The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

The Jungle Book is a classic collection of children’s tales. In this collection, Rudyard Kipling introduces his readers readers to beloved heroes like Mowgli, the boy raised by wolves and Rikki-tikki-tavi, the cobra-fighting mongoose. Kipling’s stories are immersive, humorous, and highly enjoyable. Children should love things like the talking animals and the rapid pacing of most of the stories while adults should enjoy the subtle hints of grown-up humor Kipling incorporates.

In the end, I enjoyed virtually every one of the stories collected in The Jungle Book, but I was most struck by the final one. This story, entitled Her Majesty’s Servants revolves around several camp animals who work the British army in India. Each of the animals relates the way in which he fights the crown’s enemies and shares his pride in doing so. But the final conversation between the animals is quite enlightening:

I recommend the story to anyone with little ones in need of a good bed time story. It truly is a piece that should sit on everyones shelves, and if everyone had it read to them as a child then maybe the world would be a better place; for our animal friends atleast.

Rudyard Kipling, the great poet of British Victorian colonialism, is a controversial figure, despite the fact that he was immensely talented. Mired in references to the The White Man’s Burden, modern readers with politically correct sensibilities may be tempted to overlook Kipling for authors more aligned with present sensibilities. To do so would be a mistake. Kipling was a master writer and knew how to convey genius through the English language and the book I just finished, The Jungle Book, proves this.

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