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Just So Stories

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  40,291 Ratings  ·  1,087 Reviews
Librarian's Note: Alternate cover edition can be found here.

Twelve stories about animals, insects, and other subjects include How the Camel Got His Hump. The Butterfly That Stamped, and How the Alphabet Was Made..
Hardcover, 210 pages
Published August 5th 2003 by Gramercy Books (first published 1902)
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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) No, indeed. His first book of stories, "Plain Tales from the Hills" was published in 1888. This book was published in 1902, and he had published quite…moreNo, indeed. His first book of stories, "Plain Tales from the Hills" was published in 1888. This book was published in 1902, and he had published quite a lot in between.(less)

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How The Kipling Got His Reputation

Once upon a time, Best Beloved, when the world was middle-aged and good Queen Victoria sat on the throne, there was a Kipling. And even though he constantly had to carry around a White Man's Burden (an object, by the way, which he had invented himself, and very proud he was of it too), he was as happy as the day is long. And he would often stop for a moment, and sing a little song he'd written, which began
Mamma Pajama rolled out of bed and ran to the po-lice sta
Feb 18, 2012 rated it did not like it
What an infuriating book. I don't know what infuriates me more: that Kipling was a racist imperialist colonizer who believed firmly in white superiority and conveyed that in every word of these stories; or that Kipling is such a marvelous writer of the English language.

Kipling the colonizer, imperialist, racist, supremicist, had no trouble at all mugging the oral traditions of the peoples his people colonized to tell his "Just So Stories" to his Best Beloved. No trouble at all mimicking their vo
Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories, originally published in 1902, are perennial favourites, and can be read by adults and children alike. They are known as "pourquoi" stories; in this case fantasies about the origin of individual wild animals who live in different countries. The seed of the idea lies in the story "How Fear Came," within Rudyard Kipling's "Second Jungle Book" of 1895, when Mowgli hears the story of how the tiger got his stripes. It is possible this gave the author the idea for a w ...more
Michael Finocchiaro
All these tales are like Aesop's fables about how various animals got their characteristic features. They are beautiful short tales - most likely derived from folk legends that Kipling heard during his time in Africa and India - but still full of humour and subtle wisdom. Unlike Kim, his pro-empire attitude does not really pollute the innocent atmosphere of these wonderful stories.
Dannii Elle
This was an adorably sweet collection of stories, aimed at younger readers and all centring around the themes of animals. Whilst not scientifically correct in the least, this offered the reader a series of fun anecdotes about how various different animals got their defining features, such as a leopard and his spots and an elephant with his trunk.

My main source of enjoyment with this book came from its amusing usage of language. Alliterative terms, onomatopoeic phrases, odd pairings of words, and
Aug 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The book that made me fall in love with storytelling. I still have my mother's hardbound edition, with marvelous color plates, published in the 20s. Kipling may have been a romantic apologist for the British Empire, but the man knew how to weave a spell in children's stories, and he can be quite playful and inventive with language. Just read the first line of any number of stories and you'll immediately understand his timeless appeal. My favorites are from The Cat that Walked by Himself -- "Here ...more
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These stories were funny, imaginative, and well written. I have read several reviews that talk about Kipling being Imperialistic, condescending, and a host of other distasteful names. But here's the deal...he wrote these tales in different times and they were written for his children. I think such judgments might be slightly anachronistic; however, I do think Kipling says some things that are grating to our modern ears and sentiments. I wasn't getting the whole "white man's burden" vibe that som ...more
Nandakishore Varma
Sep 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classic
OK, he's a racist blackguard, but Kipling does write beautifully. This was his first book I read in the original and I loved every bit of it - the stories and the pictures. Since I was too young to understand the latent racism (and there's so much of it in here, apparently) when I read it, and I have not reread it since, I will rate it based on my original reading experience - five golden stars.
J.G. Keely
Beautiful and wonderful. Works of genius by a man who freed himself enough that he could give himself up to that genius instead of trying to make sure that it came out perfectly. As pleasing as his other works are, none I've read can match the joy, humor, simplicity, and odd truth of these.

Like children's literature should be, these stories never lose their humor or punch. Despite some redundancy with actual myths and some cases of artificially lowering complexity for children and hence growing
Mar 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Loved all the stories, but my personal favorite was about Elephant's Child. Sometimes 'satiable curiosity doesn't kill you; it gets you a very practical appendage with which you can spank your bossy Relatives and hove them into a wasp's nest. And let's face it, O Best Beloved, we've all had that impulse.
Jamie Collins
Sep 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
These are such fun to read out loud, and I particularly like the descriptions of the illustrations.

