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Just So Stories (Books of Wonder Classics) [Hardcover]

by Rudyard Kipling, Barry Moser
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (184 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 27, 1996 0688139574 978-0688139575 English Language 8 - 12 years 3 - 7

How did the camel get his hump? How did the leopard get his spots? How did the elephant get his trunk?

These are questions that children around the world have asked for centuries, but it took Nobel Prize winner Rudyard Kipling's lively, hilarious stories to give them answers. For one hundred years, these classic tales -- drawn from the oral storytelling traditions of India and Africa and filled with mischievously clever animals and people -- have entertained young and old alike.Intertwined within these delightful tales are little pearls of wisdom about the pitfalls of arrogance and pride and the importance of curiosity, imagination, and inventiveness. Kipling's rhythmic prose makes these tales perfect for sharing aloud with the whole family.

This deluxe edition contains all of Kiplin's unforgettable stories as well as ten stunning watercolors, along with numerous black-and-white drawings, from award-winning artist Barry Moser, bringing this timeless masterpiece brilliantly to life for a whole new generation of readers.


Frequently Bought Together

Just So Stories (Books of Wonder Classics) + The Jungle Book (Sterling Unabridged Classics)
Price for both: $29.87

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

HarperChildren's Audio continues its re-release rollout of classic backlist titles with Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories and Other Tales performed by the late British actor Boris Karloff. Just So stories include "How the Leopard Got His Spots" and "The Elephant's Child"; the "other stories" are tales from Kipling's The Jungle Book, including "Mowgli's Brothers."

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-6 Of all of the many past illustrators of Kipling's stories, only Kipling himself, in the first edition (Doubleday, 1902; o.p.), captured the Oriental tone of these stories. This ``more-than-oriental-splendour'' comes through in Salter's attractive edition. She has done a full-color, full-page illustration for each of the 12 stories, along with decorations for each title page. The illustrations are bold and stylized with a strong use of color, all set within richly patterned borders. They have a strong sense of Indian folk art, particularly in the gold, browns, wines, blues, and blacks that she uses. These are the sort of illustrations that draw readers in to study each detail. They form the framework for an attractive, well-laid-out format. This newest Just So Stories should serve as a fine introduction for another generation of Best Beloveds to this standard children's classic. Kay McPherson, Central Atlanta-Fulton Public Library
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Books of Wonder Classics
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; English Language edition (September 27, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688139574
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688139575
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (184 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #650,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
158 of 164 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly So November 6, 2000
Format:Hardcover
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" <grin>). 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.
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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming stories with a charming presentation. July 8, 2004
Format:Audio CD
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.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Politically incorrect? - your children can handle it. September 25, 2001
Format:Paperback
Kipling�s classic volume of stories concerns the great questions of history; How the Whale got his Throat, How the Camel got his Hump, How the Alphabet was Made and many other thorny dilemmas. The language is sophisticated yet often whimsical and children love to hear the words read aloud. It is tempting to scan ahead and change things, substitute more contemporary phrases for the old but, if you can, resist the urge. Kipling was a master of the language. His writing is balanced and fluid and while it may seem dated when taken piece by piece, its sum is far greater than its parts. Read The Cat that Walked by Himself and you will never look at your own pet in quite the same way again.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly there, but missing things March 20, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Being a free Kindle edition, I was expecting that the drawings and their attached descriptions would be missing. What I was not expecting was for the little poems often found in the stories to also be missing. Things like the Sloka the Parsee sings after the Rhinoceros eats his cake, that are usually block-quoted and italicized in published versions, are not included. The stories can certainly be followed without them, but as the text that IS there specifically says a little poem or song is going to be related to the reader, the gaps are quite obvious.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original text and illustrations--exactly how it should be December 31, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I had a hard time finding the original. I read the reviews of various editions closely and learned that many "Just So Stories" are not unabridged as this one is. I highly recommend this edition. The book is large and I cannot see why anyone would want to read anything but pure Kipling. My six year-old is getting a real kick out of this book. We read a few stories per week. Reading something written 100 years ago is good for us!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars No pictures
I bought the printed book instead of the Kindle version of the Just So Stories because I thought there would be pictures in the printed book (which were not included in the Kindle... Read more
Published 1 month ago by J. Chalmers
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, oh my best beloved!
With The Jungle Book, definitely belongs to the best children books ever written, and no less to the corner of adult pleasures. Read more
Published 1 month ago by medfair
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Car Stories
The only problem I have with this is the recording is very high or very low, so I feel like I'm constantly adjusting the volume. However, the storyteller is fabulous! Read more
Published 2 months ago by winstonugget
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
I had a book of these stories as a child, with wonderful color pictures, but as an adult I much prefer this tiny volume with Kipling's original drawings and captions for them. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Florence Madison
5.0 out of 5 stars Just so
These stories never get old or stale. I got this book so I could read the stories to my Grandchildren. Rudyard Kipling was a great story writer. I still enjoying reading them.
Published 3 months ago by Bwhami
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of fashion, still beloved
Purchased as gifts--five copies for five young families in my neighborhood--these are stories meant to be read aloud and then re-read when the child can do that. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Pat in Colorado
3.0 out of 5 stars A Too-Small Edition of a Great Work;
The Just So Stories are poetry masquerading as children's fiction -- beautiful to the point of tears when read aloud. This edition, however, is tiny. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Junius
5.0 out of 5 stars Kipling is a master!
These stories are entertaining for children and adults. They are worded vividly enough to keep a child entertained, and the underlying moral and philosophical meanings behind the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jennifer Boecher
1.0 out of 5 stars For Kindle, the "Illustrated" red cover with elephant seems best,...
Kindle editions vary widely. The April 2013 "Illustrated" edition with red cover with elephant's child seems well scanned, clearly laid out, has Table of Contents, and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by JDM
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite story books of all time
There are no words to describe how wonderful this book is. The illustrations are a smidge small, but, so beautiful. The words, of course, are so fun and amazing.
Published 3 months ago by Charlene Vogt
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