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The Jungle Book

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'There is no harm in a man's cub.'

Best known for the 'Mowgli' stories, Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book expertly interweaves myth, morals, adventure and powerful story-telling. Set in Central India, Mowgli is raised by a pack of wolves. Along the way he encounters memorable characters such as the foreboding tiger Shere Kahn, Bagheera the panther and Baloo the bear. Including other stories such as that of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, a heroic mongoose and Toomai, a young elephant handler, Kipling's fables remain as popular today as they ever were.

277 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 1894

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About the author

Rudyard Kipling

5,587 books3,099 followers
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 the art of the short story; his children's books are classics of children's literature; and one critic described his work as exhibiting "a versatile and luminous narrative gift".

Kipling was one of the most popular writers in the United Kingdom, in both prose and verse, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Henry James said: "Kipling strikes me personally as the most complete man of genius (as distinct from fine intelligence) that I have ever known." In 1907, at the age of 41, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first English-language writer to receive the prize, and its youngest recipient to date. He was also sounded out for the British Poet Laureateship and on several occasions for a knighthood, both of which he declined.

Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1907 "in consideration of the power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration which characterize the creations of this world-famous author."

Kipling kept writing until the early 1930s, but at a slower pace and with much less success than before. On the night of 12 January 1936, Kipling suffered a haemorrhage in his small intestine. He underwent surgery, but died less than a week later on 18 January 1936 at the age of 70 of a perforated duodenal ulcer. Kipling's death had in fact previously been incorrectly announced in a magazine, to which he wrote, "I've just read that I am dead. Don't forget to delete me from your list of subscribers."

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,607 reviews
Profile Image for Kenny.
506 reviews938 followers
July 24, 2022
“For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.”
The Jungle Book ~~ Rudyard Kipling


Kipling, Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera, & I have been on a long journey together. I started The Jungle Book nearly ten years ago. I lost my copy when I moved from the west coast to Chicago, found it again, picked up where I left off, lost it again when I moved to Wisconsin, and found it again in 2014. Since then, it's lingered on my nightstand waiting for me to join Mowgli again on his jungle adventures until last week.

These stories are absolutely beautiful. It comes as no surprise that Kipling considered himself a poet first, for these stories are truly poetic. Kipling’s writing style is beautifully lyrical. His language flows with a whimsicalness. Reading these stories, I felt that Kipling appreciated the sound of language as much as its ability to convey a message. One thing I must clear up is the perception that this is a children’s book. Disney be damned, this is not a children’s book. It is ideal for young adults, but this is no children’s book.


From the start, I felt I really lived this book. Mowgli and I ran through the jungle together with our fellow wolf cubs to listen to Akela at the Council Rock. Bagheera and Baloo became my mentors and Kaa my trusted friend.

Kipling's magic was always rooted in the reality of common life. All over India there were tales of a child reared by a wolf pack. In the background to the stories, village life goes on with its lazy rhythms – buffalo wading through the shallows, women going to the well, and the man pack exploring the jungle.


I loved the non-jungle stories as well:

The White Seal -- Kotick, a rare white-furred northern fur seal, searches for a new home for his people, where they will not be hunted by humans.

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi -- Rikki-Tikki the mongoose defends a human family living in India against a pair of cobras.

Toomai of the Elephants -- Toomai, a ten-year-old boy who helps to tend working elephants, is told that he will never be a full-fledged elephant-handler until he has seen the elephants dance.

The Miracle of Purun Bhagat -- An influential Indian politician abandons his worldly goods to become an ascetic holy man. Later, he must save a village from a landslide with the help of the local animals whom he has befriended.

Quiquern -- A teenaged Inuit boy and girl set out across the arctic ice on a desperate hunt for food to save their tribe from starvation, guided by the mysterious animal-spirit Quiquern. However, Quiquern is not what he seems.


The Jungle Books, yes, there are two, were my first journey with Kipling, but they will not be my last. I’m excited to venture back to India with Rudyard Kipling and Kim.

Profile Image for Luca Ambrosino.
83 reviews13.7k followers
January 29, 2020
English (The Jungle Book) / Italiano

I didn't know that "The Jungle Book" was a collection of tales. Thanks to the Disney movie, I had always identified this novel with the story of Mowgli, the man cub raised by a pack of wolves. But another bedtime reading to my daughter makes me discover that this book is made up of seven stories, and only three of them tell about Mowgli ("Mowgli's Brothers", "Kaa's Hunting" and "Tiger! Tiger!"). The search for a place to live safe from hunters is told in "The White Seal". "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" presents us with a nice domesticated mongoose. "Toomai of the Elephants" tells the story of a child with great talent. Finally, an unusual night meeting is told in "Her Majesty's Servants". And to the well-known characters of Bagheera, Baloo, Kaa, Shere Khan and Akela, are added Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, Nag, Nagaina, Kotick, Sea Catch, Billy the mule and many others.

Probably this is not a maserpiece, anyway Kipling produces an enjoyable read. "The Jungle Book", or the untamed beauty of wildlife.

Vote: 7


Non sapevo che "Il Libro della Giungla" fosse una raccolta di racconti, grazie alla Disney lo avevo sempre identificato con la storia di Mowgli, il cucciolo di uomo che viene allevato da un branco di lupi. Invece l'ennesima lettura della buonanotte a mia figlia mi fa scoprire che questo libro è fatto da sette racconti, di cui solo tre narrano le vicende di Mowgli ("I Fratelli di Mowgli", "La Caccia di Kaa" e "Tigre! Tigre!"). La ricerca di un luogo in cui vivere al sicuro dai cacciatori è raccontata in "La Foca Bianca". "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" ci presenta una simpatica mangusta addomesticata. "Toomai degli Elefanti" racconta le vicende di un bambino con un grande talento. Infine un'insolita riunione notturna è raccontata in "I Servitori della Regina". Ed ai noti personaggi di Bagheera, Baloo, Kaa, Shere Khan e Akela, si aggiungono Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, Nag, Nagaina, Kotick, Sea Catch, Billy il mulo e tanti altri.

Probabilmente non un capolavoro, ma Kipling produce comunque una lettura piacevole. Il libro della giungla, ovvero la bellezza selvaggia degli animali.

Voto: 7

Profile Image for Manny.
Author 30 books14k followers
April 27, 2015
We are the masters of our planet, but we are not very good masters. We are, in the blunt phrase I saw a zoologist use the other day, a plague species. Sometimes, one feels the world would be better off without human beings. This isn't necessarily a counsel of despair or treachery. Our true loyalty should be not to mankind but to our genes, and most of those genes are to be found in other species who are far less destructive. It would almost be a relief if the beautiful and savage animals we share the world with could take it back from us and relieve us of this responsibility we are not equal to.

