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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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TOP 1000 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 10 February 2017
This is a superb edition of Kipling's classic Mowgli stories. They are of course a product of their time, and it has to be borne in mind when reading. This is of course so with all historical writing from Shakespeare to Orwell. It helps that Kipling is a writer of staggering skill, able to show us much about humanity while apparently characterising animals. Some younger readers might struggle a bit with some apparently archaic language, but it only requires a bit of effort to understand. Quite often Kipling is using thees and thous to suggest that characters are speaking and thinking in languages other than English - which, being Indian, they would be. This edition is also fabulously illustrated by Australian Robert Ingpen. If you haven't seen any of his illustrations before, you are in for a delighted surprise - check out what else he has done.
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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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on 26 May 2016
Sticks fairly faithfully to the original book rather than either film. We listened to disc 1 and actually thought the story had finished, only discovering disc 2 a while later! Given it's setting is fairly alien to a 21st century British child it was quite hard to imagine what is happening and understand the meaning.

It's good but not sensational. Kept my son generally interested on car journeys.
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on 12 June 2016
Saw the flim at cinema with my 5year old daughter she love it then she asked for the book she loves it takes it every where with her nice letter size and some nice picture's in it well worth it when it finish finished she would like another one fom the series
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on 20 August 2011
I bought this for my well-travelled grandchildren (three and one); I always use the iPod with audiobooks on long journeys and this is one for their future. Apart from the enjoyment of the story, for a visual generation, I thought it would be good exercise for those to apertures on either side of the much-used eyes. An ex-colleague of mine used to say he "enjoyed the wireless because the scenery was better"; I hope the scenery will be vivid for my two.
Sensibly abridged, well-read with effective background music,it does Kipling proud.
On the CD cover as well as in the product details, I just wish Mr Kipling featured and was given credit for his original writing. "Author: Arcadia Books" indeed!
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on 8 August 2014
The book contained some very good narratives for each chapter I had read. I enjoyed reading the chapters about a lost boy called Mowgli in the jungle and a Mongoose called Rikky-Tikky-Tidy who was raised by humans. The last two chapters were a bit frustrating for me to figure out what was going on so I didn't enjoy them as I would've hoped they would be. I was also expecting for the book to be longer than 97 pages (if it was made in that way to be aimed at children then forget about all of the things mentioned here). The story of a seal named Kotick was good; however, the story could've been made a lot more happier for the reader and it could've been made a bit more sense to what was going on at the start of the story.
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on 2 February 2014
I bought this as a keepsake for my daughter after we had been to see a musical version of the story at the local theatre. She loves all books and i know she has enjoyed this, not having read it before. The illustrations are very well done, but anyone expecting Disney 'cuties' will be disappointed.
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on 2 December 2010
I loved the Jungle Book. I was surprised since I expected it to be hard to understand given the era when it was wrote but I quickly found myself immersed in the stories included.

I was also surprised that it featured more than one story. I thought the Jungle Book would just feature the story of Mowgli, like on the Disney film but it also features 5 other stories, each of which are good reads.

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi is quite a famous tale and well worth checking out. It tells the story of a Mongoose working to protect a human family from a family of snakes.

I loved it! Brilliant book and well worth getting.
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