Recommendations from our site
“The book I read and re-read was The Wind in the Willows. It is very special to me. The characters are alive in my head and I love every single one of them. I thought that the Thames Valley, as described by Kenneth Grahame, was what a wood was really like. As a child I identified with Ratty — I was Ratty, and I loved Toad because he was so naughty. Badger was the grown-up and scared me a little. This book evokes a wonderful wild wood of Edwardian England, but it’s not entirely benign. The story features intrusions by modernity – the motor-car and trains crashing through the countryside. Industrialisation is encroaching on the countryside and having an impact on the character of the countryside, and this change is wrought by humanity.” Read more...
M G Leonard recommends the best Nature Books for Kids
M G Leonard, Children's Author
“It’s the first book I fell in love with. The fiction that I liked when I was young was very much about cosy little adventures with animals.” Read more...
Children’s and Young Adult Fiction
Melvin Burgess, Children's Author
“Reading Wind in the Willows opened my eyes to the way the English upper middle classes lived and the things they thought were important. Woods – what the hell were woods?..Essentially there is a bad reading and good reading. The bad reading is that it is a parable about class, where the stoats and the weasels are working-class oiks who invade an Edwardian perpetual summer in which we go boating and chasing lambs in the fields and whatnot. They take over Toad Hall and it’s all very unjust and revolutionary. Later in life I had a flirtation with Maoism – maybe it was because I had sympathy with the revolutionary stoats and weasels, they were on the right side against someone as repulsive as Toad.” Read more...
Trevor Phillips, Nonprofit Leaders & Activist
Our most recommended books
Reckless: The Petrified Flesh
Cornelia Funke, translated by Oliver Latsch
Danny Champion of the World
by Roald Dahl
Harry Potter: the Complete Series
by J.K. Rowling
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
by Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo
by Kwame Alexander
100 Things to Know About Numbers, Computers & Coding
Alex Frith (illustrated by Federico Mariani and Parko Polo)