Oddly enough, the author I know who is best at giving a voice to these feelings is Rudyard Kipling, in his short story Letting in the Jungle. The villagers have angered Mowgli and his friends. Now, the jungle folk return in force, led by Hathi the elephant and his three terrible sons. The ending and the concluding poem are unforgettable:
The four pushed side by side; the outer wall bulged, split, and fell, and the villagers, dumb with horror, saw the savage, clay-streaked heads of the wreckers in the ragged gap. Then they fled, houseless and foodless, down the valley, as their village, shredded and tossed and trampled, melted behind them.

A month later the place was a dimpled mound, covered with soft, green young stuff; and by the end of the Rains there was the roaring jungle in full blast on the spot that had been under plough not six months before.


I will let loose against you the fleet-footed vines--
I will call in the Jungle to stamp out your lines!
The roofs shall fade before it,
The house-beams shall fall,
And the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall cover it all!

In the gates of these your councils my people shall sing,
In the doors of these your garners the Bat-folk shall cling;
And the snake shall be your watchman,
By a hearthstone unswept;
For the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall fruit where ye slept!

Ye shall not see my strikers; ye shall hear them and guess;
By night, before the moon-rise, I will send for my cess,
And the wolf shall be your herdsman
By a landmark removed,
For the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall seed where ye loved!

I will reap your fields before you at the hands of a host;
Ye shall glean behind my reapers, for the bread that is lost,
And the deer shall be your oxen
By a headland untilled,
For the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall leaf where ye build!

I have untied against you the club-footed vines,
I have sent in the Jungle to swamp out your lines.
The trees--the trees are on you!
The house-beams shall fall,
And the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall cover you all!

Appalled by the dreadful things I was reading in Oreskes's and Conway's Merchants of Doubt, I suggested to a friend the other day that it might be interesting to start a political party called Exterminate Humanity. XH would have a simple agenda: using only legal means, it would support all initiatives which showed promise as possible ways to make human beings extinct. It would for example try to block funding of renewable energy, maximize production of greenhouse gasses, push for increased nuclear arsenals and discourage investment in SpaceGuard and other anti-meteorite defenses.

My suggestion was meant ironically, so I was rather disquieted by my friend's reaction. She considered it for a moment, then nodded. "Yes," she said thoughtfully. "Sounds like quite a good idea." But maybe she just wanted to show that Australians could be more ironic than Europeans.
Profile Image for Nandakishore Mridula.
1,255 reviews2,297 followers
February 4, 2016
IMO, Rudyard Kipling is the worst example of the quintessential British Imperialist and Colonialist. His attitude towards India is contemptuous and condescending. As a person, I dislike him intensely.

Kipling writes beautifully. His stories are simple, engaging and profound at the same time. As a writer, I love him.

This is a childhood favourite. I read it first in translation, and then in the original. This is a true classic - it works for one as a child as well as an adult.
Profile Image for AMEERA.
277 reviews320 followers
February 28, 2018
my best childhood story absolutely the jungle book * mowgli * beautiful adventure
Profile Image for Apatt.
507 reviews805 followers
October 2, 2015
“Welcome to the jungle
We've got fun 'n' games
We got everything you want
Honey, we know the names”

The opening poem of The Jungle Book: “Now Rann the Kite brings home the night” etc. is much more elegant than Axl Rose’s effort, but I feel it would be much nicer for you to read it in the context of the book.

Now if you are looking for a review from someone with an in-depth knowledge of Rudyard Kipling’s works you had better look elsewhere. My Kipling-fu is so feeble I did not even know The Jungle Book was an anthology, not a novel about a badass little boy who blazed a trail for Tarzan. It didn’t even occur to me to read this book until I saw the trailer for the new 2015 movie a few days ago.

I’m just going to run through the list of the stories then:

1. Mowgli's Brothers
This surprised me, it’s basically the entire story of Mowgli as I know it from the movies (animated and live action). I wonder if Shere Khan is the inspiration for Chaka Khan? (cue eye rolls). If you only read one story from this book (what a silly notion) read this one.

2. Hunting-Song of the Seeonee Pack
Nice poem, all the poems in this book are nice.

3. Kaa's Hunting
This goes back up the timeline from the conclusion of “Mowgli's Brothers”, it features Mowgli being kidnaped by monkeys. At no point does Mowgli say “Take your stinking paws off me you damn dirty ape!”, Kipling was not into pop culture references (I am). Any way, Mowgli is chiefly aided by Kaa the python and his very particular set of skills.
“Trust in me”.
"but I didn't expect a Spanish Inquisition!"

4. Road-Song of the Bandar-Log
Nice poem

5. “Tiger! Tiger!”
Mowgli has a rematch with Shere Khan and finds human society not to his liking, the beds especially (I don’t blame him).

6. Mowgli's Song
Great song, especially the guitar solo.

7. The White Seal
Kotick the white seal is like the Columbus among seals. Very good story. Especially when Kotick decides he has had enough of the ignorant seals and their jibes then proceeds to hand their asses to them. They did not know he has been working out with some marathon swimming.

8. Lukannon
“A sort of very sad seal National Anthem”. Thank you Literaturepage.com

9. “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi”
Laugh at his silly name at your own peril Rikki-tikki-tavi is one badass mofo of a mongoose. I guess he could be the prototype for Ninja Turtles, K9*, Hong Kong Phooey and other superhero animals.

10. Darzee's Chant
Darzee is a tailorbird from Rikki-tikki-tavi’s story with a penchant of breaking into songs at the most inappropriate moment. After Rikki-tikki-tavi is allowed to knock himself out with full blown hero worship through this song.

11. Toomai of the Elephants
An Indian boy takes a clandestine ride on an elephant’s back and witnesses a huge herd of elephants performing “We Will Rock You”.
“You got blood on yo' face
You big disgrace
Wavin' your trunk all over the place”

12. Shiv and the Grasshopper
“The song that Toomai's mother sang to the baby”

13. Her Majesty's Servants
Ah! Oh dear! For me this story is like throwing an eel at a marble wall, it just won’t stick. I listened** to it twice and I still can’t remember what it’s about. Somethihg to do with a bunch of animals nattering about something completely devoid of interest.

14. Parade Song of the Camp Animals
Related to the previous story. No thanks.

That’s it then, I enjoyed most of the stories, poems and song, except number 13 and 14 as mentioned above.

Definitely recommended, especially the first story, which is a bear necessity.

* Hey Cecily, I managed to sneak one in!

