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Paperback Just So Stories Book

ISBN: 1466402962

ISBN13: 9781466402966

Just So Stories

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

The graceful prose and pungent humor of these 12 tall tales (which include such favorites as How the Camel Got His Hump and The Elephant's Child) place them in the same league with such children's classics as Winnie the Pooh and Alice in Wonderland. Kipling's verbal dexterity remains audible over time--even the openings of his fantastic fictions hark to a golden age of storytelling.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A classic narration of a classic book

This rendition of Just So Stories is a favorite of my entire family. Boris Karloff is a superb narrator- his voice is elegant, rich, and expressive. He has just the right tone of comic seriousness that emphasizes the ironies of the text. My four children from age 5 to 17 all rate this version a must-have and have large segments of it memorized from listening to it continually. The whole family loves it!

Charming stories with a charming presentation.

I recently purchased this set on cd with a gift certificate for my young daughter. The price tag may have put me off at any other time, but since I was getting it with a certificate, I went for it. I read these stories cover to cover repeatedly as a little girl and took great delight in the hilarity of the answers to such questions as "how did the leopard get his spots?" or "how did the camel get his hump?" Kipling's stories are marvelously nonsensical - which makes them fit for a child's world. However, it was not until hearing them read aloud on this very set that I realized his rhyme and use of repetitive words or phrases is very similar to our modern master of children's literature: Dr. Seuss. It would not surprise me to find that Seuss took his inspiration from the works of Kipling. This is not striking to a reader, but as you listen to his words brought to life by the human voice it is hard to miss. Geoffrey Palmer, of As Time Goes By, is one of my favorite actors. His voice and interpretation of these beautiful stories enhances the experience so much that I was laughing out loud listening to him in my car. His dry sense of humor is felt in his characterizations of the cast and the lulling of his voice lends a calming, gentle, and sophisticated quality to the text. I now can simply not imagine these stories being read by anybody else. Finally, the classical musical selection is superb and adds an intelligent whimsiness to the piece. I would highly recommend this set as a lovely gift for any child you find "tenacious and full of segacity". What a delightful alternative to the screech of today's cartoons and children's "pop" albums full of Britney Spears remakes.

A Humorous Look at How Strengths Emerge from Weaknesses!

Let me make it clear that I am reviewing the Signet Classics version of Just So Stories. The reason I say that is because the original versions of these stories contain material that would be offensive to most people today, but the worst of that has been removed from this edition. The other advantage of this version is that it contains Kipling's own illustrations and his captions for those illustrations. Finally, this version is also very inexpensive. These stories were told to Kipling in their original form when he was a child by his Indian nursemaids. They are drawn from many non-Western sources, and provide good contrasts with European fairy tales. In most cases, the stories are about animals or early human beings and their development into their modern form or capabilities. But they are really satires on human weaknesses, with the moral showing how overcoming a weakness will usually create a strength. Here are the stories and their morals:How the Whale Got His Throat -- If you get too greedy, you will bite off more than you can chew. By taking on less at a time, you can absorb more in total.How the Camel Got His Hump -- If you are lazy and procrastinate, you will just have to do without in the future and be less attractive in order to make up for it. Having resources for times of scarcity is always helpful. How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin -- Being too aggressive will cause you to experience retribution from those you harm. With more flexibility, you can be more agile.How the Leopard Got His Spots -- You have a better chance of success if you blend in, rather than trying to stand out individually too much.The Elephant's Child -- If you are too nosy, you can get into mischief. Having a keen nose can help you sniff out and execute more opportunities.The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo -- Be careful what you wish for, you may get it. Being boundless gives you the chance to explore more. The Beginning of the Armadillo -- Versatility is more valuable than knowing just one way to handle a situation.How the First Letter Was Written -- Miscommunication is easier to accomplish than correct communication. Double-check to be sure the message is understood.How the Alphabet Was Made -- Choose combinations of communication that are unambiguous, or you will find yourself confusing everyone. This story is a brilliant essay on how one might go about inventing written language.The Crab that Played with the Sea -- Consider the consequences of your actions before you act, or you may see the actions rebound against you.The Cat that Walked by Himself -- The benefits of helping others greatly improve one's own life.The Butterfly that Stamped -- Actions taken for the right reason have just consequences while actions taken for pride tend to boomerang against us.Each story contains a prose tale, followed by a brief poem. The illustrations are explained in the caption at the end. The style of the stories includes lots of funny repetition, especially in

Son, son, said the mother Jaguar, graciously waving her tail

One of my favorite memories of my youth is that of my grandfather sitting down to read to me from this book. The timeless stories mix hilarity with common sense; their life lessons appeal to all ages. My all-time favorite is the Armadillo story, from which I can still quote directly. You and your children will benefit from and find much delight in these wonderful stories. Buy this book, Best Beloved - you'll be glad you did.

Exactly So

Kipling's JUST SO STORIES certainly rank in English-speaking children's literature right along with A. A. Milne's WINNIE THE POOH and Kenneth Grahame's WIND IN THE WILLOWS. They are fun to read to children 4-8, and even MORE fun for them to read for themselves at ages 7-11 (they're marvelous vocabulary builders --"the mariner of infinite resource and sagacity" ). My English-raised mother heard the stories when they were new and read them to me when I was a child, I read them to my own children, they read them to theirs, and I believe that same cycle has been repeated among millions of families since the stories appeared at the beginning of the 20th century.It is my impression that today the JUST SO STORIES do not enjoy the popularity with children (and parents) that they once had. That may be because they are occasionally "politically incorrect" in their depiction of historical attitudes regarding race and culture. Joel Chandler Harris's UNCLE REMUS stories and even Mark Twain's HUCKLEBERRY FINN are sometimes removed from local library shelves on the same basis. In this reviewer's view, inattention to the works of Kipling and Harris and Twain deprives English-speaking children of some appreciation of the culture and civilization in which they live today. Worse yet, it deprives them of the fun of reading FOR fun.Rudyard Kipling, referred to by one reviewer here as "not a very good writer" was the first English writer to win the Nobel Prize (not the Pulitzer) for literature, in 1907. He was staunchly pro-Empire in an era in which Great Britain not only ruled the waves, but a third of the globe -- the sun never set, it was said, on the British Empire, of which he sang in hundreds of poems and short stories and novels which also deserve reading today.But imperial/colonialist notes are hard to hear in the JUST SO STORIES, which Kipling wrote for the amusement of a young niece. The stories are meant for FUN, and all children deserve to have some. Get this book; read it yourself if you haven't already -- and then read it to the youngsters for whom Kipling intended it.
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