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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Stories to Read Aloud
If you enjoy language and good story-telling this book belongs on your bookshelf. I've been reading the stories to my seven-year-old daughter who eats them up. Yes, the vocabulary is challenging - it isn't Berenstain Bears! But there is a time for "I Can Read" books and a time for "Read to Me" books. This will challenge kids and their imaginations, especially if they love...
Published on March 10 2004 by Tyra Murray

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Restrained enthusiasm.
Since their publication a century ago in 1902, Kipling's "Just So Stories" have pleased children and adults alike. Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907, Kipling was a prolific writer for both adults and children, but the "Just So Stories" continues to be regarded as one of the favorites of Kipling's work. Unlike some of his other works, his imperialist...
Published on Nov. 26 2001 by Godly Gadfly


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Stories to Read Aloud, March 10 2004
By 
Tyra Murray "Homeschooling Catholic Mom" (McMinnville, OR United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Just So Stories (Hardcover)
If you enjoy language and good story-telling this book belongs on your bookshelf. I've been reading the stories to my seven-year-old daughter who eats them up. Yes, the vocabulary is challenging - it isn't Berenstain Bears! But there is a time for "I Can Read" books and a time for "Read to Me" books. This will challenge kids and their imaginations, especially if they love animals like my kids do. And it's not just for kids - I love the stories too! Buy it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for Reading Aloud, Oct. 17 2007
By 
Nicola Mansfield (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Just So Stories (Hardcover)
I especially recommend these stories as read-alouds. The narration is written directly to the listener and the use of repetition make these stories ideal read-aloud material. There are 12 stories in the book and we've been reading one story every day. Many of the stories are fanciful tales of how an animal received one of it's special characteristics, such as How the Camel Got its Hump and these were our favourite ones. Ds just laughed and laughed through these and I enjoyed them just as much as he did. This was my first time reading this book though I have previously read Kiplings' Kim and The Jungle Books. Lots of fun!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming stories with a charming presentation., July 8 2004
This review is from: Just So Stories 3D (Audio CD)
I recently purchased this set on cd with a gift certificate for my young daughter. The price tag may have put me off at any other time, but since I was getting it with a certificate, I went for it. I read these stories cover to cover repeatedly as a little girl and took great delight in the hilarity of the answers to such questions as "how did the leopard get his spots?" or "how did the camel get his hump?" Kipling's stories are marvelously nonsensical - which makes them fit for a child's world. However, it was not until hearing them read aloud on this very set that I realized his rhyme and use of repetitive words or phrases is very similar to our modern master of children's literature: Dr. Seuss. It would not surprise me to find that Seuss took his inspiration from the works of Kipling. This is not striking to a reader, but as you listen to his words brought to life by the human voice it is hard to miss.
Geoffrey Palmer, of As Time Goes By, is one of my favorite actors. His voice and interpretation of these beautiful stories enhances the experience so much that I was laughing out loud listening to him in my car. His dry sense of humor is felt in his characterizations of the cast and the lulling of his voice lends a calming, gentle, and sophisticated quality to the text. I now can simply not imagine these stories being read by anybody else.
Finally, the classical musical selection is superb and adds an intelligent whimsiness to the piece. I would highly recommend this set as a lovely gift for any child you find "tenacious and full of segacity". What a delightful alternative to the screech of today's cartoons and children's "pop" albums full of Britney Spears remakes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just So Stories, Jan. 22 2014
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This review is from: Just So Stories (Hardcover)
The book has a beautiful binding and interesting illustrations, and the stories are great! Every child should read them or listen to them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Classic!, Aug. 7 2013
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C. Burella "Home Educating Momma" (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
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Each chapter is a stand alone story children will eat up with great enjoyment. Our copy has fallen apart it is so well loved.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just So Stories, Nov. 5 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Just So Stories (Hardcover)
The just so stories
By: Rudyard Kipling Published by: William Morrow and Company
This book O best beloved (meaning you, in the language that the author used) is a short story book that has many adventures to it and the one that I'm going to tell you about is the story called, The Beginning of the Armadillos. This plot takes us to the steamy jungles of the Amazon rain forest in South America in the Northern part of Brazil. Also in this plot there lives a painted jaguar, a stickly-prickly hedgehog, and slow and solid tortoise. Now O best beloved (meaning you) this particular jaguar isn't very bright so he goes to his mother for advice on how to eat the hedgehog and the tortoise. Well, as any mother would, she tells him ohhh, so many times graciously waving her tail, "Painted Jaguar to catch the hedgehog you must dip him the water so he will uncoil and you must scoop the tortoise out of it's shell with your paw, got it?!" So he goes to the river to find the hedgehog and the tortoise so he can eat them. The first time they barely got away by confusing him. The hedgehog and the tortoise confuse him by messing up what his mother told him. But the second time Painted Jaguar is confused just by looking at them. You'll have to read it to believe it.
