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19 of the Best Books of 2021

book review jungle book

A bookworm is happiest when they’re surrounded by books — both old and new. Undoubtedly, 2021 was a great year for both fiction and nonfiction, with bestsellers like Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters and Second Place by Rachel Cusk. Whether you read memoirs or young-adult (YA) novels, 2021 was a fantastic year for book lovers. While we can’t squeeze in all of our favorites from 2021, we’ve rounded up a stellar sampling of must-reads. Here’s some of the year’s best books. 

“Crying in H Mart: A Memoir” by Michelle Zauner

book review jungle book

In her profound memoir Crying in H Mart , Michelle Zauner shares an unflinching view of growing up as a Korean American person — all while reflecting on losing her mother to terminal cancer. Author Dani Shapiro notes that the Japanese Breakfast musician “has created a gripping, sensuous portrait of an indelible mother-daughter bond that hits all the notes: love, friction, loyalty, grief.”

“The Prophets” by Robert Jones, Jr.

book review jungle book

In Robert Jones, Jr.’s lyrical debut novel, The Prophets , Isaiah and Samuel are two enslaved young men who find refuge in each other — and their love becomes both sustaining and heroic in the face of a vicious world. Entertainment Weekly writes that “While The Prophets’ dreamy realism recalls the work of Toni Morrison… Its penetrating focus on social dynamics stands out more singularly.” Now that’s a compliment.

“The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman

book review jungle book

At President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Amanda Gorman read her electrifying poem, “ The Hill We Climb .” Since then, it has been praised for its call for unity and healing. Vogue captures the feeling of reading the poem well, calling it “deeply rousing and uplifting.” 

“Beautiful World, Where Are You” by Sally Rooney

book review jungle book

New York Times bestselling author Sally Rooney has returned with a sharp, romantic drama, Beautiful World, Where Are You . Two separate relationships are in chaos, threatening to ruin friendships. Vogue  declares that the author has “invented a sensibility entirely of her own: Sunny and sharp.” 

“Somebody’s Daughter: A Memoir” by Ashley C. Ford

book review jungle book

Ashley C. Ford’s coming-of-age memoir, Somebody’s Daughter , centers on her childhood. Ford, a Black girl who grew up poor in Indiana, recounts how her family was fragmented by her father’s incarceration. With rich, unflinching writing, Ford has penned a debut for the ages. The memoir’s publisher perhaps puts the core of the book best, noting that Ford “embarks on a powerful journey to find the threads between who she is and what she was born into, and the complicated familial love that often binds them.” 

“Last Night at the Telegraph Club” by Malinda Lo

book review jungle book

Everyone remembers their first all-consuming love — and for Lily Hu, the teenage protagonist of Malinda Lo’s queer YA novel, that love is Kathleen Miller. Set in the 1950s in San Francisco,  Last Night at the Telegraph Club  is not just one of the year’s best, but one of Lo’s best. O: The Oprah Magazine notes that the novel is “proof of Lo’s skill at creating darkly romantic tales of love in the face of danger.”

“¡Hola Papi!” by John Paul Brammer

book review jungle book

In his memoir, ¡H ola Papi!: How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons , advice columnist John Paul Brammer delves into his experiences growing up as a queer, biracial person. The  Los Angeles Times  writes that “Brammer’s writing is incredibly funny, kind, and gracious to his readers, and deeply vulnerable in a way that makes it feel as if he’s talking to only you” — and we couldn’t agree more. 

“Honey Girl” by Morgan Rogers

book review jungle book

In Morgan Rogers’ novel Honey Girl , Grace Porter is an overachiever — and certainly not the type of person to marry a stranger in Las Vegas. Or, at least, she didn’t think she was that type of person. As Grace navigates the messiness of adulthood, Rogers takes us on a journey that’s both heartfelt and unflinching, illustrating that love is all about risks — even when it comes to loving ourselves. 

“Aftershocks: A Memoir” by Nadia Owusu

book review jungle book

Nadia Owusu’s memoir, Aftershocks , reflects on her experience of being abandoned by her parents at a young age. Entertainment Weekly notes that “Owusu dispatches all of this heartache with blistering honesty but does so with prose light enough that it never feels too much to bear.”

“Klara and the Sun” by Kazuo Ishiguro

book review jungle book

What if an artificial intelligence (AI) assistant had feelings? In Kazuo Ishiguro’s latest novel,  Klara and the Sun , Klara is an Artificial Friend who wonders if friendship is possible. The Financial Times called the Never Let Me Go author’s latest “a deft dystopian fable about the innocence of a robot that asks big questions about existence.”

“100 Boyfriends” by Brontez Purnell

book review jungle book

Brontez Purnell’s romantic, intoxicating book, 100 Boyfriends , is a look at the romantic lives of queer men who are striving to find out not just where they belong, but where they can shine. Author Bryan Washington praised the collection, writing that “Each story in 100 Boyfriends is a minor eclipse: stunning in scope, technically blinding, and entirely miraculous.”

“One Last Stop” by Casey McQuiston

book review jungle book

In Casey McQuiston’s big-hearted romance novel, One Last Stop , August meets Jane on a New York City subway — but she doesn’t realize just how fateful their chance encounter is at first. New York Magazine called the novel “an earnest reminder that home — whether that means a time, a place, or a person — is worth fighting for,” and we wouldn’t expect anything less from the  Red, White & Royal Blue author. 

