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Return to the Willows

by Jacqueline Kelly

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1346207,511 (4.13)6
In this sequel to Kenneth Grahame's classic "The Wind in the Willows," the escapades continue for four animal friends who live along a river in the English countryside--Toad, Mole, Rat, and Badger.

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» See also 6 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Perfect modern reflection of a classic. ( )
  MontLancLibrary | May 8, 2013 |
I really enjoyed this book! I had my doubts about it, because [Kennth Graham's Wind in the Willows] is one of my favorite books, and I didn't think that any modern author would be able to produce a suitable sequel to that. I read it anyway, and enjoyed every page! Kelly's work is full of fun humor. Her footnotes are hilarious. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed [The Wind in the Willows]. ( )
  Coffeehag | Mar 8, 2013 |
Delightful and true to the voice of the original. Actually, possibly better. I really really want this to be an audio book, as the narrator is intrusive and it would be so enjoyable. No such luck! Will keep looking for it, though. ( )
  2wonderY | Jan 25, 2013 |
It's not easy to write a sequel to a beloved classic, but Jacqueline Kelley succeeds admirably. To be truthful, it's been so long since I read The Wind in the Willows that I don't remember enough details to compare the two, but in overall tone, setting, and themes, Kelly's book seems to hold true to Grahame's. Both adventurous and contemplative, Return to the Willows immerses one immediately in the familiar characters and settings along the River. Mole and Ratty are happy "messing about in boats," but Toad is always ready for something new, and usually rash. When he floats over his two friends in his new hot air balloon, the staid Mole is bit by the flying bug. Disaster ensues with Toad at the helm. Kelly introduces a new character (I think!) in Humphrey, Toad's nephew. He is a bookish inventor, much smarter and more practical than his uncle. Still, he finds trouble when he enters the dark Wild Wood in search of the missing hot air balloon. Mole, Rat, and Badger (and much later, Toad, who has been at Cambridge showing off) join forces to rescue the boy from the Chief Weasel. Along the way, they are joined by Mathilda, a Water Rat who has a special place in Ratty's heart. I don't think it gives anything away to say the ending is perfect, in my humble opinion.
Kelly adds footnotes to translate British English into American English; I'm so glad she remained true to Grahame's dialects. Many of the footnotes are humorous and add much to the story (see footnote 8 on page 34 and in quotations). She speaks directly to the reader in many of these, much like Kate DiCamillo does in her wonderful book, The Tale of Despereaux. I enjoyed the story very much, especially Mole's quiet demeanor, timidity, and bookishness (that turns to courage when friends are in danger) and Kelly's humour and asides to the reader. It is a worthy sequel. I need to read the original again to truly compare the two. ( )
  bookwren | Nov 11, 2012 |
Being an old guy I am a little hazy on The Wind and the Willows but Return to the Willows seems to me a worthy sequel that captures the spirit and fun of the original. You have to admire the bravery of Ms. Kelly writing a sequel to a classic. But its just what you expect with all the original characters doing the crazy things you expect them to do. This would be great for a primary school teacher to read to their class. The villains are the weasels but they really aren't that but even insisting that their captive toad brushes his teeth. I really am a bit honored to be the first to review it.. If I were prone to give 5 stars for a sequel I would probably have done it. Artwork is nice and helps the reader visualize the action. Great job by a excellent children's author. ( )
  muddyboy | Oct 31, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Funny and warm, this could tempt a new generation toward the raptures of “messing about in boats.”
added by 2wonderY | editKirkus Reivews (Apr 8, 2012)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jacqueline Kellyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Young, ClintIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Being a respectful sequel to Mr. Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, containing helpful commentary, explanatory footnotes, and translation from the English language into American.
For Wayne Hollomon Price, who encouraged me to write this book, and who dreamt I conducted the 9th -J.K.
For Dawn and Lily (my pencil and eraser), who inpsire my every line and erase away those that aren't perfect - Thank you for believing in me. -C.Y.
First words
The Mole and Water Rat drifted along the River in a tiny blue-and-white rowboat. The current gurgled and chuckled, delighted with its comrades for the day.
(for it is a firm and fast rule that one should never leave one's burrow without a good book in hand), p. 2
(Mole, despite his many sterling qualities, was not always the most nimble-witted creature when it came to composing the withering riposte.), p. 8
In consequence, there were many hours when Humphrey was left all alone, which he did not mind in the least, for he was by temperment a bookish child, and the child who is at home in the world of books never lacks for companionship, entertainment, or adventure. (pp. 90-91)
8. Reader, be not afraid. Melange is a fancified French word that actually has a very simple meaning: the moxing of colors together. The French are always doing things like that, insisting on using a fancy word when a plain one will do nicely, thank you very much. (p. 34)
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In this sequel to Kenneth Grahame's classic "The Wind in the Willows," the escapades continue for four animal friends who live along a river in the English countryside--Toad, Mole, Rat, and Badger.

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Back on the river/Mole, Ratty, Toad, and Badger/Return to our hearts (bookwren)

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