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Just So Stories

Rudyard Kipling

Book Overview: 

The Just So Stories for Little Children, were written by British author Rudyard Kipling. They are a collection of fantastic stories, typically about how various animals came to be the way they are today.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Baviaan didn't mean spots in South Africa. He meant spots on your skin.'

'What's the use of that?' said the Leopard.

'Think of Giraffe,' said the Ethiopian. 'Or if you prefer stripes, think of Zebra. They[55] find their spots and stripes give them perfect satisfaction.'

'Umm,' said the Leopard. 'I wouldn't look like Zebra—not for ever so.'

'Well, make up your mind,' said the Ethiopian, 'because I'd hate to go hunting without you, but I must if you insist on looking like a sun-flower against a tarred fence.'

'I'll take spots, then,' said the Leopard; 'but don't make 'em too vulgar-big. I wouldn't look like Giraffe—not for ever so.'

'I'll make 'em with the tips of my fingers,' said the Ethiopian. 'There's plenty of black left on my skin still. Stand over!'

Then the Ethiopian put his five fingers close together (there was plenty of black left on his new skin still) and pressed them all over th. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories, originally published in 1902, are perennial favourites, and can be read by adults and children alike. They are known as "pourquoi" stories; in this case fantasies about the origin of individual wild animals who live in different countries. The seed of the idea l...more

Queste storie sono proprio così, inutile domandarsi il perché di questo o quello, è questione di autorevolezza del narratore, la stessa inossidabile autorevolezza di cui si serve il genitore quando, nel raccontare alla figlioletta la favola più incredibile spacciandola per realmente accaduta, ass...more

These stories were funny, imaginative, and well written. I have read several reviews that talk about Kipling being Imperialistic, condescending, and a host of other distasteful names. But here's the deal...he wrote these tales in different times and they were written for his children. I think suc...more

While I didn't love all the messages of these stories, on the whole there were delightful. I loved the illustrations and their explanations and how every story ended with a poem. The writing style was so much fun and is amazing to read aloud. This was such a pleasant surprise!

The book that made me fall in love with storytelling. I still have my mother's hardbound edition, with marvelous color plates, published in the 20s. Kipling may have been a romantic apologist for the British Empire, but the man knew how to weave a spell in children's stories, and he can be quite...more

This was an adorably sweet collection of stories, aimed at younger readers and all centring around the themes of animals. Whilst not scientifically correct in the least, this offered the reader a series of fun anecdotes about how various different animals got their defining features, such as a le...more

OK, he's a racist blackguard, but Kipling does write beautifully. This was his first book I read in the original and I loved every bit of it - the stories and the pictures. Since I was too young to understand the latent racism (and there's so much of it in here, apparently) when I read it, and I...more

Loved all the stories, but my personal favorite was about Elephant's Child. Sometimes 'satiable curiosity doesn't kill you; it gets you a very practical appendage with which you can spank your bossy Relatives and hove them into a wasp's nest. And let's face it, O Best Beloved, we've all had that...more

All these tales are like Aesop's fables about how various animals got their characteristic features. They are beautiful short tales - most likely derived from folk legends that Kipling heard during his time in Africa and India - but still full of humour and subtle wisdom. Unlike Kim, his pro-empi...more

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