I've just completed reading The Wind in the Willows to my 5 yo. I was very disappointed. I've been spending the last couple of years reading some classics that I had never read as a child, including Little House, Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, Swiss Family Robinson, Treasure Island, Heidi, Anne of Green Gables, Jane Erye, The Black Stallion and others. I've loved them all.
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But not The Wind in the Willows. [I'm going to share some of the plot, so don't read on if you don't want to know what happens!] The ending was awful. I couldn't believe that Toad wouldn't be returning to prison to serve his sentence. He escaped and should have been given more time. He sort of made amends to some of the people he had wronged (barge woman, gaoler's daughter), but not anything to the man who owned the car which he crashed into the pond.
Another thing that bothered me was that I felt there were homosexual undertones in the relationships of the four main characters. Did anyone else feel this? There was also a huge lack of talking about family in the book. No one had children or a wife (except the otter) or even seemed to want one. No mothers were ever spoken of.
The last thing that bothered me was that the book seemed very disjointed. Some chapters seemed so random that I wondered why they were even included. (Now, maybe this is a special literary style that I'm just not savvy to.)
I'd love to hear others opinions of this book. I've always heard it spoken of so highly.