Just So Stories, Volume 1

Just So Stories, Volume 1

by Rudyard Kipling, Ian Wallace
     
 


Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories is one of the best-loved story collections ever written for children. Now Ian Wallace, one of Canada’s most accomplished children’s book illustrators, reinterprets the famous tales with his vibrant art, bringing Kipling to a whole new generation of young readers.

Kipling wrote the stories for his young

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Overview


Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories is one of the best-loved story collections ever written for children. Now Ian Wallace, one of Canada’s most accomplished children’s book illustrators, reinterprets the famous tales with his vibrant art, bringing Kipling to a whole new generation of young readers.

Kipling wrote the stories for his young daughter, who would only sleep if they were told “just so.” The first edition was published in Great Britain in 1902, along with black-and-white illustrations by the author himself. The stories have remained in print ever since, delighting young readers all over the world. Many of the tales are origin stories, explaining how an animal came to be the way it is. They are ripe with imagination, inventive vocabulary and word play. This new edition, published more than 110 years after the original, has been edited to remove racist language. The first handsome volume includes “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” and “The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo.” The second volume will be published in spring 2014.

Inspired by these remarkable stories from all around the world, Ian Wallace has chosen to make an annual donation to IBBY's Fund for Children in Crisis.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/02/2013
In the first of two planned volumes, Wallace uses a mix of watercolor, crayon, pastel, and chalk to honor the wild invention and wilder language of Kipling’s classic tales of anthropomorphic animals, adventure, and absurdity. Six stories appear—including “How the Whale Got His Throat” and “How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin”—and Wallace contributes four or so full-page images for each tale. The illustrations blend playfulness with arresting imagery, providing an enticing entry point for readers. In the fiery, sunset-hued opening scene of “The Elephant’s Child,” the snub-nosed elephant “with his ’satiable curiosities” gets a firm kick from his aunt Ostrich, while the camel in “How the Camel Got His Hump” is shown in skeletal profile as his impertinent “Humph!” is transformed into his trademark hump. Ages 5–up. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

"Wallace invests each scene, including the humorous ones, with poetic gravitas...An elegant, timeless treatment for all those best beloved." — Kirkus, starred review

"[T]imeless tales, freshly interpreted through superb mixed-media paintings . . . [that] embrace the nuances of each tale and add to their sense of wonder." — School Library Journal, starred review

"The illustrations blend playfulness with arresting imagery, providing an enticing entry point for readers." — Publishers Weekly

"Wallace’s masterful renderings coupled with Kipling’s timeless imagination will complement any library’s collection of classic children’s literature." — Library Media Connections

Praise for the illustrator's Canadian Railroad Trilogy:
“[A] huge and unusual project, and Wallace has executed it with admirable care.” — Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
In what environment can a leopard, a kangaroo, a rhinoceros, a camel, an elephant, and a whale co-exist? It happens in the sunrise/sunset wrap-around cover of this new edition of Kipling's Just So Stories. The animals pictured portend the collected stories with a second book of the classic collection coming. Kipling's classic porquois tales have been in constant publication since 1902, but this is a lovely and lovingly rendered new edition with soft focus art that captures the colors and textures of the lands from which the stories originate. Using a mixed palate of crayon, watercolor, pastels, and chalk, Wallace has created a soft focus portfolio of illustrations. Each story is colored to suggest the sea, the South African veldt, the Australian outback, and the African jungle. Examine the full page illustrations carefully, for they are fully detailed. As an example, in How the Whale Got his Throat, the interior of the whale's stomach contains not just the mariner he has swallowed whole, but children's toys posing the questions of who was swallowed before the sailor. The humpless camel, posed in a sandy and coral colored desert, is next to a sphinx who bears an amazing resemblance to Kipling, himself. The stories of Kipling hold up. They read with a storytellers' gift for language and each ends with a poem that nearly sings its stanzas. The language will build a child's vocabulary. The stories have been edited to remove racist and stereotypical descriptions of aboriginal populations frequently used in Kipling's day (and not totally absent, today). Even so, How the Leopard Got His Spots which brings up the fiction that black skin coloring can transfer or "rub off" on another animal. The reader may need to edit the selections further in this otherwise excellent rendering of a classic. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-09-01
A sunset-colored cover beckons readers to a newly illustrated edition of the classic collection. The wraparound jacket presents a surreal dreamscape that encapsulates the transformations Kipling describes in his stories. On the back, a humpless camel and short-nosed elephant enjoy a moonlit dip, while their reflections reveal hump and trunk; on the front, a short-legged kangaroo, smooth-skinned rhino and spotless leopard likewise appear above their transformed reflections. Within, readers will find six of Kipling's tales: "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"; and "The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo." Each story is illustrated with four luminous, full-color paintings, most occupying a single page in the manner of old-fashioned color plates. Also like color plates, the specific scene illustrated is indicated with a representative selection from the text. Wallace invests each scene, including the humorous ones, with poetic gravitas and refrains from anthropomorphizing his animal characters. Herons scattering above the Elephant's Child, nose clutched tight in the Crocodile's maw, indicate his very real danger; the Ethiopian solemnly marks the Leopard's coat with his fingers. An illustrator's note explains the genesis of the book and his artistic approach to each individual story. Volume 2, completing the collection, is due out in spring 2014. An elegant, timeless treatment for all those best beloved. (Short stories. 5 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781554982127
Publisher:
Groundwood Books
Publication date:
09/24/2013
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
64
Sales rank:
575,923
Product dimensions:
7.50(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
5 Years

Meet the Author


Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936) was an author of books for children and adults who achieved wide critical acclaim in his lifetime. Born in India, he was sent to school in England, where he endured difficult years with a foster family but discovered a love for reading. When he was seventeen he returned to India for a time, where he worked as a journalist before turning to poetry, short stories — for which he is best known — and novels. The Jungle Book became an instant classic and was followed by other much-loved children’s books, including Kim and the Just So Stories. Kipling’s many awards include the Gold Medal of the Royal Society of Literature and the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Ian Wallace has had a long and distinguished career as an author and illustrator of picture books, publishing many classics such as Chin Chiang and the Dragon’s Dance, Boy of the Deeps, The Name of the Tree, The Huron Carol and Canadian Railroad Trilogy. He has won the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Picture Book Award, the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award and the IODE Violet Downey Book Award. He has also been nominated for the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award and the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. Ian currently lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife, Deb.

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