Forget the cosy image. This book has probably the first instance of joyriding ever written! First published in 1908, the motor car was new on the scene, and the anti-hero of the book, TOAD, takes great delight in stealing the nearest available machine to go tearing through the countryside.

Like most of the classic children stories this book also appeals to adults. There's fun-filled adventures, fights, and a touch of philosophizing, and RATTY, MOLE and BADGER seem like wise old men compared to TOAD, although his disguising himself as a washerwoman to escape from prison shows a cunning mind.

TOAD is the most conceited of all the characters in children's literature. Unashamedly so. But lovable all the same. BADGER is wise, RATTY sensible, and MOLE the thoughtful one.

Take a trip down to the WILD WOOD.

- Paul Rance.

This Paul Rance article originally appeared in issue 5 of EASTERN RAINBOW, in 1996. More details about Eastern Rainbow here.

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Richard Adams - Watership Down
Jane Austen - Pride And Prejudice
Lewis Carroll - Alice In Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass
Miguel de Cervantes - Don Quixote
Charles Dickens - A Tale Of Two Cities
Charles Dickens - Oliver Twist
Harry Graham - When Grandmama Fell Off The Boat
Kenneth Grahame - The Wind In The Willows
Graham Greene - Brighton Rock
John Hegley - Glad To Wear Glasses
James Joyce - Dubliners
Franz Kafka - The Trial
Ric Klass - Excuse Me For Living
Robert Lacey, Danny Danziger - The Year 1000

Edward Lear - Complete Nonsense
C.S. Lewis - The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe
Paul Merton - My Struggle
George Orwell - 1984
Wilfred Owen - Collected Poems
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone
J.D. Salinger - The Catcher In The Rye
Anna Sewell - Black Beauty
Fiona Snelson - The NSPCC Book Of Famous Faux Pas
Voltaire - Candide

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