“Afterparties: Stories” by Anthony Veasna So

book review jungle book

In Afterparties , Anthony Veasna So weaves together tenderhearted stories about the lives of several Cambodian American characters. Although the stories vary quite a bit in terms of content, author George Saunders writes that they are all “powered by So’s skill with the telling detail,” and are much like “…beams of wry, affectionate light, falling from different directions on a complicated, struggling, beloved American community.”

“Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

book review jungle book

In Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novel Malibu Rising , readers meet four famous siblings as they throw their annual end-of-summer party in Malibu. However, over the course of 24 hours, family drama ensues. The Washington Post calls this read “a fast-paced, engaging novel that smoothly transports readers.”

“Let Me Tell You What I Mean” by Joan Didion

book review jungle book

Between 1968 and 2000, award-winning journalist and essayist Joan Didion wrote 12 pieces about a variety of well-known figures, ranging from Ernest Hemingway and Nancy Reagan to Martha Stewart. Now, these works have been gathered in the essay collection Let Me Tell You What I Mean . Bret Easton Ellis writes that Didion’s “prose remains peerless,” so, if you’re a fan of the iconic writer, this is a must-read. 

“Intimacies” by Katie Kitamura

book review jungle book

Intimacies is Katie Kitamura’s fourth novel, following 2017’s critically acclaimed A Separation . In it, an interpreter for the International Court at the Hague gets drawn into a political scandal after agreeing to translate for a former world leader and potential criminal. The novel is a fascinating investigation into the instability of language and how it influences identity. Dana Spiotta describes Intimacies as “a haunting, precise, and morally astute novel that reads like a psychological thriller.”

“Detransition, Baby” by Torrey Peters

book review jungle book

In Detransition, Baby , Torrey Peters tells a witty and nuanced story about partnership, parenthood and identity. About the novel, Ginny Hogan from the New York Times states “[Detransition, Baby upends] our traditional, gendered notions of what parenthood can look like.”

“Second Place” by Rachel Cusk

book review jungle book

In Rachel Cusk’s novel Second Place , a follow up to her brilliant Outline trilogy, a woman invites an artist she admires to live in her remote guesthouse for the summer. As the stay unfolds, a series of unexpected events spurs revelations about womanhood, marriage and security. About Second Place , Jenny Singer from Glamour writes “there is mayhem; surprising sweetness and brilliant observations tumble from every page.”

“Sellout: The Major-Label Feeding Frenzy That Swept Punk, Emo, and Hardcore ” by Dan Ozzi

book review jungle book

In Sellout: The Major-Label Feeding Frenzy That Swept Punk, Emo, and Hardcore , rock critic Dan Ozzi traces the stories of eleven separate bands that transitioned from the indie scene to achieve mainstream success in the ‘90s. Including interviews and anecdotes from bands like Green Day, Jimmy Eat World and Blink-182, this is a must-read for any music lover.


book review jungle book

book review jungle book

A Literary Playground

book review jungle book

Book Review: The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

– short review –.

This is the story of a wolf pack who adopt a human child, when the tiger, Shere Khan, hunts outside of his territory against the law of the jungle. Mowgli, the boy, grows up with the animals. He learns the law of the jungle from Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther is his protector. But Shere Khan, the strongest of the hunters, as well as the most alone, is biding his time until he can get the prey that he thinks is rightfully his. Most people have seen the movie, but Rudyard Kipling’s  The Jungle Book is a very special story with much more in it than the film, as well as being a magically told tale.

Five out of five STORGY typewriters

– longer review –.

Rudyard Kipling might sound like an old-fashioned writer. He is certainly long dead, and his personal beliefs make some grown-ups think his writing isn’t worth reading. Other grown-ups make children read his poems and other stories at high school, and that is often a sure way to turn teenagers off to reading, well some of them at least. But  The Jungle Book is a truly magical tale. Yes, there is the movie by Disney. Rudyard Kipling, however, weaves the story of the ‘man-cub’ brought up by the animals in the jungle so beautifully his words are as mesmerising as the hypnotism Kaa the snake uses to kill his prey.

The jungle is brought to life and you are transported across oceans and continents to India. Mr Kipling shows you a world you couldn’t possibly visit, a strange world with different rules, which in turn makes us think about our own world in different ways. And this is a truly powerful thing when a book can do all that.

The story itself is better than the cut-down version Disney told (which is a brilliant movie, I think). It is a story of right and wrong and good and evil, a story of growing up and the responsibilities that come with it. It is a story of different kinds of wisdom: that of man, verses that of the jungle. Some of the most wonderful parts of the story are set in a ruined city deep in the jungle. But the ending stands apart. Mowgli must defeat Shere Khan, an animal far stronger than a puny human. Mowgli has brains, but of course the people who built the great city in the jungle had brains, but they have long disappeared, their cleverness comes with a price, you see.

You can get this book for penny’s, or buy a new beautiful illustrated version, or an old book with a leather cover that smells of dust and secrets, or you can listen to a wonderful audio reading. However you get it into your brain, I think you should. Transport yourself to the jungle and learn its laws. But beware Shere Khan there stalks.

The Jungle Book is available here .


Read about Rudyard Kipling here .

Reviewed  by  Daniel Soule

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Goodreads Celebrates Women's History Month

The Jungle Book #1

The jungle book, rudyard kipling.

277 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1894

About the author

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Ratings & Reviews

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Community reviews.

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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.


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.

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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. MOWGLI'S SONG AGAINST PEOPLE 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!

