Monday, September 17, 2012

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame for the iPad

I adore The Wind in the Willows.  My grandmother used to read it to me, so it is a mixed memory.  A warm memory of her and a lovely remembrance of the book, its characters, the setting and the time in which it was placed. 

Please see the trailer at the end of the post.

The adventures of Toad, Badger, Mole and Ratty take place along the river, which many think is the Thames, as author Kenneth Graham lived along it.

Now there is new life in the timeless story and characters, insuring the longevity of the classic.  What is it?  Have a look at The Wind in the Willows app for the iPad from Sam North, Author, Steve Dooley, Artist/Illustrator and Bobby Gilbert, Maths and Programming Magic.
I remember Toad roaring around leafy lanes in his motorcar. Today is is is now totally animated, and the reader able to steer the vehicle as it tears through the countryside. 
1338020966586Developed by creative team Bibliodome, from Chagford, in Devon, the app is suitable for adults as well as children.  Novelist Sam North adapted the tale for the app.  It was important for him to make sure the story remained true to itself.

Of the new technology, Sam North says:

I don’t think the birth of the digital age means the death of the book. The book is a perfect technology in its own right. But interactive story-telling on the iPad (and on readers like Kindle and on other tablets) will create a new and large market for itself. Children of all ages love the iPad; they have a natural hunger for the demands it makes on their intuition. However, careful attention has to be paid to the psychology of story, and the orchestration of the interactive elements. The interactive elements can, if handled badly, very quickly destroy the child’s imaginative immersion in the story.

For those who are traditionalists of the first water, here is an app vignette.  I had an email from Steve Dooley today.  He just returned from the University of Oxford where he did a presentation of the app to the Kenneth Grahame Society.  With a bit of understandable trepidation, he conducted the presentation.  At the end, the chairman of the society said:

I think I can safely say today we have seen a milestone edition of The Wind in the Willows that will introduce Kenneth Graham and the story to a whole new generation world wide.

The technology torch has been passed.


  1. That is so cool! How my kids would have loved that when they were small. It just brings a wonderful new dimension to a child's imagination. Thanks so much for sharing this Nancy.

    1. I couldn't resist reprising it! What a wonderful classic with which to begin. Actually, I'm doing an interview with one of the gentlemen in Oct. I think this is the beginning of big things for them and for others with the same mindset.

      Thanks, Susan!

  2. Hi Nancy, thanks for sharing this app. I loved the Wind in the Willows as a child and enjoyed the Disney movies, shared with my daughter. This is great stuff and will help more kids enjoy this classic.

  3. Thanks for your kind comment, Penelope. I think these people really have the right in keeping the classics relevant!