Parents' Guide to

The Wind in the Willows

By Tara L. Rivera, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Timeless classic about Toad's adventures and his friends.

The Wind in the Willows Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 8+

A sparkling, joyful read-aloud

A remarkable, beautifully written classic story of friendship, feeling, and impulse control, with plentiful messing about in boats. The vocabulary isn't so much old-fashioned as advanced—Grahame writes with the complete certainty that his readers will figure it out as needed. I'm reading it to a six-year-old with an unusually large vocabulary and still have to stop to define a word once a page or so, and it's fine. There are plenty more words she likely doesn't completely grasp, but reading aloud allows the meaning to come through, and she's entirely able to keep up with the story. A few more readings and the context will make the meanings perfectly clear. Also, good grief, "silly ass" in a book published in 1908 isn't swearing. It was quite an innocuous expression at the time , which is something you can easily explain to a child instead of having an attack of the vapors. Honestly, I can't think of a book that's more fun to read aloud, in terms of language and character. It may be best for children who are adventurous readers and enjoy stories about the countryside.
age 16+


The book uses the word ass at least 11 times and also other inserts such as stupid, fool, idiot. My 12 year old was upset

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8 ):
Kids say (10 ):

A timeless classic for generations, THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS may be difficult for today's kids in terms of its language and pacing. But parents can help in a read-aloud setting. Patrick Benson's cross-hatched drawings in this edition are so similar to Ernest H. Shepard's original ink drawings that they don't add anything particularly new.

Wealthy, spoiled Toad has a way of getting his friends in trouble, especially when he gets a motor car, but he can always count on Mole, Water Rat, and Badger to get him out again. Friendship drives this social structure and this story.

Book Details

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