The work of a master storyteller, Kipling's tales are amongst the most inventive of all children's literature. With exquisite paintings and pen-and-ink illustrations by Niroot Puttapipat, this is the definitive collector's edition.
Edition limited to 1,000 copies
Introduction by Michael Morpurgo
Vellum quarter-binding blocked in 22-carat gold with vellum tips
and paper sides blocked in four metallic foils
14 illustrations, numerous borders and tailpieces, and pictorial endpapers by Niroot Puttapipat
Gilded top edge
Printed on Cordier Wove paper
Presented in a cloth-bound solander box
Book size: 13" x 9¾"
A spectacular limited edition of Rudyard Kipling's celebrated fables
‘Hear and attend and listen; for this befell and behappened and became and was, O my Best Beloved’ The Cat that Walked by Himself
Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories are among the most inventive and original of all children’s fiction. Posing ingenious explanations of how animals acquired their characteristics and revelling in exuberant wordplay, they are the work of a master storyteller. Kipling began inventing stories about how leopards got their spots and camels their humps to entertain his children – in particular his eldest daughter, Josephine, who died in 1899 aged six. When he wrote down the stories for publication in 1902, he remembered her with the phrase ‘Best Beloved’.
This special limited edition includes all 12 iconic tales, as well as ‘The Tabu Tale’, whose excitable heroine, Taffy, is based on Josephine. In ‘The Beginning of the Armadilloes’, an unlikely alliance between a hedgehog and a tortoise leads to a new species. The Elephant’s Child, full of ‘’satiable curtiosity’, travels to the ‘great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River’ to find out what the Crocodile eats for dinner, and inadvertently returns home with a useful extension to his nose. In the course of these delightful fables,Kipling accommodates magic, God and natural selection – from the ‘Eldest Magician’ who got the Earth ready, to the Leopard who changes his fur to hide in the forest full of ‘patchy-blatchy shadows’.
Introduced by Michael Morpurgo
‘Without this book it is unlikely that I would ever have become a reader, let alone a story-maker myself’
Former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo has written a playful and deeply affectionate introduction. He describes vivid memories of his mother - a RADA trained actress - performing the stories: ‘Kipling and my mother, between them, could make words laugh off the page.’ Indeed, few words swoop and dive and trip off the tongue as Kipling’s do. His stories abound with droll turns of phrase and sing-song repetitions, from the man who lived ‘cavily in a Cave’ to the ‘Superior Comestible’ that ‘smelt most sentimental’.
Though the Just So Stories were first published during the golden age of children's book illustration, no edition has attempted to illuminate Kipling's prose in the rich illustrative style that thrived in his day. For this edition, The Folio Society approached Niroot Puttapipat - a contemporary artist working in the tradition of great golden-age artists such as Edmund Dulac. He has created 14 exquisite paintings, which have been printed with gold borders and tipped in as colour plates. They are complemented by pictorial endpapers, and nine pen-and-ink tailpieces depicting the animals.
'I hope that the illustrations for Just So Stories will be my best work so far - partly because I enjoy the stories very much, but also because I feel that I've developed as an artist since the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám' Niroot Puttapipat
Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936)
Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay in 1865. He began writing poems and stories as a teenager. In 1892 he married Carrie Balestier, and it was at her family home in Vermont that he began to write Captains Courageous and The Jungle Book. They moved to England in 1896. Eleven years later, Kipling became the youngest, and the first English, writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He died in 1936 and was buried in Poets’ Corner, Westminster Abbey.
"Incredible. Worth every penny. I bought this for my toddler so he may start a collection of wonderful books to pass on to his future children. The stories are classic, and perfect for children's cu..." [read more]
"Incredible. Worth every penny. I bought this for my toddler so he may start a collection of wonderful books to pass on to his future children. The stories are classic, and perfect for children's curiosity and never ending questions. The quality of the book, from binding to paper selection, is literally breathtaking. The illustrations are remarkable in every way. They perfectly complement the stories, and the colors jump from the pages. The original, signed etching alone is worth the price of this book. I would buy every limited edition if similar types of exclusive, original material were included." [hide full review]
Review by AliceF10 on 30th Jul 2013
"I write this following my review of the 'Gulliver' created by the Folio Society in series with its predecessors. Once again I was delighted to unpack the book and browse the pages. The words of course..." [read more]
"I write this following my review of the 'Gulliver' created by the Folio Society in series with its predecessors. Once again I was delighted to unpack the book and browse the pages. The words of course, as to so many readers, are so well known yet feel newer in some way, probably owing to the choice of font and format. The illustrations are a delight and compare, and in some cases surpass, those in earlier illustrated editions. Having now three books side by side on my shelves, does leave me with one question. Why aren't the solander boxes made to match as the books are? I may have to ask that of the Folio Society though." [hide full review]
Review by nopicasso on 13th Mar 2013
"What can one say about a book that will be a family heirloom? The limited edition signed engraving alone is beautiful but when you add in the tipped in artwork and exquisite binding it brings a thrill..." [read more]
"What can one say about a book that will be a family heirloom? The limited edition signed engraving alone is beautiful but when you add in the tipped in artwork and exquisite binding it brings a thrill to any bibliophile. The amount of gilding and quality of leather work is exceptional. One would expect the solander box would be sufficient to protect the book in transit but it is beautifully wrapped and boxed which only intensifies the anticipation when opening the packge. " [hide full review]