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The Tale of Toad and Badger: Willow Buds    by Mary Jane Begin order for
Tale of Toad and Badger
by Mary Jane Begin
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Mary Jane Begin's Tale of Toad and Badger is one in a series of 'Friendship Stories Inspired by the Wind in the Willows'. We're told in a letter from Rose Bud that they're based on diaries she found that recount the exploits of her 'Uncle Ratty when he was young and just getting to know his pals Badger, Mole, and Toad'.

Here, Ratty tells of the first meeting of Archibald Toad the Third (known to all and sundry as Toady) and Badger - who accompanied his mother when she was hired as Toady's nanny. Toady tries to be nice, but he's clearly not very good at sharing! But after Toady breaks something very precious to Badger, he tries to make amends - and they eventually become 'best buds'.

Though the story is a simple one, it's enriched by its beloved Wind in the Willows context and by Mary Jane Begin's glorious and detailed drawings of Toad Hall and its environs.

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