Kipling’s Just So Stories are among the most enduring classic children’s tales. They follow the traditional genre of stories that explain how unusual natural phenomenon came about, often using fantastic and highly magical explanations.
Kipling himself was born and spent his very early life in India, and some of the inspiration for these stories comes from traditional tales he heard from his ayah and the family’s other servants. So Kipling’s armadillo arises from the magical fusion of a hedgehog and a tortoise who practice swimming and curling up, respectively, until their shapes modify. The elephant’s trunk is the result of a tussle with a hungry crocodile, and the kangaroo’s shape and ability to jump came about when he was chased by a dingo for an entire day. The rhinoceros gets his loose skin and bad temper from the itching brought about by having cake crumbs under his hide. And the cat who walked by himself explains the independence of cats, which contrasts with the servility of other domesticated animals.
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Love these Stories!
These are great stories to read aloud to kids, as the language is so witty, comical, and the stories quite ridiculous (perfect for age 5+). You know it's a good children's book when the adults enjoy it too. The narration is great, too, but a little on the fast side compared to some others. It would be best if the kids have heard the stories already a few times before listening to this recording. There are a few of these stories narrated by Jack Nicholsan, (well-done!) but I have not found them in a full collection.
I don't understand why this is not divided into separate chapters. Who wants to listen from the beginning each time? I would like my children to be able to pick one of the short stories to listen to as they please, but they are not easily found...