Just So Stories, Illustratedby Rudyard Kipling, Joseph M. Gleeson
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Classic Kipling children's stories, including HOW THE WHALE GOT HIS THROAT, HOW THE CAMEL GOT HIS HUMP, HOW THE RHINOCEROS GOT HIS SKIN, HOW THE LEOPARD GOT HIS SPOTS, THE ELEPHANT'S CHILD, THE SING-SONG OF OLD MAN KANGAROO, THE BEGINNING OF THE ARMADILLOS, HOW THE FIRST LETTER WAS WRITTEN, HOW THE ALPHABET WAS MADE, THE CRAB THAT PLAYED WITH THE SEA, THE CAT THAT WALKED BY HIMSELF, and THE BUTTERFLY THAT STAMPED. According to Wikipedia: "Joseph Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936) was an English author and poet. Born in Bombay, British India (now Mumbai), he is best known for his works The Jungle Book (1894) and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (1902), his novel, Kim (1901); his poems, including Mandalay (1890), Gunga Din (1890), If- (1910); and his many short stories, including The Man Who Would Be King (1888). He is regarded as a major "innovator in the art of the short story"; his children's books are enduring classics of children's literature; and his best works speak to a versatile and luminous narrative gift. Kipling was one of the most popular writers in English, in both prose and verse, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The author Henry James said of him: "Kipling strikes me personally as the most complete man of genius (as distinct from fine intelligence) that I have ever known." In 1907, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first English language writer to receive the prize, and to date he remains its youngest recipient. Among other honours, he was sounded out for the British Poet Laureateship and on several occasions for a knighthood, all of which he declined."
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Read an Excerpt
How The Whale
Got His Throat
In the sea, once upon a time, O my Best Beloved, there was a Whale,, and he ate fishes. He ate the starfish and the garfish, and the crab and the dab, and the plaice and the dace, and the skate and his mate, and the mackereel and the pickereel, and the really truly twirly-whirly eel. All the fishes he could find in all the sea he ate with his mouth so! Till at last there was only one small fish left in all the sea, and he was a small 'Stute Fish, and he swam a little behind the Whale's right ear, so as to be out of harm's way. Then the Whale stood up on his tail and said, I'm hungry." And the small 'Stute Fish said in a small 'stute voice, "Noble and generous Cetacean, have you ever tasted Man?"
'No, said the Whale. "What is it like?"
"Nice," said the small 'Stute Fish. "Nice but nubbly."
"Then fetch me some, said the Whale, and he made the sea froth up with his tail.
"One at a time is enough,"' said the 'Stute Fish. "If you swim to latitude Fifty North, longitude Forty West (that is Magic), you will find, sitting on a raft, in the middle of the sea, with nothing on but a pair of blue canvas breeches, a pair of suspenders (you must not forget the suspenders, Best Beloved), and a jackknife, one shipwrecked Mariner, who, it is only fair to tell you, is a man of infinite-resource-and-sagacity."
So the Whale swam and swam to latitude Fifty North, longitude Forty West, as fast as he could swim, and on a raft, in the middle of the sea, with nothing to wear except a pair of blue canvas breeches, a pair of suspenders (you mustparticularly remember the suspenders Best Beloved), and a jackknife, he found one single, solitary shipwrecked Mariner, trailing his toes in the water. (He had his Mummy's leave to paddle, or else he would never have done it) because he was a man of infinite -resource- and-sagacity.)
Then the Whale opened his mouth back and back and back till it nearly touched his tail, and he swallowed the shipwrecked Mariner, and the raft he was sitting on, and his blue canvas breeches, and the suspenders (which you must not forget), and the jackknife He swallowed them all down into his warm, dark, inside cupboards, and then he smacked his lips so, and turned round three times on his tail.
But as soon as the Mariner, who was a man of infinite -resource- and- sagacity, found himself truly inside the Whale's warm, dark, inside cupboards, he stumpedand he jumped and he thumped and he bumped, and he pranced and he danced, and he banged and he clanged, and he hit and he bit, and he leaped and he creeped, and he prowled and he howled, and he hopped and he dropped, and he cried and he sighed, and he crawled and he bawled) and he stepped and he lepped, and he danced hornpipes where he shouldn't, and the Whale felt most unhappy indeed. (Have you forgotten the suspenders?)
So he said to the 'Stute Fish, This man is very nubbly, and besides he is making me hiccough. What shall I do? "
"Tell him to come out," said the 'Stute Fish.
So the Whale called down his own throat to the shipwrecked Mariner, "Come out and behave yourself. I've got the hiccoughs."
"Nay, nay!" said the Mariner. "Not so, but far otherwise. Take me to my natal-shore and the white-cliffs-of-Albion, and I'll think about it." And he began to dance more than ever.
"You had better take him home," said the 'Stute Fish to the Whale. "I ought to have warned you that he is a man of infinite-resource-and-sagacity."
So the Whale swam and swam and swam, with both flippers and his tail, as hard as he could for the hiccoughs; and at last he saw the Mariner's natal-shore and the white - cliffs - of-Albion, and he rushed halfway up the beach, and opened his mouth wide and wide and wide, and said, "Change here for Winchester, Ashuelot, Nashua,) Keene.) and stations on the Fitchburg Road"; and just as he said "Fitch" the Mariner walked out of his mouth. But while the Whale had been swimming, the Mariner, who was indeed a person of infinite-resource- and- sagacity, had taken his jackknife and cut up the raft into a little square grating all running crisscross, and he had tied it firm with his suspenders (now you know why you were not to forget the suspenders!), and he dragged that grating good and tight into the Whale's throat, and there it stuck! Then he recited the following Sloka, which, as you have not heard it, I will now proceed to relate
By means of a grating I have stopped your ating.
For the Mariner he was also an Hi-ber-ni-an. And he stepped out on the shingle, and went home to his Mother, who had given him leave to trail his toes in the water; and he married and lived happily ever afterward. So did the Whale. But from that day on, the grating in his throat, which he could neither cough up nor swallow down, prevented him eating anything except very, very small fish; and that is the reason why whales nowadays never eat men or boys or little girls.
The small 'Stute Fish went and hid himself in the mud under the Doorsills of the Equator. He was afraid that the Whale might be angry with him.
The Sailor took the jackknife home. He was wearing the blue canvas breeches when he walked out on the shingle. The suspenders were left behind, you see, to tie the grating with; and that is the end of that tale.
Meet the Author
Rudyard Kipling (18651936) is best known for Barrack-room Ballads, The Jungle Book, and Kim. Just So Stories were written for his children and are addressed to his six-year-old daughter Josephine, his "best beloved," who died of pneumonia in 1899. Philip Pullman is best known as the author of the His Dark Materials trilogy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I love these stories. I've loved their subtle rhythm and magnificent, genius wording ever since I was a child. Now, my children get the chance to enjoy them read aloud as well, and even in doctor's offices, in stores, anywhere my portable nook goes. Love it! Our favorites: The cat who walked by himself, the Elephant's child, and especially How the camel got his hump. To see Kipling's genius at work, and yet also be able to enjoy what you are reading to your children is a priceless gift. This edition seems whole, and, in the most part, without glaring errors, although the brief poems at the ending of chapters are a bit difficult to read with the stanzas edited oddly.
I had watched a video with one of my granddaughters and it was precious...about how the elephant got his trunk, etc. In this book, there are some very adult stories at the end that I thought very, very inappropriate - I disliked them!! I was very disappointed and will exchange it for credit to a used book store..(I will be a little embarrassed , too!).I do not recommend this book for children and only for parents who wish to read some very strange stories by Kipling.