We’re all doing our duty by keeping socially distant but that doesn’t mean we can’t maintain a sense of connection. That’s why we’re inviting the entire Eisenhower community to read the same book at the same time so we can share in the experience together.
We’d love for you and your families to read one of the most celebrated works of classic literature, Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. And for our younger readers, Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel.
These two books are available as ebooks and audiobooks from both Hoopla Digital and Libby/Overdive.
The Wind in the Willows
When Mole leaves his spring-cleaning and heads up into the open air, he embarks on a series of exhilarating adventures with his new friends: the laid-back Ratty, the gruff yet kindly Badger and the self-satisfied, irrepressible Mr. Toad.
Kenneth Grahame’s wonderful imagination and quiet humor have charmed children and adults alike for more than 100 years. Far from fading with time, his classic tale has attracted a growing audience in each generation.
Frog and Toad Are Friends
A classic American picture book, written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel and published in 1970, Frog and Toad Are Friends inaugurated the Frog and Toad series and taught generations of children about the importance of friendship and acceptance.
Frog and Toad Are Friends was a runner-up for the American Library Association Caldecott Medal, which recognizes each year’s best illustration in an American children’s picture book.
Get Your Library Card
If you are a resident of Norridge or Harwood Heights age 13 or older, you can instantly get an online-only library card that grants access to Eisenhower’s collection of ebooks, audiobooks, and other digital materials, including The Wind in the Willows and Frog and Toad Are Friends,
If you are a Norridge or Harwood Heights resident under the age of 13, and would like a library card, ask your parent or guardian to call 224-585-8029, email email@example.com, or use our online live chat during scheduled hours.
Starting April 10th, we will also begin offering print copies of both books in front of the library and in the Little Free Libraries at Central Baptist Village, Acacia Park Church, and Union Ridge School.
These books will be first come first served, and we’d ask that you take the books you need for your family but please leave books for your neighbors. Remember, WE ALL READ.
WE ALL READ Virtual Events and Discussions
You’re invited to join in on a series of video-chat book discussions, crafting lessons, online movie screenings, and more virtual library events that will explore these books and their lessons of friendship, family, and acceptance.
Check back as we add more virtual events.
Making Mr Badger
Monday, April 13, 12:00 PM
Visit our website for a Wind in the Willows themed, family crafting video. Follow along to make your own Mr. Badger.
Frog and Toad Kid Crafts
Tuesday, April 14
Join us on our website for Frog and Toad themed, family crafting projects throughout the day. Follow along as we make simple crafts using materials you might already have in the house.
Teen Wind in the Willows Tabletop Adventure
Saturday, April 18, 1:00 PM
Explore the world of The Wind in the Willows with a virtual role-playing adventure for teens.
Home and Family Journaling
Monday, April 20, 1:00 PM
This journaling class will have a focus on home and family, major themes in The Wind in the Willows. Join us for an online video chat to learn some great journaling prompts to get all the members of your family to begin the journaling habit.
Frog and Toad are Friends Book Discussion
Thursday, April 23, 10:00 AM
How did Frog and Toad become such good friends? By getting together to talk about books, of course. Kids and their adults can join this video chat to talk about Frog and Toad are Friends. Maybe you’ll make a new friend, too. This chat is for kids ages 7-9 with an adult.
Wind in the Willows Book Discussion
Friday, April 24, 2:00 PM
Whether you’re just reading it for the first time or it’s a favorite from childhood, The Wind in the Willows and its portrait of friendship is a comfort that shouldn’t be written off as a mere children’s book. Join us for an online video chat to share your takeaways from this tales of animal friends along an English river bank.
Make Your Own Pastoral Terrarium
Monday, April 27, 12:00 PM
Bring the natural world of Ratty, Mole, and Mr. Toad into your home.
Visit our Facebook Page for a crafting video. Follow along with your family to make your own terrarium using materials from your house and yard.
Family Movie Night
Thursday, April 30, 7:00 PM
The library may be closed but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep the movie screenings going. Join us on our Facebook Page at 7:00 PM for an online screening of a selection of animated short films for the entire family. Pop some popcorn and head over to the online theater where chatting is encouraged.
The Wind in the Willows was written more than 100 years ago so, when you’re reading together, you and your family might run into some words and terms that are no longer in common usage. So we put together a little glossary to help you sort things out.
Something rough or harsh
An utterance of good wishes
A jewel, or something small and delicate
A covered vehicle for conveying passengers or goods, a camper
A hairy leaved plant
A thicket of small trees or bushes
Enjoying oneself unrestrainedly; frolicking
A device used to scrape mud from boots before entering a home
A rope attached to the bow of a small boat used for tying up
a sudden attack of emotion or expression
Using a pole to move a boat through shallow water
The bluish-black fruit of the blackthorn, with a sharp sour taste
A cloth used for covering cuts before the invention of the Band-Aid
A small dam in a river or stream
A high-performance racing boat
The Wind in the Willows Isn’t Really a Children’s Book
“Even the title is mysterious—the word ‘willows’ never appears in the book…”
The Wind in the Willows at 100
“As a child you’re dimly aware of the darker, more complex notes of loss and longing and redemption, but those things remain at the edge of your field of vision. As an adult, those haunting notes become an inseparable part of your enjoyment…”
Frog and Toad and the Self
“Looking back now, it’s hard to think of a children’s author who better prepared young readers for growing up than Arnold Lobel…”
Lessons in Friendship from Frog and Toad
“Among lists of great literary friendships, Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad ought to sit at the top…”
Friendship in The Wind in the Willows: Timeless Lessons from a Children’s Classic
“Ultimately, The Wind in the Willows offers endearing stories and timeless truths about friendship regardless of the age of the reader…”
Arnold Lobel: An Appreciation
“With the Frog and Toad stories, Lobel looked deeper within himself, drawing on his adult preoccupations that he then tilted towards child’s concerns.”
If you’ve been participating in WE ALL READ, and enjoying our book selections, we have more that you might like to read with your family. Find more information and borrow ebooks and audiobooks on our library blog.