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"The Wind in the Islands" book launch is set for Wednesday, July 23rd from 5-7 pm at Cornwall Brothers Museum in Alexandria Bay.
"The Wind in the Islands" book launch is set for Wednesday, July 23rd from 5-7 pm at Cornwall Brothers Museum in Alexandria Bay.

Preview: "The Wind in the Islands" a new take on a classic children's novel

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Generations of children have roamed the English countryside in the company of Rat, Mole, Toad, and Badger -- immortal animal pals in Kenneth Grahame's classic novel, The Wind in the Willows.

A Thousand Islands artist has created a North Country version of the book. Scott Ouderkirk grew up spending summers along the St. Lawrence River and has a hobby farm and studio near Hammond.

In his new adaptation, titled The Wind in the Islands, Mole and Rat have new adventures on the St. Lawrence in the Thousand Islands, with visits to familiar landmarks and historical river residents.

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Reported by

Todd Moe
Morning Host and Producer

Story location

One of the stained glass panels Scott Ouderkirk created to accompany the book.
One of the stained glass panels Scott Ouderkirk created to accompany the book.
Ouderkirk's passions are illustrations and glass art depicting the river, wildlife and nature — and doing much as the animal characters in the book do —  as one of the phrases from the original book says, "simply messing about in boats."   

Todd Moe joined Scott Ouderkirk this week at one of the settings for The Wind in the Islands — a boathouse at Singer Castle on Dark Island. Some of the chapters in the book are set amid the castle's Clock Tower, Great Hall and hidden passageways.

Just like Grahame's original story,  Ouderkick is hoping his new version will also evoke a timeless atmosphere of friendship amid the natural world.

Singer Castle on Dark Island on the St. Lawrence River.  Some of the chapters in the book are set amid the castle's Clock Tower, Great Hall and hidden passages. Photo:  Todd Moe
Singer Castle on Dark Island on the St. Lawrence River. Some of the chapters in the book are set amid the castle's Clock Tower, Great Hall and hidden passages. Photo: Todd Moe

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