Poetry (Location: LITSG-MP)
$11.95
Wind in the Willows - MP Teacher Guide
by Cheryl Lowe
Second Edition from Memoria Press
for 8th grade
in Memoria Press Literature & Poetry (Location: LITSG-MP)
$12.95