Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows has been brought back to life and will feature illustrations by EMLA client, Clint Young. The continuing story of Toad, Mole, Ratty, and Badger returns in the tentatively titled The Willows Redux, written by Jacqueline Kelly, whose 2009 debut, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, was a Newbery Honor book. The Willows Redux will be published by Holt Books for Young Readers and edited by Laura Godwin, vice president and publisher of the imprint. The novel is schedule for a fall 2012 release to coincide with a film adaptation of The Wind in the Willows to be directed by Ray Griggs from RG Entertainment.
Publishers Weekly just ran a fantastic article on the sequel interviewing both Kelly and Young:
What especially caught Kelly’s attention was Young’s drawing of Toast, a pig character who is the star of his debut picture book, The Wish Collector, which is under contract with Feiwel and Friends but does not yet have a pub date. “Clint has a lovely kind of naturalistic art, and this little pig character has a spark of life and humor to it that I just loved—and wanted for my characters,” the author says.
“For anyone who is an illustrator, of course this was like the golden cup,” says Young of Kelly’s request that he illustrate The Willows Redux. The artist jumped at the chance to create new renditions of Grahame’s animal characters, which were originally portrayed by Ernest H. Shepard. “I looked closely at what Shepard had done, and put a modern-day twist on it,” he says. “I’m a big fan of The Wind in the Willows and of the anthropomorphic style of those illustrations, so it was easy to slide into that setting and try to capture everything that Jackie has put into her fantastic story. It’s been a real treat.”
Congratulations to both Clint and Jacqueline!