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book review jungle book

Book Review: “The Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling

The Jungle Book

January 7th, 2018 – January 18th, 2018

Audiobook, Hardback

A classic story of friendship between man and beast. Saved from the jaws of the evil tiger Shere Khan, young Mowgli is adopted by a wolf pack and taught the law of the jungle by lovable old Baloo the bear and Bhageera the panther. The adventures of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi the snake-fighting mongoose, little Toomai and the elephant’s secret dance, and Kotick the white seal are all part of Mowgli’s extraordinary journey with his animal friends.

I feel a bit deceived. I thought The Jungle Book was just about Mowgli’s adventures in the jungle. However, only three chapters are dedicated to his story, while the other four are about wild animals of India interacting with humans. Most of these stories are forgettable, especially “Her Majesty’s Servants” and I spent most of “Toomai of the Elephants” trying to figure out if the main character was an elephant or a snake – he was neither; he was a young Indian boy who came from a family of elephant herders. The only story I enjoyed was “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi”, mainly because of my previous familiarity with it.

Rudyard Kipling’s writing was consistently boring. When I read my physical copy of the book, I spent about twenty minutes on one set of pages, just to completely grasp the concepts of the narrative. The audiobook didn’t help much either since I continuously tuned out without realizing it, and I didn’t even care enough to rewind the audio to catch what I missed. I only wanted to understand the basic events of each story, and I didn’t even achieve that without looking up a few summaries online.

I appreciated the political aspects of “Mowgli’s Brothers” and “Kaa’s Hunting” (two of the three Mowgli-centered stories). This concept showed how complex and cruel the jungle world can be. Shere Khan is a strategical tiger. He knows the law of the jungle and works his way around it to try to get his way. This makes for a good villain, but sadly his downfall is anticlimactic. Mowgli never uses hand-to-hand combat to defeat Shere Khan, but his human intelligence. This not only proves that Mowgli can’t survive in the jungle the way the wolves taught him but like the hunters in “The White Seal”, he can overpower nature with man-made weapons and whit.

I’m a little upset that the animals simply accepted their being robbed of their land and family, along with being subjected to slaving for man. It’s disheartening to see characters I’m supposed to root for give up so easily, and the ones that do want to make a change must tiptoe around the societies of the jungle or of the men pillaging the jungle.

“Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” is the least complex of all these stories. It is a simple tale about a pet defending his human owners. Rikki-Tikki’s curious nature leads him to Teddy and his parents; he is not captured and taken advantage of like other animals in this book. His actions are solely based on his love for the family – a love that stems from them feeding and caring for the mongoose. It is not a political allegory, but an example of balance between nature and humans.

Like most classics, The Jungle Book has many layers. However, the political concepts and grey morality will go way over the intended audience’s heads, and I doubt adults will enjoy anything outside those man vs. nature elements.

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Reader, Writer, Professional Fangirl View all posts by Lydia Walker

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book review jungle book

Book Review

The jungle book.

book review jungle book

Readability Age Range

Year Published

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine .

Plot Summary

The Jungle Book is a collection of stories and poems, and is not a single tale. Each piece is summarized below.

Mowgli’s Brothers — Father Wolf is surprised to see a man cub enter his den. When Shere Khan, the limping tiger, tries to take the man cub, he becomes stuck in the den’s entrance. Mother and Father Wolf refuse to give the man cub to the tiger. When their other cubs are able to run, Mother and Father Wolf take the man cub, called Mowgli, and their other cubs to Council Rock. One by one, the cubs are presented and accepted by the pack. To be accepted means that the pack will protect them until they kill their first buck. Because Mowgli is a man cub and not a wolf, Akela, the leader, asks for two animals, other than his wolf parents, to speak for him. Baloo, a brown bear, and Bagheera, a black panther, speak for him, so he is accepted into the Free People (wolf pack). As Mowgli grows, he learns the Law of the Jungle. When he is a little older, Bagheera sends him to bring back the Red Flower (fire) from a man village. Mowgli finds and carries it back in a pot and feeds it with twigs and grass. Meanwhile, Akela misses his kill, which means that he will be removed as the leader of the Free People. The Wolf Pack meets at Council Rock to officially remove Akela from his position and kill him. Since Akela can no longer protect Mowgli, Shere Khan demands Mowgli be returned to him. The wolves agree. Then Mowgli produces the Red Flower from the pot. He denounces the Free People for their betrayal of him and Akela, excluding Mother and Father Wolf and his brother cubs, and forces Shere Khan to leave by singeing his fur. Mowgli declares that he won’t return to Council Rock until he has Shere Khan’s hide. He leaves to find a man village.

Hunting-Song of the Seeonee Pack — This poem is a hunting song of the Free People, the wolf pack.

