by Susan Hill, published 2013
Mole took up the oars. “Just this once, I’ll try,” he said, and he began to row.
Discovering an easy reader children’s book that introduces the Wind in the Willows is like finding a treasure. It feels so aligned with the mission of the Litkidz website, which is to make quality literature available for readers no matter what their reading level might be. This children’s book is absolutely perfect for a beginning reader. It may have a few words that are challenging. However, it offers the beautiful lyrical words of Wind in the Willows in big print, bite-size sentences, and glorious illustrations. It is far easier than a full-fledged first-chapter book, and more complex than an illustrated children’s book. However, it has the qualities of both.
Introducing a classic children’s book in this way, without really watering the story down, is a brilliant idea, and I’m surprised I hadn’t run into this series previously. I highly recommend it for school libraries and classrooms. The series has subsequently be bought by Macmillan, and the entire list of “My Readers” can be found on their website. While they may not all be a simplified version of classic children’s literature, they look useful. And perhaps more authors will take up the mantle and create others like this.
Of course, this is not to say that you shouldn’t look into the full version of Wind in the Willows. I recently updated my review of that book by adding a beautiful, large-size illustrated version.