The adventures of Mowgli, the young man raised by wolves in the jungles of Central India, and his friends Baloo the bear, Bagheera the panther and Kaa the python, as they face the arch villain Shere Khan the tiger, have become so popular that they have achieved an almost mythical status throughout the world. They were collected by Kipling in The Jungle Book and its sequel, The Second Jungle Book, which also contain other stories set in India which prominently feature animals, such as the well-known ‘Rikki-Tikki-Tavi’, which describes the struggles of a mongoose against venomous cobras.
Here presented with brand-new illustrations by Ian Beck, these hugely popular tales, inspired by ancient fables and Kipling’s own experiences in India, form a vivid account of the relationship between humans and nature, and will continue to inspire readers young and old.
Here are my thoughts..
It's always a treat when a lovely book like The Jungle Books pops through the letterbox, which then takes me, instantly, back to when I was a child. Back to days of endless sunshine, summer holidays stretching before me and the possibility of sitting in the long grass with a book and a chocolate biscuit. I read The Jungle Books when I was about eleven or twelve, but before that I had often listened to the some of the stories read to me by my mother, or by my teacher at school and I loved the stories so much, that when I was able to buy my own copy, I did.
Of course, we've all seen the Walt Disney version of The Jungle Book which is based on Rudyard Kipling's First and Second Jungle Books and yet, inside, the story is so much more. There are tales of great adventure and derring-do, stories that remind us to be kind to one another and stories which make you smile and which also make you ask questions.
The Jungle Books were first published in 1894, and have been reissued many times. This new version by Alma Classics is an easy to read paperback, which, contains the first jungle book and also its sequel, which, together with beautifully simple drawings, is a real joy to read. From the very the beginning Kipling's rich prose and poetry draws you into the heat of the jungle, to the danger lurking in corners, and to all the myriad sights, sounds,colours and legends of this amazing landscape.
I especially liked the extra material for young readers which goes into some detail about the author, the books and the characters, along with a wonderful informative glossary.
Best Read With...A bottle of ice cold, fizzy lemonade and a Blue Riband biscuit...
About the Author
About the Illustrator
Ian Beck is an author and illustrator known for his beautifully illustrated books which include his young fiction series, 'Tom Trueheart' (translated into over seventeen languages), and numerous picture books including The Teddy Robber and Lost in the Snow. He has also collaborated with authors including Bertie Doherty and Philip Pullman on classic fairytales retellings and continues to write and illustrate picture books and titles for young readers.
My thanks to Alma Books for my copy of The Jungle Books