Friday, 27 May 2016

Classics: The Jungle Books

The Jungle Books
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher, Alma Books!

The adventures of Mowgli, the young man raised by wolves in the jungles of Central India, and his friends Baloo the bear, Bagheera the panther and Kaa the python, as they face the arch villain Shere Khan the tiger, have become so popular that they have achieved an almost mythical status throughout the world. They were collected by Kipling in The Jungle Book and its sequel, The Second Jungle Book, which also contain other stories set in India and prominently featuring animals, such as the well-known 'Rikki-Tikki-Tavi', which describes the struggles of a mongoose against venomous cobras. Here presented with brand-new illustrations by Ian Beck, these hugely popular tales, inspired by ancient fables and Kipling's own experiences in India, form a vivid account of the relationship between humans and nature, and will continue to inspire readers young and old.

I'm gonna straight up tell you all that the only thing I know about The Jungle Book is the Disney movie. Yep. I used to watch it as a kid, although it wasn't really my favourite. I've not actually read the book before this! The Jungle Books, being book one and book two, are made up of lots of short stories, with some interesting and adult themes to them. While it's a bit of a struggle in the beginning, the way Kipling writes about the animals and the animal behaviour is incredibly well done, he shows the savagery and the beauty. 

I liked how rich the writing was, there where songs and verses to go with the stories, giving details and context that you wouldn't otherwise know about! I really do think that this is one of those timeless classics because of the writing and the themes in the book. There's so much to enjoy in this book story-wise! It's fascinating to read and ends up hooking you in, and you can read one story here or there. 

Edition-wise, this book is very well laid out, each song or verse gets it own page, and each new story has a relevant and beautiful illustration at the top of the page, with a quote. But that's not all this edition has, this edition has a tonne of cool stuff at the back! There's notes about the text, extra material on the writer, the books and on the characters so you can get plenty more context and interesting little tidbits, and a glossary! But I think the thing young readers of this edition will enjoy most about the extra material is the quiz at the back! Let's be honest, we all love a good quiz! 

Not only are The Jungle Books full of colourful and brilliant stories to keep you entertained but this edition goes beyond that and rounds out the reading experience, while adding in some fun! 

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