Book Cover
Title Just So Stories
Author Rudyard Kipling
Illustrated By Rudyard Kipling
Publisher Signet Classics - 1974
First Printing See Below
Book Cover
Title Just So Stories & The Jungle Book
Author Rudyard Kipling
Illustrated By Rudyard Kipling
Publisher Collector's Library - 2004
First Printing 1902
Category Children
Warnings None
Main Characters Many
Main Elements Anthropormorphic animals, djinns, gods, sorcerers

  • How the Whale got his Throat - 1897
  • How the Camel got his Hump - 1897
  • How the Rhinoceros got his Skin
  • How the Leopard got his Spots - 1901
  • The Elephant Child - 1900
  • The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo - 1900
  • The Beginning of the Armadillos
  • How the First Letter was Written - 1901
  • How the Alphabet was Made
  • The Crab that Played with the Sea
  • The Cat that Walked by Himself - 1902
  • The Butterfly that Stamped

Cats and kangaroos, crabs and camels, whales and jaguars, hedgehogs and leopards, magicians and little children, and many other beings are brought to life in an exotic Eastern landscape of "high and far times ago." Drawn from the wonderous tales told to Kipling as a child by his Indian nurses, Just So Stories creates the magical enchantment of the dawn of the world, when animals could talk and think like people. The laziness of the Camel, the curiosity of the Elephant Child, the cleverness of the Hedgehog, the confusion of the Painted Jaguar, and all the rest of Kipling's delightful menagerie make Just So Stories unforgettable reading for generations of "Best Beloveds" to come.

I read this collection for the first time when I was over 30 years old. What, don't look at me like that...I don't think I lived under a rock all those years, did I? Well, at least a couple of the stories I encountered in elementary school. I have particularly fond memories of how the Rhinoceros got his wrinkly skin.

These stories are of course directed to 4-8 year olds, so expect a little silliness in them, but where the silliness of The Jungle Books bothered me, these little fables were just perfect. And such inventive reasons for how the animals turned out the way they did! An absolute must for reading to your child before they go to bed.

Unfortunately in the copy I had, the illustrations came out as black blurs. Which is too bad because the half page descriptions that go with the illustrations were pretty funny and I have liked to have seen the pictures. Make sure you get a copy with clear drawings!

May 2011 - Fortunately the second copy I picked up (part of the Collector's Library series I'm collecting) has nice illustrations.

Posted: April 2010


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