Just So Stories
Illustrated by the author
Originally told as bedtime stories for Kipling's daughter Josephine, Just So Stories remains a classic of children's literature. Simply and beautifully written, with an entirely believable, far from cosy vision of the joy, wonder and dangers of the natural world.
How did the elephant get its trunk, and the camel his hump, and who gave the leopard its spots? In the Just So Stories, Kipling set out to satisfy the 'satiable curtiosity' of his young readers with humour and imagination. The Elephant's Child wrestles with a crocodile on the banks of the 'great grey-green, greasy Limpopo river'; Stickly-Prickly hedgehog and Slow-and-Solid tortoise turn themselves into an armadillo to foil the predatory ambitions of Painted Jaguar; and the Ethiopian helps a Leopard to become invisible in the speckly shadows of the forest.
‘For sheer intensity of imagination, vivid realisation, comic ingenuity, intuitive understanding and uncondescending delight in the child’s point of view, [the Just So Stories] have never been and never will be surpassed’
- Daniel Karlin