Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 5 to 18
- Grade: k to 12
Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories is one of the best-loved story collections ever written for children. In this companion to Volume I, published in fall 2013, acclaimed children’s book illustrator Ian Wallace once again reinterprets the famous tales with luminous art, bringing Kipling to a new generation of young readers.
Many of the tales are origin stories, explaining, for example, how an animal came to be, or the how the alphabet and writing began. They all display Kipling’s vivid imagination, inventive vocabulary and engaging word play. And once again Ian Wallace makes intriguing connections between the stories in his richly imagined illustrations. The second volume, as visually breathtaking as the first, includes “The Beginning of the Armadilloes,” “How the First Letter Was Written,” “How the Alphabet Was Made,” The Crab That Played with the Sea,” “The Cat That Walked by Himself” and “The Butterfly That Stamped.”
The first edition of Just So Stories was published in Great Britain in 1902, along with black-and-white illustrations by Kipling himself. The stories have remained in print ever since, delighting young readers in many countries. This new edition, published more than 110 years after the original, has been edited to remove a few references now understood to be offensive.
Inspired by these remarkable stories and the fact that they are set all over the world, Ian Wallace has chosen to make an annual donation to the International Board on Books for Young People’s Fund for Children in Crisis (www.ibby.org).
About the authors
Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936) was an author of books for children and adults who achieved wide critical acclaim in his lifetime. Born in India, he was sent to school in England, where he endured difficult years with a foster family but discovered a love for reading. When he was seventeen he returned to India for a time, where he worked as a journalist before turning to poetry, short stories — for which he is best known — and novels. The Jungle Book became an instant classic and was followed by other much-loved children’s books, including Kim and Just So Stories. Kipling’s many awards include the Gold Medal of the Royal Society of Literature and the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Ian Wallace has had a distinguished career as an author and illustrator of picture books, publishing many classics such as Chin Chiang and the Dragon’s Dance, Boy of the Deeps and The Huron Carol. His visual interpretation of Canadian Railroad Trilogy by Gordon Lightfoot received three starred reviews and was named a USBBY Outstanding International Book and a Resource Links’ Year’s Best. He has won the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award, the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award and the IODE Violet Downey Book Award. He has also been nominated for the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award and the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. Ian lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife, Deb.
Glorious as the illustrations are, they complement rather than undercutting Kipling’s rolling lines . . . A triumph.
Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW
The distinguished art honors each tale and engages readers with memorable imagery. . . . This combination of wonderful tales and stunning art will make a fine addition to every library and help bring a classic to a new generation of young readers.
School Library Journal
The full page plates are rich and as magically fanciful as the stories themselves, full of details that enhance the whimsy and playfulness of the yarns. . . . Highly recommended.