Just So Stories

Just So Stories

3.8 99
by Rudyard Kipling, Safaya Salter
     
 

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How did the camel get his hump? How did the leopard get his spots? How did the elephant get his trunk?

These are questions that children around the world have asked for centuries, but it took Nobel Prize winner Rudyard Kipling's lively, hilarious stories to give them answers. For one hundred years, these classic tales — drawn from the oral storytelling

Overview

How did the camel get his hump? How did the leopard get his spots? How did the elephant get his trunk?

These are questions that children around the world have asked for centuries, but it took Nobel Prize winner Rudyard Kipling's lively, hilarious stories to give them answers. For one hundred years, these classic tales — drawn from the oral storytelling traditions of India and Africa and filled with mischievously clever animals and people — have entertained young and old alike. Intertwined within these delightful tales are little pearls of wisdom about the pitfalls of arrogance and pride and the importance of curiosity, imagination, and inventiveness. Kipling's rhythmic prose makes these tales perfect for sharing aloud with the whole family.

This deluxe edition contains all of Kiplin's unforgettable stories as well as ten stunning watercolors, along with numerous black-and-white drawings, from award-winning artist Barry Moser, bringing this timeless masterpiece brilliantly to life for a whole new generation of readers.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
I spent an enjoyable evening rereading Kipling's marvelous creation stories. His hungry whale and imperious butterfly came to life again, while "How the First Letter Was Written" and "How the Alphabet Was Made" reiterated the joys of discovery. Barry Moser's illustrations are very fine, with just the right touch of humor and slyness-particularly his disdainfully "humphing" camel. The only thing missing was an eager audience. These stories cry out to be read aloud, as Kipling himself once did for his own children.
Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
Kipling loved the pourquoi tale and conjured up all sorts of preposterous explanations for the whims of nature. This is not a retelling, but a volume of Kipling's stories-classic because children and adults can appreciate them in their original and delightful language. These are his simple, reasonable interpretations of how the leopard got his spots, how armadillos came to be and how the camel got his hump. Pourquoi tales can qualify as fables if there is a lesson to be learned and a moral to the story. All Kipling's tales are laced with bits of Indian culture and studies of human behavior told with his genius for energetic, rhythmic language. The dynamic woodcuts, full of bright contrasts, decorate each tale.
School Library Journal
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
Carolyn Phelan
Of all the editions of Kipling's stories available, this is surely one of the most splendid. Each page carries either text with a narrow, vertical border of painted geometric figures on the outer edge or a full-page illustration within a wide, richly patterned frame in related jewel-bright hues. The richness of colors in the paintings is heightened by the use of gold throughout the artwork. Handsomely designed and beautifully illustrated, this is a book that children will treasure for its opulent look as well as its opulent language.
From the Publisher

"Just So Stories was the first book I ever truly loved."  —Michael Morpurgo, author, War Horse

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805004397
Publisher:
Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
11/01/1987
Series:
Facsimile Classics Series
Edition description:
1st American ed
Pages:
96
Age Range:
7 - 9 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

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

Joseph Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was born in India, although educated in England. He was a prolific writer and recognized as a genius. In 1907 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. His many books for children include The Jungle Book and Kim.