As you know, in this particular story you are introduced to a hedgehog named Stickly-Prickly and a tortoise named Slow and Solid. As you might see these two unique animals are very close and have the same predators. In this story Stickly-Prickly hedgehog and Slow and Solid tortoise are being hunted by a creature named Painted Jaguar, as you know, who is not too smart and has spots. Now since Stickly-Prickly and Slow and Solid were able to fool the jaguar once they want to make him so confused that he won't know which is which just by looking at them. So day after day they teach one another how the other works, like Stickly-Prickly teaches Slow and Solid to curl up and Slow and Solid teaches Stickly-Prickly how to swim. After they have done that and are comfortable with their skills they wait for Painted Jaguar to come looking for them but they don't know that they will never be the same again. Stickly-Prickly hedgehog and Slow and Solid tortoise help this particular story because they are smart and they fool the jaguar and they surprise the reader with their cunning and hard work.
This book has been really fun in the fact that there is more than one story in the book and for me more than one story meant that it was a page turner. The story that I described in this book review was easy to concentrate on because I liked it so much. Some stories in this book were just plain old boring so it was harder to read them . The thing that caught my attention was the language that the author used in the book, I thought that the language was very unique and very funny. To tell the truth I thought that there weren't very many surprises at all, the only surprises would be all the purposes of the story that was being told, like how the camel got his hump or the beginning of the Armadillos. To me they make the language in the book fun, like Oh best beloved and stickly-prickly and slow and solid. The people who might like this book would have to have a sense of humor, so if they have that then the person reading this book will have a very fun time indeed.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Restrained enthusiasm., Nov. 26 2001
Since their publication a century ago in 1902, Kipling's "Just So Stories" have pleased children and adults alike. Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907, Kipling was a prolific writer for both adults and children, but the "Just So Stories" continues to be regarded as one of the favorites of Kipling's work. Unlike some of his other works, his imperialist political viewpoint is not evident, but it exhibits only his superb skill at amusing children by his writings. This is a collection of a dozen short stories which display his remarkable ability to enchant the reader - especially children - with the written word, and makes for excellent "bedtime" story reading for young children. It's not hard to see why so many readers speak of it with unrestrained enthusiasm.
Yet as a Christian I could not wholeheartedly share the boundless devotion of most readers, and my own enthusiasm was more restrained. Kipling is evidently familiar with the Bible and the Christian faith, because he makes frequent allusions to Biblical concepts and history, such as Noah's ark. "The Butterfly that Stamped" even features king Solomon and the Queen of Sheba as two main characters. Although both of Kipling's grandfathers were Methodist preachers, he abandoned his family heritage, stating "Three generations of Wesleyan ministers ... lie behind me." Kipling' conscious departure from the Christian heritage is also evident in the "Just So Stories". Even in "The Butterfly that Stamped" he presents king Solomon and the Queen of Sheba as married, something not revealed in Scripture. Moreover, in many of his stories he presents an evolutionary approach to the creation of the world. "How the First Letter was Written" features a Neolithic Cave Man, and "The Cat that Walked by Himself" describes the "taming" of a wild man, wild dog, wild horse, wild cow, and wild cat. Judging charitably, it has to be admitted that many of his stories are presented as clearly absurd, nonsensical and fantastic. One could hardly maintain seriously that in stories like "How the Whale got his Throat" and "How the Camel got his Hump" Kipling is trying to present an alternate creation account. Nonetheless, Kipling does more than just present a fantastic creation account, but in the process is rather disrespectful and mocking of the real creation account, especially in "The Crab that Played with the Sea" which features an "Eldest Magician" making the world by a magic, and also "The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo" which features three gods. But perhaps Kipling's true feelings toward the Bible are most clearly evident in "How the Leopard got his Spots", where he refers to grown-ups saying "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the Leopard his spots?" - a direct quotation from Jeremiah 13:23! - and says "I don't think even grown-ups would keep on saying such a silly thing if the Leopard and the Ethiopian hadn't done it once - do you?" Here Kipling shows his true colours. No amount of charity can justify Kipling speaking of the Word of God as "a silly thing". It's unfortunate that the literary qualities of these stories are not matched by spiritual fervour. Christian parents will want to be selective in which stories they read to their children.
