The Wind in the Willows

The Wind in the Willows is a charming children’s book written by Kenneth Grahame and published in 1908.

The book tells the story of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Mr Toad and their adventures of the riverbank. Beneath the surface, his animal society is used as a vehicle for social comment with the story representing the passing of the old world and coming of the new.

The river, which plays a central role in the book, is thought to have been inspired largely by the Thames from Cookham to Pangbourne where Grahame lived for much of his life. A permanent exhibition at the Museum uses 3-D models, theatrical lighting and audio guides to recreate the story, while a display in the River Gallery looks at the life of Kenneth Grahame and the development of the book. This display includes a selection of the Museum’s Wind in the Willows collection including a first edition produced by Methuen in 1908.

From this page we will post information, articles and links to websites relating to Kenneth Grahame, Wind in the Willows and the books illustrators. If you have an article or website you would like to submit for posting please contact

The Wind in the Willows – The Making of a Story - Text from our Wind in the Willows display in the River Gallery telling the story of Kenneth Grahame and the making of the book.

Ratty’s Wordsearch - Have a go at this crossword inspired by our Ratty’s Refuge garden.

Crack the code - Crack Mr Toad’s message and learn how to send your own.

Cross Wires - Can you work out which of the Wind in the Willows animals is calling who?

The museum has also created its own delightful range of  Wind in the Willows homeware, stationary, toys and gifts. These are available to buy in our retail shop and are also available to trade customers via wholesale.