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Just So Stories 3.8 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 99 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I grew up with my Mom reading the Just So Stories to me. They were clever and I enjoyed them thoroughly. I don't think I can ever forget the way my Mom used to read The Elephant's Child to me. She'd would always use funny voices. I highly recommend this book. I garantee full enjoyment for the whole family!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Let me make it clear that I am reviewing the Signet Classics version of Just So Stories. The reason I say that is because the original versions of these stories contain material that would be offensive to most people today, but the worst of that has been removed from this edition. The other advantage of this version is that it contains Kipling's own illustrations and his captions for those illustrations. Finally, this version is also very inexpensive. These stories were told to Kipling in their original form when he was a child by his Indian nursemaids. They are drawn from many non-Western sources, and provide good contrasts with European fairy tales. In most cases, the stories are about animals or early human beings and their development into their modern form or capabilities. But they are really satires on human weaknesses, with the moral showing how overcoming a weakness will usually create a strength. Here are the stories and their morals: How the Whale Got His Throat -- If you get too greedy, you will bite off more than you can chew. By taking on less at a time, you can absorb more in total. How the Camel Got His Hump -- If you are lazy and procrastinate, you will just have to do without in the future and be less attractive in order to make up for it. Having resources for times of scarcity is always helpful. How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin -- Being too aggressive will cause you to experience retribution from those you harm. With more flexibility, you can be more agile. How the Leopard Got His Spots -- You have a better chance of success if you blend in, rather than trying to stand out individually too much. The Elephant's Child -- If you are too nosy, you can get into mischief. Having a keen nose can help you sniff out and execute more opportunities. The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo -- Be careful what you wish for, you may get it. Being boundless gives you the chance to explore more. The Beginning of the Armadillo -- Versatility is more valuable than knowing just one way to handle a situation. How the First Letter Was Written -- Miscommunication is easier to accomplish than correct communication. Double-check to be sure the message is understood. How the Alphabet Was Made -- Choose combinations of communication that are unambiguous, or you will find yourself confusing everyone. This story is a brilliant essay on how one might go about inventing written language. The Crab that Played with the Sea -- Consider the consequences of your actions before you act, or you may see the actions rebound against you. The Cat that Walked by Himself -- The benefits of helping others greatly improve one's own life. The Butterfly that Stamped -- Actions taken for the right reason have just consequences while actions taken for pride tend to boomerang against us. Each story contains a prose tale, followed by a brief poem. The illustrations are explained in the caption at the end. The style of the stories includes lots of funny repetition, especially in the names of rivers and the features of the animals being described. With each re
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
In this collection of well-known stories including "The Butterfly that Stamped," "How the Whale Got his Throat," and "The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo," we learn how the camel got his hump, how the leopard got his spots, and how the elephant got his trunk. These are questions that children have asked for centuries around the world, but it took Nobel Prize winning English author Rudyard Kipling to give them answers in these lively, hilarious stories that are drawn from the oral storytelling traditions of India and Africa and filled with mischievously clever animals and people. They have entertained young and old alike for over one hundred years with their intertwined little pearls of wisdom about the pitfalls of arrogance and pride and the importance of curiosity, imagination, and inventiveness. We have previously read and enjoyed Kipling's The Jungle Books ("Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" is one of my favorite stories of all time), and the Just So Stories are a worthy and delightful follow up. It is important, of course, to remember that these stories are just myths or legends and told with a dose of tongue in cheek humor. In fact, there will be a few inside jokes that only adults will understand--nothing risque or inappropriate, just some plays on words that may be over the heads of some children. However, when we explained them to Jeremy, age twelve, he found them funny. In Hand that Rocks the Cradle, Nathaniel Bluedorn noted, "This story of how the leopard got his spots, how the elephant stretched his nose, et cetera. These stories are told in easy flowing language."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was surprised to find the N word used. I guess my folks changed the stories when I was little, because I wasnt expecting it. Beware when you are reading to your kids.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Just So Stories are a collection of short 'Creation stories'. How the camel got his hump, How the leopard got his spots, etc. They are meant to be read aloud and the audio version is fantastic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Some awkward spacing but at least the words are all there, readable if imperfect.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow i loved this book nd stories!!!!!! Nd for all of u ppl who said it had crapy words...hello its supposed to b like that!!!!!! Duh!!!!!!!!!! Ok good night:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it! Even better than the Jungle Book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hate digitized versions...no pics...lots of texts errors...i wanted pdf scanned original pages
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was hoping to see illustrations having to do with the stories but there were none at all. The stories are pretty much the same as the other versions though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The begining of the armadillos is probably my favorite especially when painted jaguar was confused about which one was tortoise and which was a hedgehog
Torie Tonelli More than 1 year ago
Great book!!! I think every kid should read it!
Margaret Ogden More than 1 year ago
I have looked at many copies before finding one that was not rotten with transcription errors. This one has the original pictures with no random font changes. Kipling deserves a clean transcription like this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
great way to learn something of the past. by listening to an authors words from the past to under stand the past
Guest More than 1 year ago
I haven't read this book in at least 30 years, but it was one of my favorites and I can still remember some parts from the all the wonderful stories. A definite read for children.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Children love to hear the stories in this book. It is written like no other book I have read. Read it OUT LOUD and with enthusiasm. Listen to the sounds of the words from your own voice and you and your children will see why it is treasured.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kipling, unfortunately, has been too long forgotten by parents when it comes to reading to children. Though the Jungle Book is wonderful his other works should not collect dust on the bookshelf. This is a truly outstanding selection. The cadence of his prose inspires animation in the reader and the listener. If you haven't read to your children in a while, pick this one up. Relive your own sense of wonder as a child, stir your child's imagination, and watch the love of reading blossom.
Anonymous 3 days ago
"I would like to work hear i am great with kits i had 3 of my own but roughs took them" said the silver tabby with yellow eyes that have green specks
Anonymous 11 days ago
A young gray she cat padded in slowly. She was round with kits. "Hello?" She mewed softly, blinking her mint green eyes.
Anonymous 25 days ago
Anonymous 29 days ago
Flare wanders in. "Flare would like to adopt." He says, tilting his head.
Anonymous 29 days ago
Want to adopt lavakit