by Rudyard Kipling
I was first introduced to this volume as a parent of young children. I was a little skeptical about these tales, since they are outlandish– but in an oh-so-good way, as it turns out, since they are not meant to be truthful, but rather as a spring-board for lyrical word-making and image-imagining. There are plenty of new words never before used, and never since used, but which wake up the curious mind. As the introduction states, it “explodes like fireworks in your ears. It thrums with a uniquely twirly dancing rhythm that sweep you up like a magic carpet…” (Stroud vi).
Lingering somewhere between folktales and fantasy, these myths were created aloud as told to his daughter, then published in 1902; they continue to be popular today. Kipling is best known for his story, The Jungle Book. When possible, I post versions of books which offer extras. This particular edition, at only around $5 (Canadian), has an Author File, Who’s Who in the Just So Stories, Some Things to Think About, Some Things to Do, Did You Know? and a great Glossary, which you will need, when your young one asks, “what’s a quagga?”