The Jungle Book (1894) is a collection of stories by English author Rudyard Kipling. The stories were first published in magazines in 1893–94. The original publications contain illustrations, some by the author's father, John Lockwood Kipling. Kipling was born in India and spent the first six years of his childhood there. After about ten years in England, he went back to India and worked there for about six-and-a-half years. These stories were written when Kipling lived in Naulakha, the home he built in Dummerston, Vermont (just north of Brattleboro), The tales in the book (as well as those in The Second Jungle Book which followed in 1895, and which includes five further stories about Mowgli) are fables, using animals in an anthropomorphic manner to give moral lessons. The verses of The Law of the Jungle, for example, lay down rules for the safety of individuals, families, and communities. Kipling put in them nearly everything he knew or "heard or dreamed about the Indian jungle." Other readers have interpreted the work as allegories of the politics and society of the time. The best-known of them are the three stories revolving around the adventures of Mowgli, an abandoned "man cub" who is raised by wolves in the Indian jungle. The most famous of the other four stories are probably "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi", the story of a heroic mongoose, and "Toomai of the Elephants", the tale of a young elephant-handler. As with much of Kipling's work, each of the stories is followed by a piece of verse.
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Among the most popular children's books ever written, The Jungle Book (1894) comprises a series of stories about Mowgli, a boy raised in the jungle by a family of wolves after a tiger has attacked and driven off his parents. Threatened throughout much of his young life by the dreaded tiger Shere Khan, Mowgli is protected by his adoptive family and learns the lore of the jungle from Baloo, a sleepy brown bear, and Bagheera, the black panther.
Subtle lessons in justice, loyalty, and tribal law pervade these imaginative tales, recounted by a master storyteller with a special talent for entertaining audiences of all ages. Included are such tales as "Rikki-tikki-tavi," a story about a brave mongoose and his battle with the deadly cobra Nag; Mowgli's abduction by the monkey people; and "Toomai of the Elephants," in which a young boy witnesses a secret ritual and is honored by his tribesmen.
This inexpensive, unabridged edition of The Jungle Book promises to enchant a new generation of young readers, as it recalls to their elders the pleasure of reading or hearing these stories for the first time.
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