The Reluctant Dragon

Our rating: *****

The Boy isn’t surprised when a dragon moves in near the Downs. After all, he’s read lots of books and is quite knowledgable on the subject. He soon befriends the dragon, who is of the quieter sort, spending much of his time writing poetry. But when the townspeople discover the presence of the dragon, they immediately send for Saint George, pleading with him to fight and kill this monster who has been destructing their town. Of course, the dragon has done no such thing. And when the Boy warns him of the inevitable upcoming battle, he positively refuses to fight. Saint George can’t just up and leave without doing anything, and they both turn to the Boy to fabricate a solution.

A delightful little story! Although it’s not nearly as well known as The Wind in the Willows, I think it deserves equal recognition. Geared toward younger children, but enough to make any adult chuckle. Great fun all around.

The Wind in the Willows

Our rating: *****

Mole, tired of spring cleaning, decides to leave his cozy little home and take a walk. His ramblings take him to The River, where he meets the Water Rat and the fun begins. Mole stays with Rat in his bank-side home and enjoys sharing the Rat’s love of boating. While staying there, Mole becomes friends with Otter, Mr. Badger, and Mr. Toad. Everything progresses nicely, until the Toad decides to try the wandering life of a gypsy and takes Mole and Rat along. In a highway accident, their lovely little cart is upset by a motorcar. The Mole and Rat are very annoyed, but Toad becomes infatuated with the speed and sound of motorcars and orders one of his own. Unfortunately, he disregards all rules. Badger, Rat, and Mole set out to help their friend over his dangerous driving habits, despite personal discomfort.

How to describe The Wind in the Willows? Sheer, wonderful bliss from beginning to end. There are so many adventures, so many thrills and joys. This is one of my favorite books. This is as good as it gets. (Unless you count Winnie-the-Pooh.) Don’t miss it! It’s perfect for children, young adults, and adults who are young or feel young. I have also enjoyed the audio book, read by Flo Gibson, on numerous occasions. I can close my eyes and hear whole parts of the book. A delightful story.