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The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame, Gillian Avery

I spent my whole childhood having never read this book solely because I owned a VHS of a film version, which was horribly dark and, to my young mind, violent and scary. I was finally brave enough to tackle the book.

Overall, the book was good. There were many interesting stories throughout the book as well as unique (although not very admirable) characters.

The thing that bugged me the most was that I had no idea how to picture the animals while reading. Size was one issue. At one point Toad, Mole, and Ratty ride a cart drawn by a horse and I wasn't sure whether to picture a little horse or large woodland creatures. Also, I was unsure of the physical appearance of the animals since it is suggested that Toad has both teeth and hair, which made for a weird depiction for me.

But for the most part, the stories were good. Well-written. At times a little violent by today's standards for children's literature, but still good.