** Librivox Audiobook, very nicely read/performed by Phil Chenevert. Thank you!
Profile Image for Peter.
472 reviews2,554 followers
October 10, 2018
The illustrated Jungle Book is a mixed bag of positives and negatives, and if your only experience of the story is from the films then you are in for a surprising revelation. Firstly the Jungle Book is not one story but an anthology of 7 short stories and 7 songs, and understandably with some more appealing than others. The contents include:

Mowgli’s Brothers (Story)
Hunting-Song of the Seeonee Pack (Song)
Kaa’s Hunting (Story)
Road-Song of the Bandar-Log (Song)
“Tiger! Tiger!” (Story)
Mowgli’s Song (Song)
The White Seal (Story)
Lukannon (Song)
“Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” (Story)
Darzee’s Chant (Song)
Toomai of the Elephants (Story)
Shiv and the Grasshopper (Song)
Her Majesty’s Servants (Story)
Parade-Song of the Camp Animals (Song)

This is also not a child’s book, it is dark, threatening and violent. Even Baloo while teaching Mowgli the ways and language of the jungle, leaves him heavily bruised. The general story, we all know, as Mowgli the Man-Cub (the Frog) is found as an infant and reared by wolves, taught and watched over by Baloo and Bagheera, and hunted by Shere Khan. However, if you’ve only seen the films and are unaware of the book, then expect a few surprises. The role of characters are transformed, interactions are altered and plots are changed. Death is a typical outcome, often clinical and ruthless, but with a purpose. The written narrative and dialogue from Rudyard Kipling reminds us just how great a writer he is, how he constructs a layered storyline and uses such lyrical prose to describe the scene and activities. Each story starts with a little poetic verse that magically blends with the story.

Only the first 3 stories relate to Mowgli, the others are a seal, mongoose, elephants and the ensemble of animals in Her Majesty’s Servants. This is an illustrated version with two types of images; black and white sketch which are exceptionally well drawn, and full-colour prints that seem to vary in quality. This is a Kindle version and the formatting with the images is really poor and inconsistent, I actually can't believe how poor the formatting is.

I wasn’t quite sure with this and would probably rate it more accurately as 3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Patricia Bejarano Martín.
440 reviews5,547 followers
January 11, 2019
No tiene el 5 porque las dos últimas historias no me han gustado mucho... pero el resto ¡las he disfrutado mogollón!
Debo avisar que solo las 150 primeras páginas son las que "El libro de la selva" que vosotros conocéis por las películas, pero este libro es mucho más, ya que tiene 4 historias que no conoceréis de nada y que os sorprenderán (que por lo visto hay todavía algunas más, pero en este tomo no se incluyen).
Mi favorita ha sido la historia de Mowgli, pero debo decir que la de la foca blanca me transmitió mucha ternura y la de Rikki-Tikki muy entretenida. Sin duda todas te dejan una gran enseñanza, que es sin duda la intención del autor, ya que no deja de ser un libro infantil.
La historia de los elefantes y la de los servidores de su majestad me han gustado algo menos considerablemente, pero aún así cada una tiene sus cosillas buenas.
En general es un libro que os recomiendo leer, sobretodo si queréis saber la verdadera historia de una historia tan famosa ^^ Y esta edición en concreto es una joya, así que totalmente recomendada.
Profile Image for Lynne King.
494 reviews675 followers
June 22, 2013
Two weeks ago I arrived at Aberdovey, a small seaside village on the Dyfi estuary in west Wales. So to discover sun, and thus an ideal day for the beach, I needed a book. Having no luck finding a bookshop, and minus my Kindle, the young man in the pub mentioned that the RNLI were selling books. So when I saw the smiling face of Mowgli on the cover of “The Jungle Book”, well I had to purchase it and also support the Lifeboats as they do such marvellous work.

I had read this collection of short stories as a child but had forgotten the names and the animals and so what a delight it was to reread them.

Who cannot possibly be excited and enthralled by the adventures of Mowgli (who was also known as Frog), a young abandoned man cub, who wanders into a wolf’s den in the Indian jungle? As this is fiction, he would, of course, not be eaten by its occupants but I was somewhat astonished by the child’s age and what he was able to do:

“Directly in front of him (Father Wolf), holding on by a low branch, stood a naked brown baby who could just walk, as soft and as dimpled a little thing as ever came to a wolf’s cave at night. He looked up into Father Wolf’s face and laughed.”

How could the wolves not possibly love him and welcome him into the pack? But still there were struggles for Mowgli from members of the pack; however, with the help of such staunch friends as Bagheera, the panther, and Baloo the bear, he managed to overcome them. When Mowgli is kidnapped by the Monkey People (the Bandar-log), Bagheera and Baloo enlist the help of a rather villainous Rock Python called Kaa as the monkies were terrified of him; I was too and could that snake move. Phew…

What is sad though, despite the child learning all about the laws and languages of the jungle, Mowgli was never really accepted by the wolves (apart from his adopted parents), nor human beings either, when he was forced to leave the jungle and go and live and work in a local village. Sadly, he was betwixt and between. Also, did I miss something in that he remained naked all the time? That could have caused serious problems surely in the jungle, especially?

Out of the other short stories, I definitely preferred “The White Seal” and Kotick the seal that at birth was white and caused great amazement to his parents:

“Sea Catch,” Matkah said at last, “our baby’s going to be white!”
“Empty clam-shells and dry seaweed!” snorted Sea Catch. “There never has been such a thing in the world as a white seal.”
“I can’t help that,” said Matkah, “there’s going to be now”.

And Kotick would indeed benefit from being white. What fun that was to read.

I’m so pleased that I discovered this little gem of a book. Also to think that it was first published in 1894 and still gives immense pleasure to its readers, as can be seen by its place on Amazon’s best sellers’ list in the US.
Profile Image for Shirley Revill.
1,197 reviews248 followers
August 11, 2018
I read this book when I was a child and I really enjoyed the stories at the time. This book was also a favourite with my children. Wonderful classic stories. Pure nostalgia.
Profile Image for Piyangie.
529 reviews489 followers
August 28, 2020
I first read The Jungle Book at a very young age that I can hardly remember any of it. The Disney movie helped me to recall some of the adventures of Mowgli, but the book was not too familiar for me. This reading, therefore, was as new as the first time.

The common understanding of The Jungle Book is that it is the story of Mowgli and his adventures, his friendship with Bagheera, the black panther, and the wolf pack, and his enmity with Shere Khan, the tiger. But surprisingly it is not so. It is a collection of many stories although one third occupies with the stories related to Mowgli.

