David Petersen found great acclaim in comics as the creator of Mouse Guard, a series about intelligent mice living in a medieval society. His latest project is neither a comic nor his own creation, but it's obviously a labor of love directed toward one of Mouse Guard's obvious influences. Petersen has spent three years creating beautiful illustrations for The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame's 1908 novel about anthropomorphic animals living in the English countryside, and now IDW is publishing a hardback edition of the novel with Petersen's illustrations.

The Wind in the Willows, for those who don't know, is the story of Mole, a pleasant fellow who's only just learning to be social, and his new friend Rat, who introduces him to the other animals in the surrounding area. The book's most popular character is Mr. Toad, an impulsive aristocrat who obsesses over expensive new fads. There's also a wise but solitary Badger, a bunch of villainous weasels, and the Greek god Pan, who makes a surprise cameo along the way.

The Wind and the Willows features 20 full-color illustrations and 50 pen and ink illustrations by David Petersen. Check out some of those illustrations, as well as the first few pages of the novel, below.

 

Art by David Peterson
Art by David Peterson
Art by David Peterson
Art by David Peterson
Art by David Peterson
Art by David Peterson

Here's the official word from IDW:

The Wind in the Willows (Illustrated by David Petersen)

Kenneth Grahame (w) • David Petersen (a & c)

Experience the timeless story of Toad, Rat, Mole, and Badger in a beautiful new unabridged, hardcover designed and illustrated by New York Times Bestselling author and Eisner Award-winning creator David Petersen (Mouse Guard). Painstakingly illustrated over 3 years, this exquisite and lavish edition features both color and pen and ink illustrations throughout.

Begun as a series of letters from Kenneth Grahame to his son, The Wind in the Willows is a timeless tale of animal cunning and human camaraderie. Since its first publication in 1908, generations of adults and children have cherished this world of gurgling rivers and whispering reeds, serving as home to the most lovable creatures in all literature—Rat, Mole, Badger, and the irrepressible Toad of Toad Hall; with his goggles, overcoat and love of fast cars. Follow these little adventurers through gypsy caravans, stolen sports cars, and their Wild Wood.

HC • FC • $24.99 • 256 pages • ISBN: 978-1-63140-343-9