On this day in 1859, British writer Kenneth Grahame was born at 30 Castle Street in Edinburgh, Scotland. Most famous for his 1908 children's literature The Wind in the Willows (featuring the character Mr. Toad), he also wrote the short story The Reluctant Dragon.
The Wind in the Willows was popular when first released and was even praised by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. The book established Grahame's international reputation as a writer of children's books and influenced fantasy literature. In 1930 Grahame's novel saw its first successful stage adaptation as Toad of Toad Hall - written by A. A. Milne (of Winnie-the-Pooh fame)! That same year it was re-published with beautiful illustrations by E.H. Shepherd (who had also worked with Milne).
The Wind in the Willows is one-half of Disney's 1949 animated The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad and Grahame's Mr. Toad character was the inspiration for Disneyland's Mr Toad's Wild Ride attraction.
Grahame's 1898 The Reluctant Dragon (originally published as a chapter in his book Dream Days) served as the key element for Disney's 1941 feature The Reluctant Dragon.
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