The original story about Badger, Rat, Mole and of course the irrepressible Toad. A story every child should have read to them – charming and wonderful.

Badger wise, retiring and a bit of a recluse (if that isn’t tautology). Ratty – friendly, full of confidence, brave, generous and resourceful, Mole, shy, a little cautious, but kindly forgiving  naïve but full of common-sense and then there is Toad – exuberant, brilliant, full of life, affluent and trying ever so hard to be ‘someone’.

It is the story of a yellow canary coloured caravan. An otter cub going missing. The river, and animals just messing about in boats…a story of stoats and the weasels, picnics, horse theft, horse dealing, an escape from prison, a train chase,  car theft, a washer woman, and a grand battle.

The language is wonderful and this is one classic that everyone should read, at least once – though I suspect many will read it again and again.

It is a book about friendship, and bravery.

The play Toad of Toad Hall by A A Milne was developed from this story – with the backing of Kenneth Grahame – and both are marvellous.

There are almost too many different editions produced of this classic title. Each with different illustrators, and bindings. I grew up with A A Milne’s illustrations and Arthur Rackham’s too – both so different from one another it didn’t matter. There are many other illustrators now for all the different editions available or for that matter for those that are out of print.

The pictures illustrating this post are from Milne and Rackham’s editions – they are the people who illustrated the books for me….