How did the leopard get its spots? Why do the tides ebb and flow? How did the elephant get its trunk? And how was the alphabet made?
Rudyard Kipling’s classic collection of fables answers the great questions of animal- and humankind in a fun, eloquent and magical way – for children and adults alike. Kipling’s beautifully imaginative answers echo the animal fables he heard during his childhood in India, paired with the folk tales he collected throughout his life.
Kipling’s enjoyment in playing with language, as well as his own delight in fatherhood, makes these stories a joy to read aloud, and children will request these tales as bedtime stories again and again. However, adults will also revel in Kipling’s fanciful storytelling and gift for language, as every reading uncovers a new joke, subtext or fascinating embellishment. From the author of ‘The Jungle Book’ and ‘Kim’, ‘Just So Stories’ is the newest addition to the available canon of Kipling’s work available in the handy format of Collins Classics!
Have you ever enquired why the elephant has such an enormously elongated nose? Are you confused by a cat's contrary nature? Have you ruminated on the wrinkles of a rhinocerous? Or speculated on a leopard's spots? Rudyard Kipling wondered about all these things too, and in this marvellous collection of stories he imagines how the animals became 'just so'.
Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can find out why Just So Stories is one of Philip Pullman’s favourite books and discover wacky facts about wild animals!
Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
Mowgli loves living in the jungle with his wolf family and his friends Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther. He’s been learning the ways of the jungle ever since he was a little boy. But when the tiger Shere Khan tries to turn the pack against Mowgli, making him feel unwelcome, Mowgli realizes he may not belong here after all. But what will happen when it’s time for the boy to leave the wolf pack that raised him to go live with his people?
These stories were written when Kipling lived in Vermont. There is evidence that it was written for his daughter Josephine, who died in 1899 aged six, after a rare first edition of the book with a poignant handwritten note by the author to his young daughter was discovered at the National Trust's Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire in 2010.
The tales in the book (and also those in The Second Jungle Book which followed in 1895, and which includes five further stories about Mowgli) are fables, using animals in an anthropomorphic manner to give moral lessons. The verses of The Law of the Jungle, for example, lay down rules for the safety of individuals, families and communities. Kipling put in them nearly everything he knew or "heard or dreamed about the Indian jungle." Other readers have interpreted the work as allegories of the politics and society of the time. The best-known of them are the three stories revolving around the adventures of an abandoned "man cub" Mowgli who is raised by wolves in the Indian jungle. The most famous of the other stories are probably "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi", the story of a heroic mongoose, and "Toomai of the Elephants", the tale of a young elephant-handler. As with much of Kipling's work, each of the stories is preceded by a piece of verse, and succeeded by another.
Akela – An Indian Wolf
Bagheera – A melanistic (black) panther
Baloo— A Sloth Bear
Bandar-log – A tribe of monkeys
Chil – A kite (renamed "Rann" in US editions)
Chuchundra – A Muskrat
Darzee – A tailorbird
Father Wolf – The Father Wolf who raised Mowgli as his own cub
Grey brother – One of Mother and Father Wolf's cubs
Hathi – An Indian Elephant
Ikki – An Asiatic Brush-tailed Porcupine (mentioned only)
Kaa – Indian Python
Karait – Common Krait
Kotick – A White Seal
Mang – A Bat
Mor – An Indian Peafowl
Mowgli – Main character, the young jungle boy
Nag – A male Black cobra
Nagaina – A female King cobra, Nag's mate
Raksha – The Mother wolf who raised Mowgli as own cub
Rikki-Tikki-Tavi – An Indian Mongoose
Sea Catch – A Northern fur seal and Kotick's father
Sea Cow – A Steller's Sea Cow
Sea Vitch – A Walrus
Shere Khan— A Royal Bengal Tiger
Tabaqui – An Indian Jackal