Yet the literary qualities of these stories cannot be denied. They are probably best enjoyed when read aloud to children, and feature a charming, and warm style that is absolutely nonsensical and yet completely captivating. "How the Alphabet was Made" is perhaps one of the few exceptions - it is a creative concept, but is somewhat tedious and lacks the charm of the other stories. But nearly all the other stories are delightfully told and wonderfully enjoyable in their exaggerated nonsense. For instance, in "How the Whale got his Throat", Kipling introduces the reader to a man "sitting on a raft, in the middle of the sea, with nothing on but a pair of blue canvas breeches, a pair of suspenders." As in many of his stories, his use of repetition skilfully warms up a smile on your face. Throughout the story, he repeatedly and gently admonishes the reader "you must NOT forget the suspenders, Best Beloved", "Have you forgotten the suspenders?" It seems absurd, but in the end proves to make perfect sense, because it is the suspenders that the man used to tie his raft in the whale's mouth, and that's how the whale got his throat! Totally absurd, but frightfully funny!
At the same time, Kipling uses his nonsensical style to convey fables about animals which satirize human values and vices. For instance, "How the Camel Got His Hump" is a satirical commentary on laziness and procrastination. This is the hallmark of Kipling's style in most of the stories, and it is this exemplary literary quality that has rightly gained this work the fame it deserves. This edition also reproduces Kipling's original pen and ink drawings, complete with his delightful commentary explaining the illustration. It's worth adding to your collection, because all readers will find something here that they can enjoy. Even those of us with restrained enthusiasm like me, can not help speak of the "Just So Stories" with much enthusiasm! They are more than Just So-So.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Politically incorrect? - your children can handle it., Sept. 25 2001
Kiplingï¿s classic volume of stories concerns the great questions of history; How the Whale got his Throat, How the Camel got his Hump, How the Alphabet was Made and many other thorny dilemmas. The language is sophisticated yet often whimsical and children love to hear the words read aloud. It is tempting to scan ahead and change things, substitute more contemporary phrases for the old but, if you can, resist the urge. Kipling was a master of the language. His writing is balanced and fluid and while it may seem dated when taken piece by piece, its sum is far greater than its parts. Read The Cat that Walked by Himself and you will never look at your own pet in quite the same way again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Elephant's child in particular, June 5 2001
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This review is from: Just So Stories (Hardcover)
This book is the most valued in my family history. Now my children are asking after it to read to their children because of all of the beloved memories it brings back. The language is a delight. The way Kipling draws the reader and listener in to feel they are part of the story, it is story telling magic at its very best. I can't believe anyone who has this book in their home, once read, will ever be without it. As long as children and that child in all adults long for the gifted story teller's magic, this book is special.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Written for His own Best Beloved Daughter, May 1 2001
This review is from: Just So Stories (Hardcover)
Considered aloof and even irascible by reporters and adoring fans, Rudyard Kipling was admittedly a private person. Despite his reputation as a recluse during his four-year Vermont sojourn, he was genuinely fond of children. With paternal tenderness and pride he wrote this anthology of 12 unrelated tales for the amusement and enlightenment of his oldest, American-born daughter. A hint of their sacred relationship is revealed in "How the First Letter was Written" and "How the Alphabet was Made," wherein readers savor the loving bonds between cavegirl, Taffy, and her devoted father, Tegumi.
Many serious critics refuse to consider this collection of animal fables--which satirize human vices and foibles--as true literature, unworthy of adult time or mental effort to be appreciated. Nevertheless, it takes a different arsenal of literary skills to write well for children, who demand more action and clever dialogue; they expect to be hooked right away into whatever plot. It takes an agile mind plus a youthful heart to hold kids' attention over thousands of words and several pages--even with illustrations by the multi-talented author. (Seek those editions which offer the additional lure of Kipling's own pen and ink sketches.)
Don't be swayed by any rhetoric you may have heard about Kipling's so-called Politics, either. His social opinions frequently are blown out of proportion or taken out of context. In any case they are irrelevant to the intent of his anthology. Other than a few socially-incorrect phrases, JUST SO STORIES proves an excellent chapter-by-chapter bedtime book, especially for parents under fire to answer the inevitable questions which explain why a particular animal looks or acts the way it does. The author has bravely tackled that problem--taking adults off the inevitable Why hook. Using his palette of unlimited vocabulary, Kipling creates his own imaginative, drole and delightful expressions. Even if as adults we find his linguistic patchwork difficult to understand at times, most children will enter the word game eagerly. JUST SO STORIES offers a cute read for all YAHOOS--those who are truly Young At Heart or Otherwise!
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Just So Stories
Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling (Paperback - May 18 2001)
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