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Analyzing the Elements in Children’s Books: The Wind in the Willows. Chapter Three

Liberal arts Personal thoughts
Table of Contents
  • Student: Ivon Huang
  • National Pingtung University
  • June 2022

Chapter Three Methodology
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In this chapter, we are going to discuss why we choose this book. First, it is about the popularity of The Wind in The Willows in United Kingdom and around the world. This book was well-known by lot of people, some celebrities also mentioned or recommended it for everyone to read. Second, there were a variety of adaptations of The Wind in The Willows, such as dramas, TV shows, movies and musical adaptions. We will give more details in the following paragraphs.

3.1. High popularity
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The book, The Wind in The Willows, is very popular in the United Kingdom. For example, according to the list of 100 best novels which were picked up by the editors of The Guardian, The Wind in The Willows was ranked as the 38th in the list (McCrum, 2014). Furthermore, audiences of BBC voted The Wind in The Willows as the 16 of Top 21 books (BBC, 2003). From here we know that the book is very well-known to the Britain people, and some celebrities also recommend this book to their readers. Some of them suggested the book is truly educative no matter the readers are adults or children. For an instance, J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, mentioned the book in an interview: “My most vivid memory of being read to is my father reading [this book] when I was around 4 and suffering from the measles.” (The New York Times, 2012). Plus, the US president Theodore Roosevelt wrote to Grahame to tell him that he saw the novel’s principal characters as old friends. (Canterbury Classics, 2019). Therefore, we can know that the contents of The Wind in The Willows were approved by the great people and they very enjoyed read it. With so many loves from these great people, the book is indeed an excellent work in the world. More details can be found in the following table.

Figure 3.1. The Popularity of The Wind in The Willows'

Famous books rankingThe Guardian, 2014, 100 best novels: No 38 – The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame(1908)

BBC, 2003, “The Big Read” rank 16 of Top 21 books
Celebrity RecommendationsUS president Theodore Roosevelt wrote to Grahame to tell him that he saw the novel’s principal characters as old friends.

“My most vivid memory of being read to is my father reading [this book] when I was around 4 and suffering from the measles.” - J.K. Rowling

3.2. Inspirations & Adaptations
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The Wind in The Willows is not only a famous book, but there also are a wide range of adaptions and inspirations. Why could the adaptions make a book more popular? What are the requirements for adaptions? Rothwell (2019) suggested that “Due to the pre-existing audience and modern social media, fans have the ability to spread the word about the adaptations allowing for it to become a part of popular culture.” Modern kids are living in a world where the Internet is accessible at everywhere, so adaptions could make old literature come alive. Also, because the plot of book was proved by pre-existing readers; thus, the adaptions are deemed to attract more audiences (Rothwell, 2019).

Below are some adaptions of The Wind in The Willows. First, according to Wikipedia 19 (2022), there are 11 films which are based on The Wind in The Willows. Some of them are cartoon movies, such as Disney’s The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) and Mole’s Christmas (1994). On the other hand, the numbers of TV show adaptions are also impressive: there are 11 of them for over half a century. These adaptions make more people, especially young children to read and appreciate classic literature.

In conclusion, there are two reasons of selecting this book for research. The first one is its high popularity. It was being recommended by great people. Also, they stated the book is beneficial to readers. Secondly, the variety of adaptions proved that this book is truly a great work. With so many media types of The Wind in The Willows, more and more audiencescould get in touch with the classic literate in different ways.

Related

Analyzing the Elements in Children’s Books: The Wind in the Willows. Chapter Two
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Analyzing the Elements in Children’s Books: The Wind in the Willows. Chapter One
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Analyzing the Elements in Children’s Books: The Wind in the Willows. Abstract
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