The most interesting ones in the book are the stories of Mowgli. And equally interesting was the story of the cute little mongoose, Rikki Tikki Tavi. He reminded me of the friendly mongoose who used to roam the garden of my childhood home. Other than them, the rest of the stories didn't grab me. They were alright but not quite interesting. And some of these other stories entertained certain disturbing notions and actions that might have contributed to my lesser enjoyment of them.

When I read Kim, I felt that Kipling was not a good storyteller. The Jungle Book qualifies my feeling to some extent since I enjoyed the stories of Mowgli and Rikki Tikki Tavi. But I'm not quite sure if I want to read any more of his prosaic works.
Profile Image for Ravenskya .
234 reviews37 followers
June 1, 2009
No this is not your Disney movie - Kipling wrote a fantastic series of short stories, only a few of which include Mowgli. Baloo is not a lazy idiot, Kaa is not a bad guy, SherKahn is killed rather then run off, the wolves are not always the noble good guys... this is VERY different then our cotton candy Disney film. And so much more enjoyable for it.

Also included are the tales of Rikki Tikki Tavi, the Elephant Dance, and the White Seal. I would have to say that my favorite is Rikki Tikki Tavi, he's just so loveable and wonderful. There is a sense of magic in Kiplings animals, every reader will find themselves dreaming of being raised by wolves and taught the law of the jungle by Baloo.

I know that this was written as a children's book - but I have a hard time believing that my 11 year old son would be able to read and enjoy it, the beauty of the language will be lost on many of the younger readers who are used to the forward speaking newer YA books. But I would assume that by middle school they should be able to fully enjoy it.
Profile Image for Axl Oswaldo.
332 reviews165 followers
July 28, 2022
Review in English below

Pienso que esta es la reseña más personal que escribiré jamás. Comencemos.

Nota: Al terminar de escribir esta reseña me di cuenta que hablaba de muchas cosas excepto del libro en sí (muy superficialmente); lo escribo aquí por si alguien decide leerme no se sienta estafado luego.

Empecé a leer El libro de la selva el 09 de mayo y lo he terminado este 13 de julio. La razón de por qué me tomó tanto tiempo es quizá de lo más difícil de explicar para mí, pero de alguna manera me gustaría dejarlo aquí plasmado, ya que siempre me he consideró una persona optimista, y soy de quienes piensan que después de la tormenta, siempre sale el sol. Y en este caso mi sol, el mío y el de mi familia, salió para darnos fortaleza y esperanza.

Llevaba un par de semanas con pocas interrupciones leyendo este libro con mi madre, cuando pocos días después de su cumpleaños, el 22 de mayo, cayó enferma. Al principio pensamos que sería algo que pasaría en un par de días, así también lo creyó el doctor, y además porque vimos que había un poco de mejoría. Sin embargo, menos de una semana después mi mamá volvió a ponerse mal, a tal punto de que el dolor se había vuelto insoportable para ella. La segunda visita al doctor fue para hacer un diagnóstico más específico, realizar estudios médicos requeridos, e incluso el médico pensó que podría requerirse de cirugía. Claramente la situación se había complicado, y aunque mi madre no empeoraba, tampoco mostraba mejoría alguna. Al llegar con el segundo médico, un tratamiento más amplio y con un par de medicamentos más, el agobio y la incertidumbre era lo que más estaba presente en mi hogar. No había manera de hacer que este sentimiento pasara rápido, al ver a mi mamá en cama todo el día, y ver que la recuperación parecía llegar pero de manera lenta y pausada.

Sin duda no solía pensar en mis lecturas durante todo este tiempo, aunque es verdad que fueron mis lecturas de finales de mayo y todo junio las que me dieron la fortaleza que necesitaba y las que despejaron mi mente en los momentos difíciles. Jamás perdí la esperanza, y jamás pensé en que algo peor podría pasar. Por fortuna, después de dos semanas de enfermedad, mi mamá volvió a comer y a tener apetito, y a partir de entonces la situación empezó a ser optimista. Cuando se visitó al médico después de la segunda consulta, los resultados que se esperaban con tanta angustia dieron negativo, y por ende, la cirugía no sería necesaria finalmente. Tres semanas más de recuperación, junio se estaba yendo, y mi mamá finalmente tuvo la energía de levantarse y reincorporarse a su vida poco a poco. Ahora mismo ella se encuentra mejor, aún siguiendo las recomendaciones del médico y en espera de una siguiente visita tras haberse recuperado de esta enfermedad. De algún modo el hecho de que hayamos terminado de leer El libro de la selva es la prueba de que (especialmente ella) hemos como familia atravesado y superado juntos esta situación adversa, que al final del día son experiencias que de algún modo te hacen más fuerte, y te enseñan a valorar aún más las pequeñas cosas de la vida.

Hablando de El libro de la selva, una colección de siete cuentos (al menos en esta edición) que muestran la vida en la selva —o en el mar en el caso de un título en particular— a través de sus personajes y de las experiencias que viven dentro de ella, así como ciertas lecciones y reflexiones para la vida, ha sido una experiencia inigualable. No les miento si les digo que todos los cuentos me han parecido fascinantes, unos más que otros claramente, pero ninguno me ha dejado con un mal sabor de boca. Incluso recuerdo haber visto —quizá leído en algunas reseñas previamente— que usualmente los últimos dos, Toomai el de los elefantes y Los servidores de su majestad, no suelen gustar igual, pero en mi caso pienso que están realmente a la altura de los otros.
Mis favoritos no dejan de ser La foca blanca, Los hermanos de Mowgli y Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, teniendo cada uno un protagonista del que te interesa lo que le pueda pasar, así como historias que te mantienen atrapado de principio a fin.
Asimismo, no puedo dejar de lado la narrativa de Kipling, una prosa ágil de leer, casi poética —resaltando las canciones que uno se encuentra al final de cada cuento—, y tan acertada con el contenido de cada historia, descripciones adecuadas y finales que te dejan con una buena impresión o un gran mensaje; en especial recuerdo el final del cuento ¡Tigre! ¡Tigre!, que me trajo recuerdos de mi infancia de cuando tendría unos 5 o 6 años y veía la película Disney basada en las primeras tres historias, que pertenecen a la vida de Mowgli en la jungla junto a Bagheera y Baloo.

