Return to the Willows - Jacqueline Kelly, Clint Young

Modern sequels to beloved classics are a tricky thing.  Sometimes they're really well done (Wishing for Tomorrow: The Sequel to A Little Princess) and sometimes they make me want to hurl the book across the room (The Beekeeper's Apprentice). 


Thankfully, this one was really quite well done which didn't surprise me all that much as this same author wrote the remarkable debut novel The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate.  We know the lady can write, but could she capture the essence of one of of the most beloved of all children's novels? 


Yes, mostly.  I think she gets the characters just about right.  Toad's sojourn to Cambridge and the resulting disaster was absolutely hysterical.  The overall tone is a bit lighter and sillier feeling than the first, but that's not entirely a bad thing.  I thought the story was very fun and I'm firmly in the camp of loving the footnotes, but I could see how they could be annoying.  I didn't love the addition of Matilda Rat.  It feels a bit out of character for Ratty to have a love interest and, what's more, she really seems more like a plot device than a fully fleshed out character. 


Overall, a very fun read for anyone who don't feel they can ever get quite enough of 'messing about in boats'.