This new edition of a beloved classic compares favorably to other current editions in that it contains the complete set of original chapters and is in full color.
First published in 1908 with only a frontispiece for artwork, the escapades of Mole, Rat, Toad, and Badger have since been interpreted by dozens of different illustrators, especially after 1983, when the text entered the public domain. Several current editions excise Chapter 7, “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn,” which features Mole and Rat’s mystical encounter with Pan; others are illustrated in black-and-white or not at all. Here, 12 impressionistic full-bleed oil paintings, some single- and some double-page spreads, are interspersed with numerous watercolor spot illustrations. The oil paintings are richer by nature: jewel-toned, with brush strokes and canvas texture visible. Muted-color, loosely-composed watercolors allow for a bit more humor and show action with sketchy lines; images of Toad in his washerwoman garb are especially funny. All of the illustrations are faithful to a traditional rendering of the cherished stories, featuring these familiar anthropomorphic field, marsh, and woodlands creatures clad in country clothing.
This large-format, appealingly illustrated edition is worth collecting by devotees of the original—who are legion—and will capably engage a new generation. (Fantasy. 10-adult)