Friday, May 17, 2013

The Wind in the Willows

{This post, like most of my posts that discuss books, contains affiliate links.}

I mentioned that I was in a real classics dry spell.  Brian reads numerous classics every year, but every time I go to pick one up, I change my mind and read something "easy" instead.  I had to face my laziness when one of the kids expressed interest in reading The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum out loud .  Brian read it last year and told me how different it was from the classic movie and that it was not scary.**  We chose a beautifully illustrated copy with pictures by Lisbeth Zwerger.  I knew that if I chose to start a book with my kids, I would stick with it and not abandon it for the easy route.  As it turned out, I didn't need to worry because I loved it.  The illustrations were the key.  The full-page pictures and the tiny ones tucked into the margins captivated our attention and supplemented the words we were reading. 

(**The Wicked Witch of the West does appear in the book, but her part is small.  I was most bothered by use of the term
good witches since we believe that witches and witchcraft are evil.  However, since the witches in the book are not practicing sorcery but are more like fairies, we decided it was appropriate for our older children.  You would need to make your own choice for you own family.)

When my sister, Kati, and I began our Sisters Book Challenge in February, we each gave the other a list of 10 books. The challenge was to read (and blog about) at least five of the ten books on our individual lists.  One of the books on the list she gave me was The Wind in the Willowsby Kenneth Grahame.  Yikes!  Here was another classic-- a classic I had attempted to read twice before and never finished.

I worked night shelving books in the children's section of the library while I was in high school.  There was one book that I had to reshelve almost every single night that I worked.  I noticed it more than any other book.  Want to know what it was?  The Wind in the Willows.  Armed with this recollection and my sister's suggestion, I determined to start and finish this book as part of the challenge

On the heels of The Wizard of Oz, I decided now was the time to conquer another classic. Since an illustrated version had worked so well for me before, I looked for something similar and found a version illustrated by Michael Foreman.  Again, the lovely visuals drew me in. This time I had no trouble at all getting involved in the story of Ratty, Mole, Toad, and Badger.  In fact, it only took me a few days to read from start to finish.  And not only did I finish, but I really loved it!  (Now I know what all those library patrons saw in this book.)

Do you read classics?  What is one classic book I shouldn't miss?

1 comment:

  1. How did you know I've been wanting to find a great illustrated copy of The Wind in the Willows? I've already put it on hold :)


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