May 30, 2011

#TheList, No. 181: Just So Stories

A Collection of Rudyard Kipling's Just So StoriesKipling, R. (2008). Just So Stories.  London: Penguin Group.

These are all short stories Kipling made up with his daughter as well as to preserve her memory.  The stories each tell the origin of something, like How the Leopard Got His Spots, or the How the Camel Got His Hump.  They're cute and silly and perfect to be read aloud to kids.  Kipling's daughter passed away when she was 6.  The stories involving the creation of writing and the alphabet involve a father and daughter working together to create something, reflecting Kipling's relation with his own daughter.  

The captions to the illustrations, which were also drawn by Kipling, are probably the best part.  They each repeat part of a story, but Kipling adds in a few new quips to give the stories some extra oomph.  The only problem is that about half of the pictures depict something before it occurs.  It gets really annoying to have to skip the pictures and go back to them once the story is complete, but it might just be a problem with the layout of the edition I have.

I remember in 4th grade, we read one of Kipling's stories and then had to make our own.  I was on a 101 Dalmatians kick at the time, and I'm fairly certain my story involved Dalmatians painting spots on themselves.  Not my best work.

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