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on April 11, 2008
This unabridged edition includes both Jungle Book and Jungle Book 2. The stories are a wonderful length for read alouds. The Jungle Book is, of course, a classic and not in need of a review; however, if your only exposure to the Jungle Book is Disney, please give this a try. I wanted to commend Sterling Publishers on making a quality, affordable edition of this and other classics. The paper quality was nice, not thin or translucent. The font is also pleasant--not to small or cramped. I know this may seem faint praise, but so many classics collections are very poorly executed. The price is also very agreeable--only slightly more than a paperback.
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on July 3, 2013
I love Ingpen's work with Sterling Illustrated Classics. This edition of The Jungle Book is going to be my daughter's literature book next year (3rd grade, 9 years old). This is our third volume illustrated by Ingpen. I intend to add as many of them as I can find to my kids' permanent collections.

Kipling's original jungle stories were published as serials in a magazine. They were later collected into The Jungle Book, Books 1 and 2. I have four copies of The Jungle Book, and they each have a different selection of stories in them! The Mowgli stories that most people are familiar with - from his early life until he leaves the jungle - make up most of Book 1. Each story was also published with a poem. This edition has all of the original stories from Book 1 and the accompanying poetry.

A couple commenters have called the pictures "too graphic." This is such a personal distinction that I can't really comment, other than to say that I will hand the book off to my daighter with no concern. There are plenty of drawings of Mowgli that show half or all of his naked booty. There is a picture of him tanning Shere Khan's hide. There is a picture of the Indian god Shiv. There are two scenes of animals fighting - Baloo being attacked by monkeys, and Rikki Tikki Tavi attacking a cobra. There is no gore that I noticed, nor any particularly frightening or violent images.

The books itself seems like good quality - the paper is thick, the binding is tight, the printing is crisp, and there is a sewn-in ribbon bookmark. The Wind in the Willows has held up nicely to regular, light use during school time. The two-page illustrated spreads are especially beautiful. The pictures have a very true-life feel; they aren't cartoonish at all. On the other hand, I have wondered if such so many beautifully detailed illustrations prevent the imagination from forming it's own pictures.

Overall, we love the volumes that we have so far, and we look forward to collecting more of them.
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on January 27, 2008
My favorite books from childhood have always been Milne's "The World of Pooh" and Kipling's "The Jungle Book". Over the years I have purchased many copies of each as presents. Both can be difficult to find in versions unaltered from the original. I have found this to be particularly true in the case of The Jungle Book. Some folks just don't seem to get that Kipling had a pretty good handle on what he was doing. One does not tamper with a Masterpiece.

This version is the real thing. It reads word for word the same as the tattered, 40-year-old copy that I first read when I was eight years old. Add illustrations by Robert Ingpen that faithfully capture the emotion of the story and you have a real winner. For those who appreciate The Jungle Book as it was BEFORE it was adulterated by Mr. Disney and friends, this is a very worthy effort.
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on April 8, 2009
I bought this book to read with my 9 year-old son. We have the Disney books and movies at home but since he is an avid reader and I love Rudyard Kipling I thought it was time to find him the real deal and this book is it. I like everything about it, the font type, the illustrations, and the writing is, well... Rudyard Kipling. Beautiful, rich, provocative language that unleashes a child's imagination. My son and I devoured it in a few nights and after we were done it led to a really deep discussion on the differences with the Disney's version. It was a welcomed reminder that we can understimate both our children's capacity to digest the classics and their appeal to them.
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on November 8, 2008
This is undoubtedly a beautiful book, but it should definitely be noted that it only contains the first half of Mowgli's story (i.e., through Shere Khan chapter only) - the text seems unabridged that far, but parts of both Jungle Books are missing - which I for one was misled about from other review(s).
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on February 21, 2012
I evaluated three series of abridged/paraphrased classics: Great Illustrated Classics, Stepping Stones, and Classic Starts. I specifically read Treasure Island in all three versions, but also evaluated the Jungle Book and other stories in at least two of the versions.

The Classic Starts version of the Jungle Book and other stories is the most complex in language and sentence structure. It's not as easy for a beginning reader to read as Stepping Stones or Great Illustrated Classics, but offers a much better story by virtue of more adjectives, adverbs and clauses in the sentence structure.

With these paraphrased versions, there is always the dilemma one faces: whether to wait until the genuine, original story is accessible or risk turning the reader off with a poor paraphrase that lacks the vibrancy of the real thing, but possibly gain the enjoyment of a classic gem much earlier than the original text would afford. In the case of the Jungle Book in particular, you also have the movie. I imagine it would be hard to follow the real story after the movie. I'm glad my kids will have heard Kiplings version before Disney's.