En general, uno podría pensar que este libro ha sido un 5 estrellas para mí dado el camino que recorrimos desde que lo empezamos hasta que lo terminamos, y es probable que sea cierto; sin importar el libro que hubiera comenzado a leer con mi madre, el resultado a estas alturas habría sido un 5 estrellas. Por otra parte, y yo intento verlo de esta manera, uno califica una experiencia lectora basado en el viaje y en lo que representa el contenido para uno mismo así como su importancia; en lo que representa todo lo que se vivió desde que se inició la lectura hasta que terminó. ¿Cuántos libros no han impactado en nosotros a través de sus historias, felices o tristes, positivas o adversas, y a través de lo que nosotros vivimos al leerlos, tanto en el interior como en el exterior? Y justo eso, lo que representa la experiencia en sí misma, es lo que más valoro cuando escribo mis reseñas y doy mi veredicto final.
Por lo tanto, El libro de la selva pasa a ser uno de los libros más importantes de mi vida, porque de algún modo me enseñó —quizá más el hecho de estarlo leyendo en dicho momento que solo el contenido en sí— que ante la adversidad, siempre hay un mañana con mayor esperanza para todos.

Atravesamos la llanura enorme, los veinte pares que somos, hasta que nos desenganchan; y pastamos, mientras sobre la planicie se oyen las voces de los cañones grandes, que hablan con alguna ciudad de paredes de barro que se va cayendo a trozos, y se llena todo de polvo, como si volviera mucho ganado de los pastos.
- Los servidores de su majestad


I think this is the most personal review I will ever type. Let's start.

Disclaimer: Once I finish typing this review I realized that I have talked about everything but the book itself (perhaps very slightly) – I point this out here just in case anyone decides to read my thoughts regardless, please do not feel as if I didn’t say anything beforehand.

I started reading The Jungle Book on May 9 and I finished it on July 13. The reason why it took me so much time to finish it is perhaps the hardest thing to explain for me, but somehow I would like to share it here, as I have always considered myself an optimistic person, and I am one of those people who thinks the sun always comes out after the storm. And in this case 'the sun' actually came out to give us strength and hope to my family and me.

My mother and I were reading this book together every other day for a couple of weeks, when a few days after her birthday, on May 22, she fell ill. At first we thought it would be something that she would overcome in a couple of days, so did the doctor, mainly because we saw she was getting a little better during the next days. However, about a week after she got sick, my mother started getting worse, to the point that the pain had become unbearable for her. The second visit to the doctor was to make a more specific diagnosis, to run medical tests, and even the doctor thought a surgery might be required. Clearly the situation got complicated, and although my mother did not get even worse after this visit, she did not get better either. When we arrived at the second clinic, and after getting a new treatment with much more medicine for her, an overwhelming feeling and uncertainty were constantly present at home. Moreover, it was difficult to see my mother in bed all day, even though she seemed to be getting better but very slowly and gradually. In short, there was no way to get through this tough time right away.

I certainly did not think of my readings during all this time, although it is true that my previous readings—from the end of May to almost the end of June—were actually those things that gave me the strength I needed and that made me think clearly during the most difficult times. I never lost hope, and I never thought that something worse could have happened. Fortunately, two weeks after getting sick, my mom got appetite back and started eating more frequently, and from that moment on the scenario began to be more optimistic. When we went back to the doctor after the second appointment, the results that we were expecting with so much anguish turned out to be negative, and therefore, the surgery would not be necessary. Three more weeks for recovery, it was almost the end of June, and my mother finally had the energy to get up and rejoin her activities little by little. Right now she is much better, still following her doctor's instructions and waiting for a next doctor's visit after having finished her treatment and having recovered from this illness. In some way the fact that we have finished reading The Jungle Book is proof that we as a family—especially she—have lived and overcome this difficult situation together, and that, at the end of the day, this series of experiences somehow makes you be stronger, and teach you how to embrace the beautiful, little things in life even more.

Speaking of The Jungle Book, it is a volume of seven stories (at least in this Spanish edition) that depicts how it is life in the jungle—or in the sea, as we have one tale whose story takes place there—through its characters and the experiences that they live together within it, and also certain thoughts or reflections on life that make those adventures feel alive – in short, reading this collection of tales has been a unique experience to say the least. I am not lying if I say I have found all these stories fascinating, clearly some of them more interesting than the rest, however, none of them has left a bad taste in my mouth. I even remember—probably I read this in some reviews before—some stories such as Toomai of the Elephants and Her Majesty's Servants are among the least favorites for some readers; as for me, I found them actually really good written and at the same level of the other ones.
My favorite tales were definitely The White Seal, Mowgli's Brothers and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, each of them have a memorable protagonist who you can feel empathy for, as well as stories that make you keep reading from cover to cover in just one sitting. Also, Kipling's narrative is another great aspect of the book, since we find an easy style of writing, that is almost poetic and symbolic—I'd like to point out that there are beautifully written 'songs' at the end of each tale—and so meaningful for the content of each story, accurate descriptions, and endings that leave you a good, meaningful message; especially I remember the ending of Tiger! Tiger!, that also made some childhood memories come to my mind, for instance, when I used to watch the Disney movie adaptation way back when I was probably 5 or 6, a movie slightly based upon the first three tales, which portray Mowgli's life in the jungle along with Bagheera and Baloo.

It's likely that someone thinks this book has been a 5-star reading for me because of the overall experience we had since we started reading it until we finished it, and it might be true; regardless of the book that I had picked up with my mother, the result at this point would have been the same (a 5-star reading indeed). Additionally, and trying to see this in a different way, when you type your reviews and you eventually rate a book, your final rating might be based on 'the journey' you lived reading that story, the importance of the story and what it meant to you, and what made you feel from beginning to end. How many books have impacted on you in that way, where a story, that might be happy or sad, optimistic or pessimistic, is thoroughly connected with your life and especially with what you are living at the moment? And it is only that, what the reading experience itself means to me, what I care about the most when I type my reviews and give my final verdict on it. Therefore, The Jungle Book has become one of the most important books of my life, because in some way it taught me that—mostly because of the fact that I read the book at such circumstances, regardless of the content itself—there is always hope for everyone despite adversity.

We go across the level plain, twenty yoke of us, till we are unyoked again, and we graze while the big guns talk across the plain to some town with mud walls, and pieces of the wall fall out, and the dust goes up as though many cattle were coming home.
- Her Majesty's Servants
October 3, 2018
Due to watching the Disney movie of "The jungle book" I assumed that this book was going to be entirely about Mowgli, but to my surprise, I discovered quite a few different tales and poems.
I liked that all of the stories in this book showcased animals, and the themes of love, loyalty and friendship were deeply explored. I found the characters interesting and I enjoyed all the stories except for the last two. They were pretty tiresome, and I found that I had to force myself to try and power through to the end, instead of not finishing. That is never a good sign for me, and it is that that has made this book a lower rated one.
Personally, I don't think that all children now, would appreciate the style of writing and the setting like an adult would. I'm glad I've read this classic, but for me, it definitely isn't a masterpiece.
Profile Image for Aileene.
243 reviews116 followers
September 8, 2016

...as he believes I read too much Abs books *wrinkles nose*

Commencing on the 8th of August (9 Aug - Aus time)



EDITED FOR Luke's review link.