My favorites are:

"How the Whale Got His Throat", featuring the small 'Stute Fish and the mariner of infinite-resource-and-sagacity wearing his suspenders (which you must not forget, Best Beloved).

"The Elephant's Child", who was full of 'satiable curiosity and who escapes from the croccodile with the aid of the Bi-Coloured Python Rock Snake on the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-1001
That mesmerizing rhythmic bumpity-bump of words, a song (almost), the lure of the storyteller, one extraordinary ordinary thing next to another extraordinary ordinary thing, a line of events unexpected yet just right, silly and serious---that's Just So Stories.
Jonathan Roberts
May 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Just so stories
Written and Illustrated by Rudyard Kipling
The ‘Just So Stories’ are a collection of eccentric myths that Kipling created to tell to his children. There are twelve in total: most of which are fanciful revelations of how certain animals came to possess their distinguishing features. The characters are humorous and archetypal and most of the tales offer some affectionate caution and insight into the consequences of indulging those sinful traits such as sloth, greed and envy.
The origi
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
satu kata... KEREEEEEENNNNNNNNNN BANGETTTTTTTTTTT!!! eh itu jadinya dua kata ya hahahaha

Setuju banget dah kalau cerita-cerita dalam buku ini bukan Sekadar Cerita. Pokoknya nggak nyesel baca buku ini. Nggak peduli masih anak-anak, remaja, dewasa bahkan kakek-nenek, kisah-kisah fabel yang didongengkan Kipling bener-bener memikat hati. Saya saja senang membacanya, apalagi kalau anak-anak didongengkan dengan cerita-cerita ini, pasti nagih :)

Suka dengan ilustrasinya juga, ilustratornya sukses mengint
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: detinjstvo
Ako postoji knjiga koju sam do te mere besomučno čitala kada sam bila dete, da su joj se korice izdrocale u froncle, a tabaci se rasuli i stranice razletele, onda je to ova.

Nauči dete iz nje neke korisne stvari, što iz biologije, što iz sociologije - kako je leopard dobio svoje tačke, otkud nosorogu hrapava koža (i zašto je biti ljut isto što i biti bockav), otkud slonu surla, a kitu njegovo ždrelo i kako su smišljena slova za potrebe razonode jedne radoznale musave devojčice.

I naravno, shvatil
Emilie Emzbooksandco
I loved reading these little stories! They were really cute, and eventhough I liked some way more than others, I really enjoyed my reading!
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nobel-prize
More like Just So-So Stories. I didn't care for this book much. I was expecting stories instead of this is how this animal got this trait (forget the actual name for those books).
Взех книгата от библиотеката, защото ми беше интересен новия превод на Галина Златина ( която в книгата е посочена като Злантина).
Предговора на Андрей Захариев към книгата, "разработена специално за младите читатели" и част от поредица, където "по-старите текстове са изчистени от най-неразбираемите думи и изрази" започва така:
""Проповедник и пропагандатор на британския империализъм" - това за думи на Джордж Оруел, великият британски писател, журналист и есеист. Как мислите, към кого е отнесено т
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An all time favorite. It begs to be read alive for the rhythm and poetry and the marvelous word-play. If you have no children to read it to it's time to volunteer at your library! I'm hard-pressed to pick a favorite story, but I'll go with the Elephant's Child because like him my besetting sin is insatiable curiosity. I love the part about the 'Great grey green greasy Limpopo River all set about with fever trees..." but I've also learned enough about crocodiles to avoid putting my nose in danger ...more
How the elephant got his trunk was one of my favourite bedtime stories as a child and I was fortunate in having a parent who never tired of reading it. "The great grey greasy Limpopo river all set about with fever trees " created one of my earliest images of Afica and filled me with longing to visit.
Kipling was a master storyteller who knew exactly how to capture a child's imagination. As the elephant makes his leisurely way in search of the crocodile, leaving his grumpy and incurious relatives
pierlapo  quimby
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anglofoni
Queste storie sono proprio così, inutile domandarsi il perché di questo o il perché di quello, è questione di autorevolezza del narratore, la stessa inossidabile autorevolezza di cui si serve il genitore quando, nel raccontare alla figlioletta la favola più incredibile spacciandola per realmente accaduta, assume quel finto cipiglio serioso che soffoca sul nascere ogni possibile eccezione di inverosimiglianza.
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love the edition illustrated by Helen Ward. Only complaint? Not enough pictures! But the stories themselves are still fun to read, O Best Beloved. If there are traces of the imperialism that makes Kipling's other works problematic, I don't see them.
Carino! Mi è piaciuta particolarmente l'invenzione della scrittura e la sagace moglie del sultano nell'ultimo racconto
Lise Petrauskas
Reading with Uzi. How The Leopard Got His Spots, The Beginning of Armadillos, and The Elephant's Child are the best ones so far. It's been so long since I read these.
Rachel Joy
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What an absolutely delightful collection of stories!