Kaa’s Hunting — Before Mowgli left the Free People, he was under the tutelage of Baloo and Bagheera. In this tale, they teach him the Law of the Jungle, which most wolf cubs don’t learn fully. He learns how to speak to snakes, birds and other beasts, to hail them and to ask for permission not to be harmed by them. One day after being cuffed by Baloo for not reciting the Law correctly, Mowgli leaves in a huff and plays with the Monkey People, the Bandar-log, and they tell him that someday he will be their leader. When Baloo learns about this, he becomes angry. The Jungle People ignore the Monkey People because of their foolishness. Before long, the Monkey People kidnap Mowgli. They toss him between them as they travel to the Cold Lair, an Indian ruin in the Jungle. Mowgli hails a bird to tell Baloo and Bagheera where he’s being taken. Baloo and Bagheera know the Bandar-log fears Kaa the Rock Python, so they find him and ask for help. All he knows is that the Bandar-log have changed their hunting grounds. Just then, a bird tells them that the Monkey People have taken Mowgli to the Cold Lairs. Meanwhile, Mowgli tries to leave the Cold Lairs, but the Monkey People pull him back and tell him why he wants to be with them and how amazing they are. When Bagheera arrives and attacks, over 100 monkeys attack him and throw Mowgli into an area filled with poisonous snakes. Mowgli speaks friendship to the snakes, and they agree not to bite him. When Baloo arrives, he begins to fight against the Bandar-log, too. Then Kaa comes and the monkeys flee. Kaa’s hissing and movement puts them in a trance. Kaa breaks the wall holding Mowgli, and then Baloo and Bagheera fall into the snake’s trance, too. Mowgli thanks the python, snaps his friends out of their trance and leaves. The Law of the Jungle requires that Mowgli be cuffed for his mischievousness, but Bagheera cuffs him lightly, though it is quite a beating for a 7-year-old. Then they all head for their respective homes.

Road-Song of the Bandar-Log — This poem is a song of the Monkey People.

“Tiger! Tiger!” — When Mowgli leaves Council Rock, he travels to a village on the plains, far away from the jungle. Messua, a woman who lost her son to a jungle tiger and who is rich, takes in Mowgli. Mowgli wants to assimilate, so he starts to learn the language, wears clothing and learns about plowing, but he won’t sleep in the hut. He sleeps in the long grass. There, Gray Wolf, his brother cub, finds him. Gray Wolf says he will warn Mowgli when Shere Kahn returns, for Shere Khan has vowed to kill Mowgli. Because Mowgli doesn’t understand the cast system and helps a potter restack his pots, he is made a servant of the village and sent to watch the buffalo, which Mowgli enjoys. In the evenings, he listens to the older men talk beneath the fig tree about their exploits, especially Buldeo, the head hunter of the village. But these stories make Mowgli laugh. Buldeo says things that are not true, such as the tiger that limps is inhabited by an old money lender who limped. When Mowgli contradicts him, Buldeo is enraged and makes him leave to herd the buffalo. Soon Gray Brother tells Mowgli that Shere Khan has returned and is waiting in the tall grass to kill him. Gray Brother also brings Akela with him, which encourages Mowgli. The wolves help Mowgli divide the buffalo herd into bulls in one group and cows and calves in the other. Mowgli and Akela drive the bulls away from the village, while Gray Wolf drives the cows and calves to the ravine, to a place Shere Kahn can’t jump over the walls. Then the cows and calves stop to graze. Mowgli traps Shere Kahn between stampeding buffalo, and the tiger is trampled to death. Mowgli begins to skin the 10-foot tiger, but Buldeo tries to claim the hide as his. When Akela helps keep Mowgli safe from Buldeo, Buldeo returns to the village with stories of Mowgli’s sorcery. Once Mowgli is done skinning Shere Khan, Mowgli wears the skin and takes the buffalo back to the village. But the villagers won’t let him enter. Mowgli realizes that the Free People cast him out because he wasn’t a wolf, and now Man rejects him because they think he is a wolf. Messua doesn’t believe what Buldeo says and thanks Mowgli for avenging her son’s death. Mowgli doesn’t destroy the village because it is her home, too. Mowgli returns to Council Rock with Shere Khan’s hide. The Free People beg Akela and Mowgli to lead them, but they refuse. Mowgli hunts only with his Wolf brothers, until he becomes a man, which is another story.

Mowgli’s Song — This poem is the song that Mowgli sings when he brings Shere Khan’s hide to Council Rock.

The White Seal — Seals spend the summer months in the land of Novastoshnah on the Island of St. Paul in the Bering Sea. Sea Catch, a large gray seal, fights other seals for a place on the crowded rock beach for his nursery. Then the women arrive. The thousands of younger male and female seals, called bachelors and holluschickie, move farther inland. Kotick is born to Sea Catch. He is different from other seals in that he is all white. At summer’s end, he leaves with his mother and learns how to survive in the open sea. The following year, he returns as a bachelor to Novastoshnah. During that summer, seal hunters from a nearby village herd a small group of bachelor seals to their death, though they won’t touch the white seal. The other seals accept the deaths of the missing bachelors as a way of life, but Kotick wants to find a safer place for the seals. He asks a Sea Lion for help. The Sea Lion tells him to talk to the Sea Vitch on Walrus Island, who tells him to ask the Sea Cow about a safer island. Discouraged, Kotick returns to Novastoshnah, but that fall, he sets out to find Sea Cow. He searches for Sea Cow and explores possible new islands for five years. He is about to give up when an old seal tells him to try one more time. There is a prophecy that says a white seal will lead all seals to a safe island. So Kotick spends one more year searching. Finally he finds a herd of sea cows and follows them, because they won’t communicate with him. They end up on an island where no people have ever been. Its natural barriers keep people form finding it. Kotick returns to Novastoshnah, but no seal want to follow him to the new island until he fights the largest ones and wins. Only then do they follow him to their new home.

Lukannon: This poem is a song that that the seals sing as they head toward their summer beach. Kipling thought of it as their National Anthem.

“Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” — Rikki-tikki is a mongoose. When a flood washes him out of his parents’ home, a young boy named Teddy finds and feeds him. Rikki-tikki rides on Teddy’s shoulders. In the garden, Rikki-tikki meets Darzee and his wife, birds who have lost one of their eggs to Nag, a black cobra. Nag tries to scare Rikki-tikki, but Darzee warns him of danger just in time to escape Nagaina, Nag’s wife. Hurrying back to Teddy, Rikki-tikki stops a poisonous brown snake from biting Teddy. Teddy’s parents now love Rikki-tikki and treat him well. That night Chuchundra, a muskrat, hints that Nag is coming to attack. Nag finds a way into the bathroom, and Rikki-tikki attacks him. The mongoose bites the cobra’s head, locking his jaws around it. Teddy’s father hears the noise and uses his shotgun to kill the snake. The next morning, Rikki-tikki aches all over, but he gets Darzee’s wife to be a decoy so he can destroy Nagaina’s eggs. Rikki-tikki destroys 24 of the 25 eggs. Nagaina goes after Teddy, and Rikki-tikki takes the final egg to get Nagaina’s attention. Nagaina grabs her egg and flees to her snake hole, but Rikki-tikki pursues. He bites her tale and is pulled into the snake hole. After some time, Rikki-tikki returns the victor. He continues to live with Teddy’s family and keeps the garden safe.

Darzee’s Chant — a poem that tells how Darzee honored Rikki-tikki in song

Toomai of the Elephants — Kala Nag, an elephant that had served the Indian Government for 47 years, is almost 70 years old. His driver is called Big Toomai, and the man’s 10-year-old son is called Little Toomai. Little Toomai’s grandfather and great-grandfather had worked with Kala Nag. Kala Nag obeys his Toomai drivers whether they go to war, travel on ships, remain in city stalls or capture wild elephants. During the season when the family helps round up wild elephants in the jungle, Little Toomai helps a hunter but puts himself in danger to do it. Fortunately, Kala Nag saves him. The incident is reported to Petersen Sahib, a white man, the head of the Keddah operations, who catches all the wild elephants for the Indian government. Petersen Sahib gives Little Toomai money and tells him to come back once he’s seen the elephants dance. (This is a joke among hunters because elephants don’t dance, though there are stories that they do dance on the day the elephant drive ends each year.) That night, Little Toomai wakes to find Kala Nag still awake and hears the “hoot-toot” of wild elephants in the distance. Kala Nag easily and quietly breaks the ropes that hold him in place. As he leaves, Little Toomai asks Kala Nag to let him go, too, so the elephant lifts him on his neck. They travel deep into the jungle and are joined by other elephants. They all reach the top of the hill where trees circle a three- to four-acre space and all the grass has been trampled. Slowly, that area fills with elephants from all parts of India. Then Kala Nag moves to the center. In pitch-blackness, all the elephants trumpet. Then they begin to stamp their feet at the same time, occasionally surging forward and shuffling sideways, too. At dawn, the stamping ends, and each elephant returns from where it came. Little Toomai sees that the elephants made a bigger clearing. Little Toomai directs Kala Nag to Petersen Sahib’s house and tells what he’s seen. After Petersen Sahib’s men verify the clearing, everyone believes him, and they hold a feast for him. His father, who has been looking for him, attends also. Little Toomai is given the name Toomai of the Elephants, the same name as his great-grandfather, for the elephants have favored Little Toomai by allowing him to see them dance.

Shiv and the Grasshopper — This poem is the song that Toomai’s mother sings to her child.

Her Majesty’s Servants — The narrator is a part of a camp of 30,000 men, along with their camels, elephants, horses, mules and other animals. When a group of camels gets loose, they destroy the narrator’s tent. He makes a makeshift wigwam out of his waterproof outer covering over a muzzle of a cannon and a few rammers, so he can keep out of the rain. Fortunately, the man understands what animals say. This is what he heard when a loose, camel, pair of bulls, horse, mule and his dog talk to each other. The loose camel asks the mule what he should do. The mule kicks the camel and says that he should know better than to stampede through a mule battery. Then a troop horse and a bull find the camel. The camel says that he and the other camels have been running around the camp because of bad dreams they’ve had. Then each animal compares what it means to fight in the Queen’s service, from their perspective and the part they play in battles. When things grow heated, an elephant asks them to quiet down and not fight. The animals decide that they each have different parts to play and that only men can see the whole picture of the battle. They see only what is right before them, and they question why they have to fight at all. They are scared of different things and feel brave about different things. The next day, they are all in a parade that shows off the whole regiment for the Viceroy and the Amir of Afghanistan. The Amir is impressed and wonders how such a spectacle has been orchestrated. He is told that they can only do this because the men take orders from their commanders and the animals take orders from the men. The leader of Afghanistan realizes that he could never perform such a feat because Afghan men only take orders from themselves.

Parade Song of the Camp Animals — Each animal from the story is given a verse in this poem to tell bout their experience of being in the military camp in the Queen’s service.

Christian Beliefs

Other belief systems.

In “Mowgli’s Brothers,” Tabaqui the jackal wishes the Wolf family good luck and compliments the cubs, which he knows is an action of bad luck, and the wolves feel uncomfortable about it. The Law of the Jungle is a series of guiding principles for how jungle animals should act. In “‘Tiger! Tiger!’” there is a Hindu god in the alcove of Messua’s home. Buldeo believes there is sorcery at work because Mowgli has a history with the tiger and a wolf obeys him. Then Buldeo embellishes what has happened so others, especially the priest, distrust Mowgli and are scared of his sorcery.

