I remember reading this when I was probably ten or eleven. I remember my mom reading it aloud to us, too. And I remember disliking it. But I couldn't remember why I disliked it. And people kept telling me it's cute and cheerful and funny and sweet. So I bought a gorgeous Barnes & Noble edition to bribe myself to read it aloud to my kids.
Now I know why I didn't like it as a kid. And it's the same reason I don't like it as an adult.
I can't stand Toad. He's thoroughly exasperating. And annoying. And irksome. And awful. He totally ruins this whole book for me.
Ratty? Such a dear. Mole? Wonderful. Badger? So adorably grouchy. If it was only about the three of them, I would reread it with joy on through the years. But Toad? Ugh.
And he never gets his comeuppance. Not really. Sure, he gets tossed in prison for stealing a car, but he escapes. And goes home. And gets his mansion back. And supposedly he "changes" by the end, but I don't believe it for a minute. The first time a motorcar comes past, it'll be nothing but "poop-poop" again and he'll be off on another round of being horrible.
Why on earth are the others still friends with him?
My 7-yr-old liked the book, though, so I'm giving my copy to her. She liked that nothing really terrible happened to anyone, so hey, there's that.
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: G for gratuitous annoyance. Also, it's very clean.
This is my 32nd book read and reviewed for my second go-round with the Classics Club and my 7th for this year's Mount TBR Challenge.