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VINE VOICEHALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon 24 July 2016
The Jungle Book was first published in 1894, and The Second Jungle Book in 1895, and amongst the pages we read of Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera, Shere Khan and all the other characters that have become so well known. Not all the tales take place in this setting though as you have a tale about Inuits, a white seal, Rikki-Tikki the mongoose, other animals, and a boy who is taken to see the elephants dance.

I should think that most older people will have read these books before, but for those who are new to these then you may be surprised if you are only aware of the Disney movie. Some of these tales are more violent than portrayed in cartoons, so be prepared, remember Tennyson wrote ‘Tho’ Nature, red in tooth and claw’.

In all, these tales make for entertaining reading and this is both for young and old. Kipling’s writing here really brings to life the landscapes and characters, giving this a little more depth than is usual for such stories. Entertaining people for generations this looks like it will continue to do so for many more generations to come.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 19 December 2017
Like most people, I have seen the Disney classic film, Jungle Book, and it is actually one of my favourite Disney films.

I always thought that I had read this book as a child and the first story is basically the story that we all know and love with Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera, Shere Khan and Kaa the snake. However, there are so many different stories in this book, some I had heard of like Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, the mongoose who can kill even the biggest snake, but we are introduced to so many different characters that I realised I had never read the whole book. I am so pleased that I now have had the opportunity to do this because there are so many good stories regarding various jungle creatures.

However, even better for me were the stories of creatures not living in the jungle. There is one about seals that I particularly enjoyed but probably my favourite is the one describing the life of Eskimos living in the very frozen North. I almost felt the cold whilst I was reading this story of incredible hardship in finding food just in order to live.

Kipling was such a brilliant storyteller and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It really should be in the school curriculum and if it is not the parents should read this with their children as it is a delight.

Dexter

Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review
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on 15 May 2016
Beautifully illustrated. I have the whole collection of books illustrated by R. Ingpen and I just LOVE them. It is my greatest pleasure to read them to my kids and I am enjoying them over and over again thanks to the beautiful editions. I do own many different editions of all the classic stories but this one is the best. I hope to read it to my grandchildren in the future.
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on 12 July 2017
Beautiful looking book from the pictures, but don't be fooled - there are no colouring pages. Only the front cover and back cover are possible to colour, the rest is just the original text from The Jungle Book (this was not specified under "details" when I bought).
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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 29 January 2014
When it comes to classic books I am quite ignorant in respect of I know little about them. S I set about picking up some of the old books and at least having an attempt at reading them to see what the fuss is about. I leant something new! I thought this was going to be a novel, so it was a surprise to find the book is a series of stories/songs that I later learnt were produced for a magazine.

There are a handful of characters whose names will be familiar, but the stories are somewhat different to what I thought they were going to be and in a nice way. I thought I would have to trudge through the book, but it wasn't like that. There are a few different thoughts as to hidden meanings in the stories, but I just took it for what it was and didn't try interpreting it. A book worth reading for enjoyment
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on 13 October 2016
I had no idea till reading this that there was more than just the story of Mowgli in The Jungle Book. Reading this as an adult is interesting because you're reading stories created at a time when you don't expect the author to have as much sympathy with animals as Kipling seems to have, his views are more modern and fitting with our time but I guess have been tempered to fit in with his own. I'd like to read this to my little boy when he's older.
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on 20 January 2013
Of course, I'm familiar with Mowgli. Who hasn't seen the clips from Disney's film? I'd never read the book. I found old favourites and surprising insertions. I found rich language and old-fashioned ideas. They must be wonderful to read aloud, to read to an audience. Stories for story-tellers.

This kindle edition had the text of the stories interspersed with the songs or poems in a typewriter-style font. It made them distinctive, but it distracted me from the beauty of them because the font was so much larger, comparatively, and also letters rather widely spaced. I'm never at my best reading poems in a narrative. However they are worth attention, for they flow and ebb like the breathing of the jungle itself.

There are stories here that are old favourites without my ever having read them. Somehow I absorbed Rikki-Tikki-Tavi through the wealth of experience. The descriptions of the animals and their actions are divine. I particularly remarked the way Rikki (a mongoose) tackled his prey, large or small. The story of Toomai of the Elephants was unknown to me, but so rich in its description of the jungle, of the elephant dance, I felt I was there. Maybe I have the advantage of having been on a holiday to watch tigers in the Indian National Parks and reserves, but the descriptions were so vivid I felt I had returned to places I'd been.

The last story, Her Majesty's Servants, has animals performing different duties in the Indian regiments describing their roles and their interaction with man and their purpose as they see it. It reminded me of Captain in Black Beauty, but more, it gave me a vivid flashback to The Maltese Cat, a Rudyard Kipling story I read in an anthology when I was in my teens. Kipling's remarkable ability to consider how animals might see their interaction with the world they are in is neither anthropomorphic nor naturalistic. It is somewhere in between - animals making sense of the madness of the human world, but reciprocating the bonds that humans feel with their animals. What this story offers is insight into history during the time of such conflicts, much as War Horse does. It is a window into a bygone world.

