Author won Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907
Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay in India in 1865 to British parents, and brought up by a Portuguese 'ayah' (nanny) and an Indian servant, who would entertain him with fabulous stories and Indian nursery rhymes. He was sent back to England when he was seven years old, and lived in a boarding house with a couple who were cruelly strict. Fortunately he returned to India aged sixteen, to work as the assistant editor of a newspaper in Lahore. He began publishing stories and poems and eventually had great success with his book Plain Tales from the Hills. After his marriage Kipling settled in America, and it was here that he wrote The Jungle Book. He then moved with his family to England, where he wrote Just So Stories for his daughter Josephine who later tragically died of pneumonia. Rudyard Kipling was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907 and died on 18 January 1936.
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.)