I read The Wind in the Willows when I was a kid (probably somewhere between fourth and sixth grade; I honestly don't remember for sure). I remember liking it a lot, but I haven't picked it up since then. It's a good thing I did now, because every school year, I get the urge to use it as a read-aloud for my fourth graders. Having reread it now, I think it would be a bit beyond them. The vocabulary is not all that common for today's fourth grader, and there are some quite convoluted sentences that would be difficult to follow when read aloud.
For myself, though, I enjoyed the story as much as ever. All I really remember from my childhood reading of it was Mr. Toad and his motor car, but the book holds many more delights than that! I think my favorite part this time around was the night that Rat and Mole revisited Mole's home. Rat was such a good friend, cleaning up and getting supper in order to cheer Mole up. And I loved the field mice, all bundled up in scarves and singing Christmas carols.
I also found the chapter where Mole and Rat find Otter's son to be very intriguing. It turns out they found Portly with the god Pan, but I think the descriptions fit better for a God-experience, than a god-experience. Take this, for example, "Then suddenly the Mole felt a great Awe fall upon him, an awe that turned his muscles to water, bowed his head, and rooted his feet to the ground. It was no panic terror - indeed he felt wonderfully at peace and happy - but it was an awe that smote and held him and, without seeing, he knew it could only mean that some august Presence was very, very near" (p. 154, at least in my e-book edition). Doesn't that sound like God is near? Wouldn't Moses have experienced something similar as he approached the burning bush? I begin to wonder what Kenneth Grahame's views on religion and God were. . .
All in all, there is much to love in this story. If you haven't read The Wind in the Willows before, or if it's been a long time, reread it with the eye of a child and the mind of an adult. You might be surprised at what you find.