Seriously, look at that face.

Seri­ous­ly, look at that face.

So back in the day, many coun­tries of the world, great and small, decid­ed that it would be super cool to trav­el around the world steal­ing oth­er peo­ples’ land.  This obvi­ous­ly wasn’t the most pop­u­lar deci­sion ever, and nor was it real­ly moral­ly defen­si­ble when you think about it, but hey, things were crazy back then.

ANY­way.  There were some pret­ty great things to come out of the British Empire (and oth­er empires, don’t get me wrong), and one of them was Rud­yard Kipling.  Born in Bom­bay, British India on Decem­ber 30, 1865, Kipling’s inno­v­a­tive short sto­ries, nar­ra­tive poet­ry, and beloved nov­els make him an endur­ing favorite of read­ers of all ages. Fun fact: Kipling won the Nobel Prize for Lit­er­a­ture in 1907.  He was the first Eng­lish-lan­guage writer to receive the award and its youngest recip­i­ent to date.  (He was 42.)

Kipling is prob­a­bly best known for his children’s short sto­ry col­lec­tion The Jun­gle Book which, along with its sequel The Sec­ond Jun­gle Book, is one of my favorite books ever.  The Jun­gle Books tell the sto­ry of an orphaned boy who gets raised by a kick­ass group of jun­gle crea­tures which, I think, is every kid’s fan­ta­sy at some point or anoth­er.  Plus they have oth­er sto­ries like Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, about a mon­goose who saves a fam­i­ly from a pair of cobras, and The Mir­a­cle of Purun Bha­gat about an old holy man who saves a town from a mud slide.

Kipling also wrote a short sto­ry col­lec­tion for younger chil­dren called Just So Sto­ries.  The sto­ries are fan­ci­ful fables about such things as how ele­phants got trunks (The Elephant’s Child), How the Leop­ard Got His Spots, and How the Camel Got His Hump.  They are the cutest ever and you should read them to your kids all the freak­ing time.  Ok, I guess that’s it about ol’ Rudy.  Read on, friends!

just so stories

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