Is it relevant to today's teenage reader? I believe so. The richness of the language may also be old-fashioned, but there are plenty of wonderful literary works of that and former periods that are recommended reading. A lover of words, or animals, or travel, or bygone ages, will love this book. Even if the seal story, The White Seal, is a rather jarring incongruency in the middle of an Indian landscape. I wouldn't consider it a book for 7-11 though, unlike the Product Reviewer. But then I'm also reading Professor Branestawm, labelled 9+ years, which I would put in the 7-11 bracket. Maybe my ideas are just different.
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on 29 May 2016
This review is more about the book itself rather than the story. I couldn't write words to describe how amazing all Kipling's stories are. The book is beautiful. Wonderful illustrations,lovely little added bonuses likes maps and pull out pictures but all done in the style of the era the book was written in. Bought it as a present and about to buy it again for myself. More that a book,defiantly worth buying if it is for a gift. Excellent quality and looks like it's more expensive than it is.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 31 December 2011
Roughly half of The Jungle Book is the story of Mowgli, the man cub, who is found in the forest and brought up by wolves. Mowgli's place in the wolf pack is `bought' by Bagheera the panther who pays for it with the carcass of a bull and his chief defender and educator is the old bear, Baloo. Baloo teaches Mowgli the ways of the `jungle people' - all the animals who live in the jungle - giving him the languages he needs to communicate with each species except for the naughty monkeys who fall outside the laws of the jungle. We follow Mowgli as he grows up, keeps away from his arch enemy Shere Khan the lame tiger (who wants to eat him) and join his friends as they attempt to rescue him from a monkey abduction. Everyone tells Mowgli that one day he must return to the world of man and be with his own kind but he believes he's a wolf, not a man, and so we can be sure that nothing will go smoothly when he tries to fit in with the local villagers.

Disney did a wonderful job of turning Kipling's dark and violent story into a jolly children's cartoon with lots of singing and fun. In the book things are far from gentle - there's a lot of fighting, animals wanting to kill their own kind and other animals, Akala the wolf-pack leader being threatened with death and the pack turning against each other. Mowgli and Shere Khan are destined to move towards a final countdown in which only one can survive. We want Mowgli to survive and thrive but this is the story of an outsider, someone who doesn't fit with his adopted species or his biological species. I certainly didn't expect to feel so moved by this small boy raised amongst wolves.

The language will be a barrier to many as it doesn't sit easily on the 21st century tongue or in the modern ear - we're just not used to phrases like "thou goest to thy mother...lamer than ever thou camest into the world". It's all 'thou' and 'thy' and complicated old-fashioned sentence construction. I don't doubt that Kipling was making a point by giving these voices to the animals but they sound very clunky to the modern reader.

There's another half of the book still to go when Mowgli's story reaches its end and the shorter stories in the collection take over. The problem is that the e-book is very poorly laid out and you'll need to really be paying attention to realise that you've just finished one story and started another because there are no chapters or breaks between tales. One moment I was merrily egging Mowgli on in his show-down battle and skipping over the annoying `songs' which were almost unreadable due to the dodgy layout then the next I was wondering where the story of a seal on the ice-flow fitted into the Indian jungle. Similarly the transition into the story of Rikki Tikki Tavi the mongoose popped up without any warning and then along came a story of a boy who wanted to be a mahout (elephant handler). It was extraordinarily confusing.

The stories that follow Mowgli's main event are cute, endearing and rather charming - if you can work out where they start and finish. The info that I found on my kindle about the book informed me that it had been converted from book to kindle format by a group of volunteers. At times it reads like those volunteers might have been the infinite number of monkeys locked in a room trying none too successfully to recreate the works of Shakespeare. I'm guessing it may have been one of the earlier books to be converted because there's a big problem with a lack of chapters, a lack of spacing and layout and a general sense that the whole lot has just been shoved into one big block of text. I mentioned the songs and poems that intersperse the Jungle Book - these would probably be really fun if they'd been laid out on the page better. Instead you find yourself wondering if they are prose or poetry.

I can't grumble too much after paying the grand sum of not one single penny for my copy but I am now inspired to go out and buy it in book form, just to read again and get the more authentic experience of the stories as they were written and originally presented.
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on 16 February 2017
This to my mind is more of a young read but it was good. I also downloaded the audio to go with the book, as I like to listen to a couple of chapters before I drop off to sleep. The narrator was not bad, but it didn't make you feel like you must keep listening shame really but you can't win them all. This was a free download plus audio, as Amazon does a free one every month, always worth a go.
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