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Return to the Willows

Review

Return to the Willows

Have you ever wondered what happened to Toad, Mole, Rat and Badger, the characters from Kenneth Grahame’s THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS? Well, wonder no more.

Author Jacqueline Kelly brings us a sequel to this beloved children’s classic, starring these favorite characters along with a few new ones.

"Jacqueline Kelly, a Newbery Honor-winner, does a masterful job of recreating the tone of the original story, capturing the essence of the original characters and showing what might have happened to our friends if Grahame had written the sequel himself."

In this sequel, Toad once again manages to get himself into a bit of trouble (doesn’t he always?) with episodes involving a hot air balloon and a trip to Trinity College of Cambridge University. But, in the process, Toad’s nephew, Humphrey, gets caught up in the drama and ends up in a bit of trouble, as well. It all works out in the end, of course, but there is plenty of action and a bit of drama along the way up to the conclusion of the tale.

Kelly includes a lot of useful, and often witty, footnotes to explain various words and passages in the text. For instance, in a footnote to explain the meaning of the phrase “making book,” the author says this: “Making book: taking bets. Now aren’t you glad you’ve got helpful commentary? You probably thought you didn’t need it, right?” In addition, each chapter has at least one detailed and captivating illustration by Clint Young.

Jacqueline Kelly, a Newbery Honor-winner, does a masterful job of recreating the tone of the original story, capturing the essence of the original characters and showing what might have happened to our friends if Grahame had written the sequel himself. If you’ve read the original story, you will certainly be missing out on some fun if you don’t read this sequel. If you’ve never read the original, you can either read it first to acquaint yourself with the characters or just jump right into this tale. As the author puts it: “You can come along if you promise to keep up, but no moaning about being lost.”

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on October 26, 2012

Return to the Willows
by Jacqueline Kelly

  • Publication Date: October 30, 2012
  • Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • ISBN-10: 080509413X
  • ISBN-13: 9780805094138