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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So, what do you think?