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Just So Stories
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
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What's the story?
Why do elephants have trunks? Where did the alphabet come from? How did the leopard get his spots? In these twelve creation fables the mysteries are answered in the most creative ways. Informal pen-and-ink sketches along with detailed watercolor paintings draw the viewer into this charming world.
Is it any good?
There is nothing else quite like these stories; written in lyrical, sing-song, half made-up words, they flow from the tongue in a way that delights both reader and listener. Designed to be read aloud, they are less successful as a read-alone. Rudyard Kipling wrote these stories for his daughter, and they got their name because she wanted them "just so."
The captions to his black and white illustrations are whimsical and gently naughty. They elaborate on the story (and sometimes things that don't even happen in the story). Sometimes this endearing style doesn't work. In The Crab That Played Kipling's showy language is sometimes more confusing than playful. But in How the Whale Got His Throat, every word is aptly chosen.