This is the second time I read The Jungle Book. The first one was when I was in secondary school as I had to write an essay for it.

This story was memorable coz it was the same time when I first start wearing glasses. So, needless to say this was the very first story I read with my pair.

Back then though, you were considered/teased/called as a nerd when you wear spectacles.
The bigger the frames, the bigger the lenses, the nerdER you are.
So, you can just imagine my hesitations and disappointment when I've been told I needed a pair.

Nowadays, every second person I see wears them.
Glasses became a fashion statement.
Glasses make a big fashion statement.

So, back to the book.
When Luke asked me to BR this classic, I said yes to it, of course.

When I got my copy though, I had to double check the cover.
The book was thickER than I expected.
And then after reading "Mowgli's Brothers" I was surprised that there were more pages to turn.


So then I realised that the book consists of more short stories and poems.
Though, only three or four of them are actually stories about Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera aka Baloogheera (as Luke cleverly put the two names together) and Shere Khan.

Alrighty then, read more, I did.
{Side comment: I think my teacher has provided the class a "photocopy" of Mowgli's Brother story only)

I liked all of the stories and they all fit together okay as Kipling showcased animals.
Animal fables to which the author explored themes such as courage, loyalty, friendship and love. But my favourite is "Riki-Tiki-Tavi". That mongoose was adorable and his loyalty & love for the family who took him in were boundless and admirable.

Love lovelovelovelove this character.

I'm not gonna go into details as I'm sure everyone has read this.
*grumbles* am I the only one here who was surprised that it's a collection of poems and songs?!

But what I'll do in this review of MOWGLI's STORY (only) is to compare what I read and what I watched.

The Book.

The writings was old and there were parts that made me either bored or had to stop and absorb what Kipling was trying to say.

Baloo was very wise, teaching Mowgli almost everything. He was very strict and always ready to strike a blow on young Mowgli when he doesn't pay attention or get anything wrong.

“Better he should be bruised from head to foot by me who loves him than that he should come to harm through ignorance,” Baloo answered very earnestly.”

Bagheera, who is another companion of Mowgli and a wise one too.
I forgot about his story. His secret bald spot and that mark. The collar mark that no one knew.

“And yet, Little Brother, I was born among men.
Fed behind bars from an iron pan till one night I felt that I was Bagheera—the Panther—and no man’s plaything, and I broke the silly lock with one blow of my paw and came away.”

And Kaa. Interestingly enough as I couldn't remember, as almost everything in this book, that he was an ally too who helped Mowgli to escape from those rambunctious monkeys.

The difference.
These 3 main characters were nowhere near anything like this in the film.
They were fun and very entertaining.
Never felt that I was watching an adaptation of a classic story. Disney film had changed the plot enormously. And even added a new character.

One other thing I noticed though, was that Mowgli didn't have a female influence on his side.
Sure he had mother wolf but she had a very short role and did nothing really heroic.
It makes me think that perhaps, this was the reason why Kaa, the python was voiced by a female actress in the new film to balance the gender equation that influenced young Mowgli.

Could it be?

The other difference.
Over the years, I managed to collect 4 pairs of glasses (2 of em are useless; prescription-wise) and have earnt myself another pair recently.

Also, reading it this time around is not because of school requirement but just for the sake of reading and enjoying it as it should be.
And what makes it a spectacular read too is I BR it with a very good friend.

Now, I will edit this review when Luke had finished and posted his review.
His review link will be added as I'm sure his thoughts will be thorough.
After all there's a reason why he is
the writer and I, I use that other pair of glasses I just acquired.

Rating it 3.5 Baloogheera-for-the-win Stars

Profile Image for L.S. Popovich.
Author 2 books341 followers
December 10, 2022
“The Jungle book” is a fun collection of timeless stories worthy of their fame.
The movie brethren of this tale resemble the source material in only superficial ways. Mowgli only features in less than half of the book’s stories for one thing. However every story is interesting and connected in theme and tone. All of the stories revolve around animals, like you might've expected, and while each represents different regions throughout the animal kingdom, each story has its own laws the animals must abide by. But every animal has these constraints, which helps humanize the animals and connect the world the author creates. While the world building here is minimal it is tight and thoughtful, making the author's creation vivid without overpowering the tales he tells.

The main draw of “The Jungle Book” is the writing and sheer delight of experiencing the adventures. The writing has aged only slightly (mainly in the dialogue) and is still a blast to read. The writing is balanced: having enough description to paint the picture without blotting out the picture manufactured by your own imagination. The action is also well-paced, interesting and not overbearing or gratuitous. The dialogue doesn’t differentiate between characters well but it is engaging and moves the stories along. All these aspects work like a well-trained symphony: the different instruments of pacing , dialogue, action, and deception sound exquisite when the story beats need them. And the stories may be simple but we would not have wanted them to be complicated.

There is little characterization or theme but the characters are good enough to hook us. You can find many themes herein, including man’s connection to nature, courage, and growing up, but this collection is more about fun than instruction. Still, engaging settings for a noble message.

Of course children and adults alike can enjoy the book for the wonderful detail the world and the storytelling.
Profile Image for Anne Goldschrift.
326 reviews403 followers
July 2, 2017
Ich bin so froh, es gelesen zu haben. Ich hätte niemals erwartet, dass sich Disney und Original SO fundamental unterscheiden :D
Profile Image for Michael Finocchiaro.
Author 3 books5,631 followers
April 4, 2017
The stories of Mowgli and his friends are splendid. Yes, Kipling was an unabashed supporter of colonialism and orientalist, he nonetheless was able to create some of the most vivid stories of animals and children and this one is certainly the best. The Disney movie does not come close to doing it justice. A must read even as an adult.
Profile Image for Leo ..
Author 2 books382 followers
December 31, 2017
A story that is really an institution. The characters mirrored in the Cub Scout Movement. I was a cub when I was a child and I adored the concept. Akela our leader and Bagheera. I remember going camping and foraging and singing songs around the fire. The nostalgia is warming.