Authority Roles

In “Mowgli’s Brothers,” Mother and Father Wolf protect and defend their cubs, even as they teach them to grow. Baloo and Bagheera speak for Mowgli, which keeps him alive, and they commit to teaching him the Law of the Jungle. They are also willing to fight for him. Akela, the lead wolf, governs the Free People justly. Shere Kahn uses his power to pursue only his own good and bully others. In “Kaa’s Hunting,” Baloo and Bagheera use cuffing as a form of discipline, according to the Law of the Jungle. Though they cuff 7-year-old Mowgli lightly, their hits are hard for Mowgli. In “‘Tiger! Tiger!’”

Buldeo uses his place as lead hunter of the village to get what he wants and try to get Mowgli’s tiger skin from him. He also turns the village against Mowgli. In “The White Seal,” Kotick’s parents care for him and teach him what he needs to know to survive in the wild. Later, he asks them where they can go to get away from the sealers, and his parents tell him that once he starts his own nursery, he will be on the beach and the sealers will no longer try to take him. In “‘Rikki-Tikki-Tavi,’” Teddy’s parents look out for him and like the mongoose because he protects their son. The birds and snakes work to keep their nests protected and safe. In “Toomai of the Elephants,” Big Toomai and his wife look out for their son Little Toomai. Little Toomai gives Petersen Sahib much respect for his position and his skill as an elephant hunter.

Profanity & Violence

In “The White Seal,” there are mild exclamations such as “my wig” and “fat pigs of the sea.” In “Toomai of the Elephants,” characters use the phrase “fat old pig” derogatively and “Gods of the Jungle” and “by all the Gods of the hills.” In “Her Majesty’s Service,” phrases such as “parrot-mouthed, pig-headed mule,” “pop-gun pea-shooter battery,” “Pachydermatous Anachronism,” “you big, blundering beast,” “stupid” and “son of an imported Malaga jackass” are used.

The jungle is a survival-of-the-fittest, dangerous place. In “Mowgli’s Brothers,” Shere Kahn stalks the man cub, intent on eating him. Mowgli sets Shere Kahn on fire, and Akela is removed from leadership of the Free People because he misses a kill. If it weren’t for Mowgli, he would have been killed when he was removed from leadership.

In “Kaa’s Hunting,” Bagheera and Baloo cuff Mowgli as a means of discipline. They also fight, as if to the death, against hundreds of Monkey People. Kaa the Rock Python mesmerizes other animals with its movements and hissing so it can eat them. It is not a poisonous snake and squeezes its victims to death.

In “‘Tiger! Tiger!’” Mowgli causes a herd of buffalo to trample Shere Khan, who is waiting to kill him. Then Mowgli skins the tiger. Akela holds off Buldeo. Then the town throws rocks and shoots at Mowgli when he returns because they think he is a wolf that knows sorcery.

In “The White Seal,” male seals fight nonstop for a place for their nursery on the small beach. Many bachelors are led to their deaths by sealers. Kotick must fight many male seals in order to get them to follow him to a safer island.

In “‘Rikki-Tikki-Tavi,’” Rikki-tikki is swept out of his parents’ home in a flood. Then Nagaina tries to come up behind him and kill him. Rikki-tikki attacks a poisonous brown snake and Nag, and Teddy’s father kills them both, either with pounding or his gun. Rikki-tikki destroys all but one egg in Nagaina’s nest. In the final battle between Rikki-tikki and Nagaina, the action is not described, but Rikki-tikki is the victor, which means that Nagaina and her last egg are destroyed.

In “Her Majesty’s Service,” all the animals describe their service in battle. A mule kicks a camel to teach him a lesson, and camels destroy men’s tents as they flee their bad dreams.

Sexual Content

Discussion topics.

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books .

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Mowgli and more in timeless, suspenseful tales.

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A lot or a little.

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Rudyard Kipling's book of short stories The Jungle Book is far less whimsical (and musical) than Disney's classic animated film , and it includes stories with different central characters besides Mowgli, the "mancub" raised by wolves and befriended by Baloo the bear. However, in part because of the charming movie, Mowgli's stories are probably the best loved and best known pieces in the collection. These wonderful stories, which alternate with lyrical poems about the characters, depict a complex and sometimes dangerous natural world in which creatures must respect the "ways of the jungle" in order to coexist. Creatures hunt and kill each other in suspenseful scenes, but almost all violent acts happen "offscreen." In one scene, Mowgli uses his wits to trick an adversary into being killed by a stampeding herd of cattle; the animal's death is not shown, but Mowgli is later described skinning the animal. In general, animals talk about killing others for food. The Jungle Book has been made into a number of film and TV versions , and a sequel to the book, The Second Jungle Book , contains more stories about Mowgli and other jungle creatures.

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What's the Story?

Rudyard Kipling's classic book of short stories THE JUNGLE BOOK contains several pieces about Mowgli, the \"mancub,\" who was taken from his human parents and ends up being raised by a wolf family. The book also includes stories about animal characters: \"Rikki Tikki Tavi,\" about a brave mongoose; \"The White Seal\" about a young seal that swims the Bering Strait; and \"Toomai of the Elephants,\" about a young elephant handler. All of the stories personify animals, and they show the complex relationship between creatures that hunt and fear each other in the wild. In Mowgli's stories, the most well known Jungle Book tales, the young boy grows up surrounded by his wolf family and his loyal friends Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther. Mowgli struggles for acceptance in the wolf pack while trying to learn the ways of the jungle, avoid being tricked by mischievous monkeys, and evade Shere Khan the tiger, who's always lurking in the shadows.

Is It Any Good?

