Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Cozy Book for Colder Days

Wind in the Willows coverAs winter comes closer, sometimes you just need a good old favorite to curl up with (or admire in the reading room!). Here at Rauner, we have a first edition of The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame (1908)

Wind in the Willows spine with toadOn the front cover, a serious satyr plays panpipes as Mole and Ratty glide down the river. The best part is the spine where Toad, "arrayed in goggles, cap, gaiters, and enormous overcoat," displays his swagger, exactly as I imagined him from the text! (p. 123) The spine entices a potential reader to choose to adventure with Toad by pulling the book off the shelf and diving in.

Of course, we don't sanction Toad's terrible behavior, but we do laugh along with him. Grahame fills his text with apt descriptions of human (or animal) interaction:
Indeed, much that he [Toad] related belonged more properly to the category of what-might-have-happened-had-I-only-thought-of-it-in-time-instead-of-ten-minutes-afterwards. Those are always the best and raciest adventures; and why should they not truly be ours, as much as the somewhat inadequate things that really come off? (p. 277)  
Come into Rauner and have some racy adventures with Toad and all, or look for your own childhood favorite! The edition of The Wind in the Willows featured in this post is Val 826 G766 Y711. We also have a later edition with illustrations by Arthur Rackham, Presses qW165gr.

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