I listened to this book as read by Geoffrey Palmer, a British actor, who will have you laughing out loud as you find out where the alphabet came from and why the elephant has such a long trunk.

Simply wonderful!
2.5 stars

I really liked this at the start. I don't know if the first stories are actually better than the later ones, but I felt myself becoming more and more irritated as I progressed. Not so much because of the racism and sexism — I kind of expect that in a book of this age (although I was rather startled by the casual drop of the n-word in one of the stories) —, but because I came to find the writing style very tedious with its many repetitions (although I could tell it is probably a great bo
Nadin Adel
Nov 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: children
They always say: "Never give a child a book you won't read for yourself" and I agree. I will be reviewing as long as I go through this book, so here we are:

>> How the Camel Got his Hump?
A dreadful tale about a camel who is lazy that as a result, a genie makes humps for the camel, end of story. This is dreadful for a number of reasons:

1- The camel has those humps which are a miracle in its essence. The camels use it to feed and nourish because they are meant to live in harsh environments

Nov 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, animals
This is an excellent book which I reread recently, having looked at it in Year 6, as a child. Rudyard Kipling has such an interesting style of writing, often addressing the reader as 'Best Beloved', which I really like. Also each story really makes you think about different features of animals in more detail, and I remember enjoying lessons as a child where we wrote our own stories in this style. So for English: chn write a story in this style about how an animal got a certain feature. However I ...more
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
JUST SO STORIES. (1902). Rudyard Kipling. **.
This particular edition was published simultaneously in 1991 by The Folio Society and The British Library, and incorporates the original illustrations done by Kipling for his original edition. The stories are told as to a young child (“O My Best Beloved”), which puts me in mind of the Golem from Lord of the Rings and his “My Precious.” I wonder if there is any relationship there? The stories are truly absurd, and in today’s world would hardly qualify
Apr 16, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: quarter-3
For me, Just So Stories was extremely boring. i do appreciate the creativity and the originality of each story though. the main reason that i did not enjoy the book was because the stories were told in a very uninteresting way. the language used was very dull and it did not help in grabbing my attention.

as you can tell by the title, this book talks about why animals do certain things that they do or why they look a certain way. i thought it would be interesting to read about how a leopard got i
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Goodreads Librari...: better cover for OUP Just so stories 2 13 Feb 05, 2017 08:01AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Missing binding 5 16 Sep 22, 2015 02:16AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling 6 35 Apr 11, 2015 07:00PM  
:-) 22 69 Dec 11, 2014 08:53AM  
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Joseph Rudyard Kipling was a journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist.

Kipling's works of fiction include The Jungle Book (1894), Kim (1901), and many short stories, including The Man Who Would Be King (1888). His poems include Mandalay (1890), Gunga Din (1890), The Gods of the Copybook Headings (1919), The White Man's Burden (1899), and If— (1910). He is regarded as a major innovator in
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“Of course the Man was wild too. He was dreadfully wild. He didn't even begin to be tame till he met the Woman, and she told him that she did not like living in his wild ways. She picked out a nice dry Cave, instead of a heap of wet leaves, to lie down in; and she strewed clean sand on the floor; and she lit a nice fire of wood at the back of the Cave; and she hung a dried wild-horse skin, tail down, across the opening of the Cave; and she said, 'Wipe your feet, dear, when you come in, and now we'll keep house.” 31 likes
“Hear and attend and listen; for this befell and behappened and became and was: O my Best Beloved, when the tame animals were wild.” 12 likes
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