The Jungle Book has fascinated readers for more than 100 years with its unforgettable characters and beautifully rendered animal society. There's loads of action and adventure -- as Mowgli engages in a battle of wits with Shere Khan the tiger, or when Rikki Tikki Tavi protects his family from cobras -- and inspiring messages, too, about respecting the laws of nature and the ways intelligence and understanding can be more effective than brute strength. However, readers who are more familiar with Disney's rendition of The Jungle Book may need some encouragement to appreciate the beauty of the less whimsical original.

Talk to Your Kids About ...

Families can talk about how the Mowgli in the book different from the one in Disney's animated Jungle Book. What differences are there in the story?

What's difficult for Mowgli as he tries to fit in to the human village?

Tweens and teens can learn more about Rudyard Kipling's world by watching the PBS series My Boy Jack , starring Daniel Radcliffe as Kipling's son.

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The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling - review

Rudyard Kipling, Ladybird Classics: The Jungle Book

There is probably not a single child in the world without a preconceived idea of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. Show me one who doesn't know about Mowgli's adventures through the jungle with bumbling, kindly Baloo and cunning Bagheera, thanks to Disney's version of the book.

However, start reading the original and all preconceived notions might as well be thrown out the window. This is a dark and often unhappy tale which left me nervous and frightened and is more prone to cause a nightmare than a sweet dream.

Kipling tells the story of little Mowgli, a village boy who falls into the hands of a pack of wolves who raise him as their own in the Indian jungle. As he matures he starts to understand the 'Law of the Jungle' and the book follows his many adventures alongside the myriad creatures around him. Those include Baloo the bear and Bagheera the black panther, who become his tutors and protectors. As a child reader, one of the most disturbing parts of this relationship is the physical violence Baloo and Bagheera continuously seem to use against Mowgli as part of their teaching.

'Bagheera gave him half a dozen love taps (…) but for a seven-year-old boy [this] amounted to as severe a beating as you could wish to avoid.' I found it very difficult to like these two characters because of this abuse towards Mowgli and without sympathetic characters to relate to the book was hard to enjoy. I wanted Mowgli to escape from these two almost as much as I wanted him to escape the terrible monkeys. I don't think Kipling intended the reader to feel this way, but perhaps in his days, hitting a child was more common.

Kipling does manage to create an intense world that sucks you in with his descriptions of the jungle and the creatures that live there. I felt myself hearing the strange noises, feeling the ground slither with snakes and sweating in the heat of the penetrating environment of the jungle's overpowering force. When Mowgli swings from the vines in the gripped of the monkeys I thought it was a moment of release and wanted him to swing to freedom. But once again, the terror of the place gets the better of him and he is back down below suffering another beating for getting himself into trouble.

After reading this classic, I actually felt rather bewildered: it didn't contain a single character that I either understood or felt empathy towards. I should have felt some harmony with Mowgli as a young boy, but I didn't understand why he was not miserable in his situation. Why would he like and respect Baloo and Bagheera when they physically hurt him for no reason at all?

The books I enjoy give me a character I can understand and root for, but in my opinion The Jungle Book has failed here. Rather than a page-turner I found myself fearful to turn the pages of Kipling's book, as I knew I would be haunted by Mowgli's sad existence.

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Book review: The Jungle Book | Hamro Patro

ब्लग - साहित्य / बाल साहित्य, book review: the jungle book.

book review jungle book

Introduction: Last month, I read the Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. The story was mostly about Mowgli, an Indian boy who is raised by wolves and learns self-reliance and wisdom from the jungle animals. The book describes the social life of a wolf pack and, in a more visionary way. Setting: The Jungle Book is set in a jungle in nearby India in the early 20th century. There is also the set up of a small Indian village near the jungle where Mowgli used to see creatures like him from the jungle. Characters: Mowgli is a human cub raised by a wolf pack. Shere Khan is presented as being cruel, unkind, greedy, and rude. Bagheera and Kaa are the friends of Mowgli, Bhaloo, the bear, is his teacher and teaches him jungle rules. Akela, is the leader of the wolf pack. Summary A wolf family finds a little boy wandering in the jungle and adopts him. They named him Mowgli. He becomes part of the wolf pack, and Baloo, the old bear, and the panther Bagheera teach him the rules of the jungle. However, Shere Khan, the tiger, does not like the child living in the jungle and wants to kill him. One day, Mowgli is captured by monkeys who live in an abandoned city in the jungle. Baloo and Bagheera get help from Kaa, the python, and save it. As Mowgli grows older, he is in greater danger from Shere Khan. One thing that all animals fear is fire, so he goes to a nearby village and steals a pot of fire. He uses fire to fight Shere Khan, but he knows that he would have to kill him to be safe. As Mowgli grows older, the animals begin to realize that they cannot live with him. He returns to the village and starts living with the humans. Shere Khan finds him. Then Mowgli kills Shere Khan. Critical Interpretations I love the jungle setting, and as I said before, I loved how the narration brought this to life and allowed me to visualize the surroundings of the jungle very clearly. I found this entire story entertaining. Some of these stories were touching, some were fun, and some I just did not connect to at all. It was such a mixture! What I don't like about the book is that the Mogwoli returned to the human world. I thought that at the end, Mowgli would stay with the animals, but it had a sad ending. He left his childhood memories, friends, and families behind in the jungle. Overall, I enjoyed this one, but it had more ups and downs than I expected. Recommendation I would recommend it if anyone is going to read an adventurous book. I think this book should be taught in every school, as it teaches the little students many morals. This is both a fiction and a morality tale.The morals are that we should control our emotions, we should be confident to do something, animals also help each other, and if humans try, they can be friends with animals. In terms of rating, I would give this book 9 out of 10. Pratik Karn Grade:V Author: Rudyard Kipling Illustrator: John Lockwood Kipling No. of pages: 239 Published by: Macmillan in 1894

