119 of 124 people found the following review helpful
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.
194 of 209 people found the following review helpful
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.
59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
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.
44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
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.
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
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).
59 of 68 people found the following review helpful
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
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2013
This is a magical collection of stories by Rudyard Kipling. It is one of the greatest children's books ever written. It is not poetry in the sense that its lines scan, but its imagery is poetic and its plot has allegorical features. It contains some of the finest literary adventures to come to us from the British colonial period. Set in a jungle in India, it is an hypnotic tale that reflects some Victorian values kindred to those found in Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan novels, although in The Jungle Book all such values had to have been carefully screened as they passed through the wise and circumspect Kipling filter. Somehow they do not seem entirely strange and alien today, although they may bear traces of the British writer's experience of regimental life in India and his many travels elsewhere. The author, a friend both of Theodore Roosevelt and American history and lore, was conscious of the drift by rival European powers and the surges of continental militarism. Somehow, perhaps, he allows his values to be colored by this awareness, yet he does not miss a single beat in relating the jungle adventure. The book is unique; no writer other than Kipling could have created it. It tells the story of Mowgli, a boy raised by wolves and the other beasts of the jungle. The behavior of the wolves that accept the boy in their family is as convincing as is the story of the great apes that accept Tarzan in theirs. Kipling is revealing more than that of which he speaks. Mowgli's adventure is a wondrous story, also about the life of every youngster with imagination and the force that is the will to be within him. The author is talking to readers about how to cope with tough problems, and he acknowledges even the hidden dangers that appear from time to time while growing up. He talks about fear and courage, predator and prey. He talks about the struggle to live and to understand. He hints at the problems of being an Englishman in India. But Mowgli is a jungle boy. Sometimes, although Kipling does not say he is, he may be talking about colonial activities. He never says that he sometimes thinks of a colonialist in an occupied country. That is not the story he narrates; he tells, instead, of the threats posed by great carnivores that hunt and kill, such as the tiger, Mowgli's greatest enemy; the panther is there, and of course the wolf, the snake, birds and all the animals of the jungle. As a wolf-boy, Mowgli may not be a direct symbol for colonial power, but several famous historical power-figures were said to have been raised by wolves, including Cyrus, the founder of the ancient Persian empire (who was father of Cambyses, father of Cyrus the Great); there were others, too, such as the traditionally celebrated founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, who were believed to have been raised by wolves. Mowgli meets the challenges of the jungle's awful threats without the dangerous false pride some humans are believed to feel. The dreadful beasts that are the boy's enemies and the kindly ones who are his friends all communicate in a human language, and some of them have eccentricities that make them much too human (at least for some who apply special critical standards, of course, but the game being played in this is intended to produce an understandable if fictional account of a life that is in a dangerous and frightening process of developing). Mowgli adjusts to his world in a way that must be the equivalent of growing up and becoming civilized for people who have never been to the jungle. Mowgli survives and grows amid strange and dangerous beings and wild adventure. The plot and Mowgli's passage through terrifying events of jungle existence can be interpreted as somehow akin to what every child experiences while acculturating within mysterious and apparently dangerous surroundings. Most of us read the stories in this book as very satisfying adventures, but some more imaginative readers may view the Mowgli adventure as a tale of survival that each child faces in the process of gaining footing in a huge, dangerous world. Every child must learn to adjust to the society around him, and in Mowgli's case, that society is described as consisting of violent predators and prey animals. Like another character that thrives in some of these stories -- the mongoose Rikki-tikki-tavi -- Mowgli faces and overcomes enormous challenges. The depth of character, involving resilience and awareness, is what defines Mowgli; it grows with each moment of his adventure. This truly is one of the greatest of all children's books.