• Authors & Illustrators

Rudyard Kipling

The jungle book.

First published by Macmillan in 1894, The Jungle Book is the classic collection of animal tales that shows Rudyard Kipling's writing for children at its best. The short stories and poems include the tale of Mowgli, a boy raised by a pack of wolves in the Indian jungle. We meet the tiger Shere Khan, Bagheera, the black panther, Baloo, the 'sleepy brown bear', and the python, Kaa. Other famous stories include the tale of the fearless mongoose Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, and that of elephant-handler Toomai of the Elephants. With a beautiful foiled cover, this edition from the original publisher of Rudyard Kipling's much-loved classic is a book to treasure.

Books by Rudyard Kipling

Book cover for Ten Stories

Ten Stories

Book cover for All the Mowgli Stories

All the Mowgli Stories

Book cover for Kim

Just So Stories

Book cover for The Jungle Book

Selected Verse

Book cover for Rewards and Fairies

Rewards and Fairies

Book cover for Puck of Pook's Hill

Puck of Pook's Hill

Book cover for Just So Stories

The Second Jungle Book

Related articles, the jungle book activity sheets, step into the world of the jungle book.

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  • Literature & Fiction
  • Genre Fiction

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The Jungle Book

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The Jungle Book Paperback – December 4, 2020

  • Paperback $9.07 12 Used from $2.22 2 Collectible from $34.90
  • Print length 92 pages
  • Language English
  • Publication date December 4, 2020
  • Dimensions 6 x 0.21 x 9 inches
  • ISBN-10 1503332543
  • ISBN-13 978-1503332546
  • See all details

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  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 4, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 92 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1503332543
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1503332546
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 5.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.21 x 9 inches
  • #1,512 in Sea Stories

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writer jungle book

Rudyard Kipling: 6 Facts About 'The Jungle Book' Creator

Rudyard Kipling

With several adaptions of the book hitting the big screen over the years, take a look at the original classic and its creator:

Kipling wrote The Jungle Book while living in the United States

Kipling had been good friends with American writer and editor Wolcott Balestier, and he ended up marrying Wolcott’s sister Caroline “Carrie” Balestier, in January 1892. The couple bought land from one of her other brothers, Beatty Balestier, in Vermont where they built their dream home, called “The Naulahka.” Naulakha means “jewel beyond price” in Hindi, according to the home’s website . The name is also shared with a book Kipling worked on with Wolcott Balestier.

Becoming a father inspired Kipling to write for children

He had started The Jungle Book around the time he and his wife were expecting their first child together. Daughter Josephine was born in 1892. According to BBC News, he gave her a special copy of The Jungle Book to his daughter, in which he wrote: "This book belongs to Josephine Kipling for whom it was written by her father, May 1894." The Kipling family soon grew to include daughter Elsie, born in 1895, and later son John in 1897. Sadly, Josephine only lived to be 6 years old. Both she and her father came down with pneumonia in 1899, and she ended up succumbing to the illness. Her death left Kipling heartbroken, and he never fully recovered from this tremendous loss.

Baloo and Mowgli in The Jungle Book Photo

Kipling never even visited the jungle mentioned in 'The Jungle Book'

Despite spending years in India, he chose to set his stories in the Seonee jungle (now known as Seoni), an area he’d never visited. Kipling instead drew from the experiences of others. According to Angus Wilson’s The Strange Ride of Rudyard Kipling: His Life and Works , Kipling saw photographs of this jungle taken by his friends, Aleck and Edmonia “Ted” Hill, and listened to their experiences there. He also likely found inspiration from the works of Robert Armitage Sterndale, including Mammalia of India , according to Martin Seymour-Smith’s Rudyard Kipling: A Biography . Others point to Sterndale’s 1877 book Seonee: Or, Camp Life on the Satpura Range , as an important influence on Kipling’s tales.

Another significant source was likely to be Kipling’s father

The elder Kipling was an illustrator, museum curator and art teacher. He produced Beast and Man in India: A Popular Sketch of Indian Animals in Their Relations with the People , which was published in 1891. John Lockwood Kipling also provided the images for some of his son’s works, including The Jungle Book and the 1901 novel Kim .

Another classic children’s tale, 'Rikki-Tikki-Tavi,' also comes from 'The Jungle Book'

While most remember the Mowgli stories, they, in fact, only make up part of The Jungle Book . And like the Kipling’s tales about Mowgli, “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” explores the relationship between the human world and the animal world. In this case, a mongoose seeks to protect a family of humans from a pair of deadly cobras. This battle of mongoose versus cobras has enjoyed some success outside of The Jungle Book , having been published as a stand-alone picture book several times over the years. “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” was also turned into a 1975 animated short with Hollywood heavyweight Orson Welles voicing one of the cold-hearted cobras.

'The Jungle Book' has inspired countless adaptations

The first live-action film debuted in 1942, but the best-known movie version up until now was the 1967 animated Disney tale. Disney took a lot of license with the original story and transformed it into a feel-good family musical. One of its songs, “The Bare Necessities,” was even nominated for an Academy Award. An interesting mix of actors lent their voices to the project. Sebastian Cabot, best known for the TV show Family Affair , played Bagheera, and bandleader Louis Prima played King Louie of the apes. Phil Harris, who was Baloo, went on to voice another animated bear for Disney, playing Little John in 1973’s Robin Hood .

The voice of Mowgli, however, came from a rookie performer. Bruce Reitherman, the son of the film’s director Wolfgang Reitherman, played the endearing “man cub” in the film. He told the Express newspaper that “The voice of Mowgli required something special, in the sense that he had to be absolutely ordinary. It had to feel like a really average kid.”

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