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तपाईँले आजको मिति भन्दा पछिको नोट हाल्नु भएको छैन । तपाईँले जन्मदिन, मिटिङ, सम्झनु पर्ने कुराहरु, बिल तिर्ने दिन आदि टिपोट टिप्न सक्नुहुन्छ ।

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The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling – Book Review

Published 16/07/2016 · Updated 30/03/2022

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The Jungle Books Author – Rudyard Kipling Publisher – Alma Classics Illustrator – Ian Beck Release Date – 15th April 2016 Format – paperback Reviewer – Stacey I received a free copy of this book Post Contains Affiliate Links

synopsis of a witch The Jungle Books

“His spots are the joy of the Leopard: his horns are the Buffalo’s pride. Be clean, for the strength of the hunter is known by the gloss of his hide.”

The adventures of Mowgli, the young man raised by wolves in the jungles of Central India, and his friends Baloo the bear, Bagheera the panther and Kaa the python, as they face the arch villain Shere Khan the tiger, have become so popular that they have achieved an almost mythical status throughout the world.

They were collected by Kipling in The Jungle Book and its sequel, The Second Jungle Book, which also contain other stories set in India which prominently feature animals, such as the well-known ‘Rikki-TikkiTavi’, which describes the struggles of a mongoose against venomous cobras.

Here presented with brand-new illustrations by Ian Beck, these hugely popular tales, inspired by ancient fables and Kipling’s own experiences in India, form a vivid account of the relationship between humans and nature, and will continue to inspire readers young and old.

Review of a witch

I think that nearly everyone is familiar with The Jungle Book, written in 1894 by Rudyard Kipling, telling the story of a young boy called Mowgli, who is raised by wolves in the jungle.

Over the years the book has been adapted into many films, most famously by Disney – though whilst a fun children’s film, Disney did change a lot of the book to make it more fun and child-friendly.

I’m not convinced however, that as many people realise that Kipling wrote a second book in 1895, following more of Mowgli’s adventures in five further stories.

The Jungle Book are stories that kids and adults alike can really embrace, from the wild adventures in the Indian Jungle, to the Anthropomorphism that Kipling uses to teach the readers moral lessons in a fun way.

What Alma Children’s Classics has done with their version, is to incorporate the two books into one, inviting book. Also included in the book is extra material for the younger readers, such as a profile of Rudyard Kipling, a quiz and a list of characters which will help them keep track of who’s who.

The book is illustrated by Ian Beck and whilst his illustrations are beautiful, I was expecting there to be more of them throughout.

This is one book that everyone should read at some point in their lives as these are stories that will stay with you forever.

Book Reviewed by Stacey

Purchase links.

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Rudyard Kipling was born on December 30, 1865, in Bombay, India. He was educated in England but returned to India in 1882.

A decade later, Kipling married Caroline Balestier and settled in Brattleboro, Vermont, where he wrote The Jungle Book (1894), among a host of other works that made him hugely successful.

Kipling was the recipient of the 1907 Nobel Prize in Literature. He died in 1936.

Tags: Alma Books Amazon Author Book Book Blog Book Blogger Book Review Children's Fiction Five Stars Paperback Review Rudyard Kipling Stacey

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Book Review: The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Kipling wrote this book in 1894 while living in India. Born to British parents in Bombay, he was raised and educated in England, and lived in England most of his life; but he spent many of his happiest years in India.  The Jungle Book  and its sequel,  The Second Jungle Book , are testimonies to his fascination with the legends and natural wonders of the Subcontinent.

The chief thread in  The Jungle Book  is the myth of the wild boy, raised by animals in the jungle. In this case the wild boy is Mowgli, who as an infant (or, “man-cub”) strays from his village and ends up being raised by a family of wolves, like one of their own pups. The growing boy survives the malice of the great tiger Shere-Khan and the wiles of the serpent Kaa, by a combination of his own pluck and cleverness, the protection of his wolf brethren, and the friendship of the bear Baloo and the black panther Bagheera. He learns to hunt, fight, go to ground, and be careful of the wicked monkeys. He also returns to civilization for a while–just long enough to learn who his true family belongs, and where true civilization lies. And he vanquishes his greatest enemy.

Not all of  The Jungle Book  is the story of Mowgli, however. In and amongst the many poems and songs that Kipling lavishes on us, there is the adventure of a young white seal who searches for a safe place for his people to mate…the battle between the mongoose Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and a nest of cobras…the secret dance of the elephants, ever seen by only one human being, and that a boy…and the boasting rivalry of the pack-animals of Her Majesty’s forces in India, which brings the book to an ironic close.

Children of all ages will love to read these stories and have them read to them. If you’ve only seen the  Disney animated feature , but have never read the book, you don’t know what you’ve missed! Here is a kind of magic that, to us, is very strange and foreign; for it is not only the magic of a strange and faraway land, but also of a time that is no more. American children will not be as quick to understand and identify with the settings and characters, because (unlike British children) India and the Empire are not part of their nation’s history or their cultural background. For us children of the Rebels, the  Jungle Books  will always have the same fascination as any story of exotic climates, cultures, and myths, or any story that depicts man’s relationship with nature from nature’s point of view.

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