An amazing five stars. I love this story. Brilliantly written by one of the greats.🐯👍
Profile Image for Amber Tucker.
135 reviews42 followers
August 13, 2010
Lesson learned from this book: having been much- and long-beloved does not automatically make a book worth reading.
The only particular reason I picked this one off my shelf was the feeling it's a "classic" of children's lit, which I felt slightly ashamed of never having had a chance to enjoy – I assumed must be classically marvellous. (I mean, I don't know if I ever even watched the Disney adaptation all the way through. I was actually expecting all Mowgli stories. More than half are not, actually, about Mowgli in any way.) What I was sorry to find, however, is that these stories are just classically bad. In its own way, this is frankly one of the weirdest books I've ever read. Even its age doesn't pardon it, in my opinion.

One of my first thoughts, rather unaccountably it may seem, was "This reads like the Bible." This isn't wholly a negative thing. For example, I recognize and appreciate the often-poetic language used in the Bible, and I can do the same here. The little songs and poems between the chapters are metrically perfect (this counts for a lot, with me) and if not beautiful, are nicely-formed; in form and language, they always evoke the characters he's created for the animals. Here are a couple verses of the Song of the Bander-log [monkeys:]:

Here we sit in a branchy row,
Thinking of beautiful things we know.
Dreaming of deeds that we mean to do,
All complete, in a minute or two-
Something noble and wise and good,
Done by merely wishing we could.
We've forgotten, but- never mind,
Brother, thy tail hangs down behind!

All the talk we ever have heard,
Uttered by bat or beast or bird-
Hide or fin or scale or feather -
Jabber it quickly and all together!
Excellent! Wonderful! One again!
Now we are talking just like men!
Let's pretend we are – never mind,
Brother, thy tail hangs down behind!
This is the way of the monkey-kind.

See? It's cute... the charm fades, though, with re-reading.

Now for what I really dislike. Two words: imperialism and anthropocentrism. Actually, anthropomorphism as well, but that can hardly be avoided, to a degree, so I'll let it go.
The 'best' of the various animal characters speak like noble British subjects (of about the sixteenth century, no less – people in Kipling's day didn't even talk like this – "thee-thy-thou, overformality considering we live in a jungle" etc, it's maddening), they have their own strict Jungle Law, and they call themselves people. Could it be any more obvious that these animals are meant to represent humans? Furthermore, that the non-humanlike animals are fated by nature to kowtow to the more 'civilized' species? Too obviously allegorical = another commonality with parts of the Bible. This kind of attitude may be common enough in folktales and mythology, but doesn't excuse the gross colonial bias with which the whole jungle universe, both inhabitants and organizing principles, are presented.

The animals respect, virtually worship, the humans. Though nearly all the characters are animals, everything about the stories centers around humanity, that is the glorious courage, order and reason of the British empire. If that's supposed to be modern folktale, it's akin to religious brainwashing. Not in the stories it tells, but in the value judgements implicit within these stories. And by the way, also like the Bible, I had to hate many of Kipling's 'heroes.' Little Toomai is a sneak and a traitor; I almost cried at the treatment of the elephants truthfully and matter-of-factly depicted in his chapter. Elsewhere: Rikki-Tikki made me want to stamp on a member of the family Herpestidae, pronto. I was rooting for the cobras.

To conclude, if you're willing to accept a whack of disgustingly antiquated values threaded into not-especially-imaginative stories, you can enjoy The Jungle Book. I'm sorry that I couldn't find more to like in it. But it's safe to say, for once, that Walt Disney's job is probably better (at the very least, less offensive)!
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books4,099 followers
August 10, 2019
This holds up surprisingly well for something that could have been full of English racism back in the good old days of 1894. Indeed, some of the stories read very much like a modern YA book of parables with animals who seem much more human than the humans.

Big surprise, right? We humans are a monstrous lot.

That being said, this isn't just the source of Disney's Jungle Book, although a part of it is. It's also full of other great stories. Most memorable is Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, the mongoose who kills a cobra. But also horrifying is the tale of the sea cows, or rather, the White Seal. The tale of the elephant, Toomai, was delightful.

I should say it would be a great book for any child, but not many modern children know crap about India except, in my daughter's case, some snappy tunes and dance moves. The connect is kinda missing, you know? Like... Tarzan? Who the F*** is he?

Even so, as an ADULT, it's rather charming and delightful. :)
Profile Image for Isa..
121 reviews83 followers
September 30, 2019
¡La aventura terminó!

Me resulta un poco doloroso quitar una estrella a este libro, pero es que esos últimos dos relatos (sobre todo el de Toomai) me han dejado un tanto inconforme con el tema general que este libro engloba.
Fuera de estos dos últimos cuentitos, podía imaginarme todas las aventuras narradas en cada una de estas páginas. Y ni hablar de lo rápido que vuela el tiempo cuando se tiene este libro entre manos.

La edición hecha por Austral es muy económica, bonita y tiene el tamaño de letra adecuado.

Fuera de eso, me he quedado con ganas de leer más de este autor y también me he quedado con ganas de ver una animación sobre Rikki-Tikki y Kotick.
Profile Image for Mariah Roze.
1,029 reviews933 followers
July 20, 2016
I am trying to read more classics, so why not start off with the Jungle book? This book is short enough that it only takes two CDs to listen to and a new movie version just came out about this book.

The characters were interesting and very different from the movie. For example, Baloo was apart of the wolf pack the whole time. His job is to train the pups. This is completely different than the movie.

All in all, I enjoyed this read! I’m glad this is my first classic, after starting up again. Also, I read this book for the EVERYONE Has Read This but Me - The Catch-Up Book Club.

P.s. I read this for my J read for the A-Z Book Title Challenge.
Profile Image for Celeste.
933 reviews2,381 followers
March 5, 2017
Full review posted below.

This was my first book completed on the Serial Reader app, an awesome way to read classic works of literature in less than fifteen minutes a day. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in reading some classics, but who doesn’t want to get bogged down in them. And no, I haven’t been asked to advertise the app; I just really think it was a fantastic idea, and the execution of that idea was incredibly well done.

End advertisement. ;) Onto the story at hand.

Most everyone probably knows at least a little about this book, due in large part to Disney’s animated movie and their more recent live-action film. I enjoyed reading about Mowgli and his adventures growing up as the lone man-cub in the jungle. Bagheera the Panther, Baloo the Bear, and Kaa the Python all had different personalities than their film counterparts, but were just as much fun to read as they are to watch. Mowgli was headstrong and clever and never backed down from a challenge. Raised by a Wolfpack against the wishes of Shere Khan, the man-eating Tiger, Mowgli lived an interesting life to say the least. He learned every language present in the jungle, and then spent some time in a human village and learned to speak as they speak. But the village could not hold him. He conquered his foes and returned to the jungle, triumphant.

