The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame is a much-loved classic, and still funny. It’s very British, and warm and cosy, but it contains a very grown up sense of the natural order of things. It’s this edge of darkness and reality that sets it apart from the whimsy of Winnie the Pooh (possibly its closest relation in the pantheon of classic literature).
Mr Toad remains one of the greatest creations in children’s books, and the bleak wintry settings and stirring rout of Toad Hall are set-pieces matched by none – as are the original’s E H Shepard illustrations. There are some lovely new (-ish) illustrated editions available, especially this by David Roberts.