The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling

For this month's literary movement challenge, I was pretty stumped.  It's Victorian month, and I've already read one Dickens and two Trollopes this year, so I was inclined to cry uncle.  My daughter suggested a children's story, which was a good idea...and then the light dawned.  Kipling!  I have read almost no Kipling!  It's doesn't get any more Victorian than that.  Said daughter was appalled to learn that I had never read The Jungle Book ("What??  I've read it three times!"), and so my choice was made.  (Don't tell, but I have also never read Just So Stories all the way through.)

The first half of the book is stories about Mowgli and will be sort of familiar to people who have seen the Disney movie, though these are a lot more serious.  Jungle inhabitants have strict laws and standards.  And this is not a novel; it's two or three short stories that do not happen in chronological order.

After that there are three other stories: one about a white seal who searches for a beach where seals won't be hunted by men, the well-known "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi," one about the secret life of elephants, and one last sort of comic story where a soldier overhears the various animals in camp discuss their duties in war.

They were pretty good stories.  I told my younger, pickier daughter that she might like them too.


  1. You've never read all the Just So Stories? You should! I love them! Some of the lesser known ones are really wonderful. The story of how the hedgehog was created is my total favorite Just So Story.

  2. OK, I will take your recommendation seriously! :)


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