Besides the main story of Mowgli, Kipling also included the stories of Kotick, the White Seal; Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, the Mongoose; Toomai, the Elephant boy; and different animals in the military, who argue about whose method of fighting is right. Of these, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi’s story was by far the best. I completely understand why his is the segment included in so many literature books, because it was the most engaging story in the entirety of the Jungle Book, in my opinion. I enjoyed the adventures of the little mongoose even more than I did the tales of Mowgli the man-cub. Second-best out of these secondary tales was the story of Kotick, the White Seal. I was thrown by his story at first, because it was the first after Mowlgi’s story, but once I adjusted to the change I enjoyed the little white seal, out to save his people from being butchered. He swam to the beat of his own drum, and I can always respect that.

The last two stories weren’t enjoyable to me. They’re where I bogged down and just had to make myself power through to the end. I found Toomai annoying, and I could care less about which animal thought they were the most important in a battle. If the book had ended after the tale of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, I would’ve easily given it 4 stars. But, because of the drudgery of the last two stories, I’m settling at a 3 here. It was a short, mostly fun classic to mark off of my “to-read” list, and I enjoyed marking it off in the 24 episodes that Serial Reader provided. The novelty of the app added to my enjoyment, and I will most definitely be reading more classics this way!

For more of reviews, as well as my own fiction and thoughts on life, check out my blog, Celestial Musings
Author 0 books249 followers
March 31, 2023
My Mom bought me The Jungle Book from her school and for years, I didn't read it. After reading the book, I remembered the days I used to watch the animated version on TV.
Profile Image for Archit.
824 reviews3,217 followers
July 22, 2017
Neil Gaiman revealed in his books that it was Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book that he read over and over again.

The Jungle Book is one of the fabulous books in my list. Reading the book brought me a nostalgic feeling about my childhood when I used to watch its tv series. Those days were truly Golden. They are just a memory now, but thanks to this book that I can go back in time, whenever I wish and relive those moments.
Profile Image for Sita_belen.
268 reviews34 followers
January 16, 2022
¿Cuál es la naturaleza del ser humano? Todos la conocemos pero El libro de la selva deja más de una evidencia de ello. Esta primera novela de Kipling nos cuenta la historia de Mowgli, la que gracias a Disney todos conocemos. Y la adaptación es buena, pues la novela me ha recordado cada una de sus escenas y eso que no la veo desde que era niña.
Esta ha sido una de las razones por las que no conseguía engancharme a la historia, me acordaba demasiado bien de ella. La segunda razón ha sido la narrativa del autor, no terminaba de pillarle el estilo y, la verdad, me costaba seguir leyendo.

A pesar de ello, es una historia bonita, llena de enseñanzas morales, donde te explican cuál es la ley de la selva y cuál es la ley del hombre. Te muestra como los animales se respetan entre los seres de su misma especie y el hombre no es capaz de hacerlo, te muestra como los animales de diferentes especies son capaces de unirse contra un enemigo común cuando se encuentran en peligro y los hombres son capaces de matarse entre ellos mismos por chorradas que no merecen la pena.

Un libro para reflexionar y darse cuenta de lo que somos, de lo que nuestra especie es.

"Tienes tal confianza en ti mismo que andas absolutamente descuidado. Una prueba más de que perteneces a la raza humana. Tienes que ser prudente."

Profile Image for Trish.
2,015 reviews3,434 followers
August 10, 2019
Many people know the Disney movie of the same name but Rudyard Kipling's book has so many more stories.

We start almost exactly how the movie starts: the man cub being found by the wolves.

However, it's because Shere Khan has taken him. Mother Wolf saves the baby. Baloo the bear is a wise teacher of the wolf pack and speaks in the boy's favour, as does Bagheera the panther, so the pack decides to let the boy stay. He is subsequently called Mowgli (little frog).

We then follow the boy through his years of training, learning the law of the jungle, and we thus meet all manner of creatures such as the python Kaa, some very annoying monkeys or Colonel Hati the wise elephant.

And yes, there is a fight to the death with Shere Khan the tiger, but it is entirely different from what we know from the Disney movie (in a good way). Moreover, that fight, while being quite essential and thrilling, is not the main focus of these stories.

The true focus is the love for the jungle itself. Kipling was raised in India, you see, and apparently loved it there. It was actually palpable from his descriptions of old abandoned ruins with their treasures or the interconnectedness of all life in the jungle.

Every chapter features a poem at the beginning and at the end. All these poems are beautiful both in the message they convey as well as how they were written.

However, that is far from all in this book.
For starters, there are a number of other adventures the boy and his friends have to survive (encounters with humans as much as with red dogs).

But also because it's not all about Mowgli. Yes, the ending of his story is similar to the one in the Disney movie again, but the movie left out many of the fables in the middle (which I understand, they wouldn't have fit with their overall narrative).
And then there are the other stories that have nothing to do with Mowglie at all and are told after his story is over.

There is, for example, "Rikki-Tikki-Tavia" that tells of a certain mongoose protecting its family from snakes, or stories about beginnings (such as "How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin", "The Beginning of the Armadillos" and "How the First Letter Was Written") so, generally speaking, the book is teaching the reader the way Baloo taught the wolf cubs.
By the way: one of my favourite "lessons" was that about who the true power in the jungle is and why.

Fun and often thrilling stories, some more educational than entertaining, but always with fantastic characters and just that hint of mischief and humour to spice things up.
Profile Image for Terry .
402 reviews2,148 followers
December 14, 2012
Rudyard Kipling’s _The Jungle Book_ is an enjoyable read. A collection of short stories, all of which revolve around the lives and troubles of different animals and the people who interact with them, it has a surprising amount of depth coupled with rather pleasant prose. The most famous of these stories are probably those that revolve around Mowgli, the jungle boy raised by wolves in India whose adventures with Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther against the machinations of Shere Khan the tiger are fairly well-known (even resulting in a typically watered-down Disney movie from many years ago).

All of the stories are notable for their fairly even handed treatment of the interactions between animals and men. The tragedy and pathos of the tribulations and abuse animals often have to suffer at the hands of man are not glossed over, but neither is it implied that all interactions between mankind and the animal kingdom are destructive or unwarranted. The animals are presented as having languages and customs of their own and Kipling generally does a pretty neat trick of managing to straddle the line between having his animal characters behave too much like humans and having them fall into unrelatability by being purely ‘animals’. The most significant contravention of this occurs, I think, in the story “Her Majesty’s Servants” in which, in my opinion, a group of animals serving various roles in a British regiment shade a bit more towards taking on the roles of their all-too human handlers. That quibble aside I enjoyed these morality fables and adventure stories, with those centring on Mowgli and his lessons in the Laws of the Jungle topping the list. Good clean fun with enough meat to the bone to give you something to think about.
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