Personally, I bought the books intending to read to my kingergarten age children, rather than have them read. We found the Classic Starts to have by far the best versions of the stories, notwithstanding the originals which are just too long for us, in language that is hard to be understood. Since I am reading them aloud, we've forgone the simplest versions which are perhaps a bit too butchered to really stand out as the excellent stories the originals gained a reputation for. I feel that the Classic Starts are rich enough that they easily match original versions of simpler tales like The Little House on the Prarie or Charlotte's Web.

So far, with the children, we finished Call of the Wild, are half-way through the Jungle Book, and started Treasure Island. Then we're on to The Odyssey, Moby Dick and Tom Sawyer. Move over Pippi Longstockings and Amelia Bedelia! Previously we've read books like those of Beverly Cleary, the Little House series, Milne's Pooh, and Horrible Harry, besides hundreds of basically picture books (think Virginia Lee Burton, H. A. Rey etc.) The classics have a little bolder story lines, and these abridged series make them more accessible.
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on September 14, 2009
Legends are made from legends. Rudyard Kipling dug deep into the tales of the jungle from his years living in India, and drew from them the kinds of stories that live forever.

"The Jungle Book" is more than how Mowgli, the man cub, learns to live and survive amongst enemies like Shere Khan. The intense mongoose vs cobra "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi," also well-known, is here, as are several lesser-known and unrelated adventures.

Richly written, with details and contexts unfamiliar to Western readers, "The Jungle Book" lifts imagination and language beautifully. Poetic, and written in a literary style, it shines above most modern prose.

This is the stuff of afternoon stories read to older boys and girls. Young teens will while away rainy evenings, unwilling to part until finished. Sometimes scary and always exciting, Kipling also uses the book to teach lessons much greater than a jungle in India.

When chapters were first read to me many years ago, I listened gawk-eyed, listening intently for as long as my mother would read. I read it with different eyes now, but no less a young boy as I worry how Baloo will handle the Bandar-Log monkeys.

It isn't perfect. A few scientific details are fudged (wolf pack breeding structure, for example), but nothing that matters in the big picture. Kipling will have you in the palm of his hand, even though it was first published over 100 years ago.

May "The Jungle Book" by Rudyard Kipling be as amazing to you as it has been to me.

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I own several titles in the Calla Editions' series of books, i.e. East of the Sun and West of the Moon: Old Tales from the North (Calla Editions),Tales of Mystery and Imagination (Calla Editions),Stories from Hans Christian Andersen (Calla Editions), and The Knave of Hearts (Calla Editions). They are all of superior quality in terms of binding, paper, as well as illustrations. The book is larger than a regular hardcover, and this particular title "The Jungle Book" weighs about two pounds. This 2010 Calla edition is a republication of the edition originally published by Macmillan and Co. in 1908. The paper is of heavy stock, one can literally feel the heft of each page! The color of the paper is ivory (or something close to it), and it is bound in pearl linen. The font used is Kennerley Old Style and Michelangelo, and apart from decorative borders on the pages, the highlight of this book is the 16 color plates, some in two-page spreads by twin brother artists Edward and Maurice Detmold.

According to the information provided within the book, these illustrations are "reproduced from an extremely scarce, original portfolio of watercolors, and have never before appeared on this scale in book form." I believe it! They are truly beautiful and exquisite, and incredibly detailed, almost life-like. There is one illustration featuring an unclothed Mowgli standing alongside the Lone Wolf, and the rich earthy tones in the picture are brilliantly depicted. There's another illustration (two-page spread) titled The "Council Rock" which has a magnificent Bagheera and I swear the glint in his eye appears very real!The depiction of Kaa the Python is also stunning. These Calla Edition books are a treasure and a must-have for any collector.
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on June 5, 2013
What a pleasure to re-read Mowgli's adventures with friends and foes. Fie on those who remarked here they found the illustrations too graphic. I believe they are age appropriate for the seven-year-old who will receive this book on his birthday. I read it first to see if I thought there were any problems with the text or pictures. There are not, and I expect this edition to join other books from the Sterling Illustrated Classics I am adding to his family's library. I'm always looking for inventive and creative male protagonists in fiction for ages 5-10. These stories fit the bill.
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on October 3, 2005
Just read the previous review (about 'simplifying' the

language in Jungle Book). I am reading the ORIGINAL

text JB to my eight year old son (for over a week now),

and he's not once indicated that the language puzzles

him. He did ask me why Mowgli uses thee and thou

and wouldst while talking with the animals, but

accepted my explanation without demur.

Reminds me of the lines from an Elinor Wylie poem

"Our mutable tongue is like the sea

Curled wave and shattering thunder-fit;

Dangle in strings of sand shall he

Who smooths the ripples out of it."

Say it out loud, and feel what it does to your

mouth and face - that's what Kipling's prose

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