Although Kenneth Grahame published The Wind in the Willows in 1908, it was not until 1931 that his publisher, Methuen, suggested commissioning E.H. Shepard to illustrate the book. Grahame had never been satisfied with previous attempts to capture the spirit of the animals and their world, but he had appreciated Shepard’s drawings for his books The Golden Age and Dream Days, and Shepard came further recommended by A. A. Milne, for whom Shepard had illustrated children’s books, including Winnie-the-Pooh, and who had adapted The Wind in the Willows for the stage.
The Shepard illustrations became an immediate classic – Kenneth Grahame’s response on being shown the drawings was, “I’m glad you’ve made them real.” The Wind in the Willows with the iconic Shepard illustrations has been in print and a staple of nurseries, schoolrooms, children’s bedrooms – and adult bookshelves – ever since.
The site is the official showcase for the original E.H. Shepard illustrations from The Wind in the Willows, including its four most famous characters: Toad, Mole, Ratty and Badger