Saturday, 7 December 2013

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

I read 'Kim' as a kid and enjoyed in very much. Though I have seen a cartoon version of The Jungle Book on TV I never got to read it. I picked this book for the Back to Classics challenge. First and foremost, this is not a novel but a collection of short stories and songs. Three of these stories tell the tale of Mowgli. The first one narrates the story of how the Father Wolf and Mother Wolf save the Human child from the Shere Khan and adopt him. The next story tells the story of how Mowgli learns about the Law of the Jungle and learns who his friends are. Third one tells the story of how Mowgli won his fight against Shere Khan. While the characters and main plot line for the cartoon series I saw was derived from The Jungle Book, the cartoon is very different from the Mowgli stories here. I enjoyed getting reacquainted with Bhageera and Bhaloo. Other short stories also deal with animals, 'The White Seal' tells the story of a white seal that goes in search of an island faraway from human habitation to escape being hunted by humans for fur. 'Rikki Tikki Tavi' features the legendary fight between a mongoose and a snake. 'Toomai and the Elephant' tells the story of a young boy Toomai who forms a bond with elephants and gets to see and lives to tell about the rare elephant dance. 'Her Majesty's Service' tells the story of the camp animals, while I enjoyed all the other stories in this collection, the last story didn't hold my attention. There are jungle songs in between the short stories, I don't think I cared for them either. Overall, I feel I may have enjoyed it more as a kid. 

This book is available as a free ebook from many websites including Project Gutenberg and Goodreads. 


neer said...

Valli, I remember the hindi version of Jungle Book telecast on DD: Jungle, jungle phool khila hai...

Your review wants me to revisit the serial and read the book. Thanks.

srivalli said...

Neer, I saw the Hindi version on DD too! I love that song Jungle, Jungle..! I wonder how they made such a long series with just three short stories. Loved the cartoon and loved the book too, but they are very different. Hope you enjoy it too!