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Just So Stories

These witty stories were originally told by Rudyard Kipling to his own children. In them he gives fanciful accounts of how and why things came to be as they are. Generations of children have delighted to learn how the Leopard got his spots, how the Elephant's Child on the banks of the great grey-green Limpopo acquired his trunk with the help of the Crocodile, and the beginning of the Armadillos. Beautifully illustrated in black-and-white by the author, these delightful tales will hold the reader and listener spellbound.
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Author won Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907


Gr 3-6 Of all of the many past illustrators of Kipling's stories, only Kipling himself, in the first edition (Doubleday, 1902; o.p.), captured the Oriental tone of these stories. This ``more-than-oriental-splendour'' comes through in Salter's attractive edition. She has done a full-color, full-page illustration for each of the 12 stories, along with decorations for each title page. The illustrations are bold and stylized with a strong use of color, all set within richly patterned borders. They have a strong sense of Indian folk art, particularly in the gold, browns, wines, blues, and blacks that she uses. These are the sort of illustrations that draw readers in to study each detail. They form the framework for an attractive, well-laid-out format. This newest Just So Stories should serve as a fine introduction for another generation of Best Beloveds to this standard children's classic. Kay McPherson, Central Atlanta-Fulton Public Library

The graceful prose and pungent humor of these 12 tall tales (which include such favorites as ``How the Camel Got His Hump'' and ``The Elephant's Child'') place them in the same league with such children's classics as Winnie the Pooh and Alice in Wonderland. Kipling's verbal dexterity remains audible over time--even the openings of his fantastic fictions hark to a golden age of storytelling. Frampton's elegant, elaborately detailed woodcuts are attractive embellishments to this hefty 122-page collection. Stylistically, however, they are perhaps more suited to the tastes of adults than children, as they are neither as colorful nor as playful as the stories. They do not reach out and hook the audience in the distinctive, visually arresting manner needed to keep pace with this eminent author's topsy-turvy logic. Ages 8-12. (Oct.)

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