The Jungle Book

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The Jungle Book
Author Rudyard Kipling
Year Published 1894
Language English

The Jungle Book is a collection of stories by Rudyard Kipling, first published in British magazines in India. Arcturus Publishing retells this book in a large-print, easy-to-read and illustrated format for an early reader (published 2021).

Chapters

Each of the even-numbered items below is an epigrammatic poem related to the preceding story.

  1. "Mowgli's Brothers": A boy is raised by wolves in the Indian jungle with the help of Baloo the bear and Bagheera the black panther, and then has to fight the tiger Shere Khan. This story has also been published as a short book in its own right: Night-Song in the Jungle.
  2. "Hunting-Song of the Seeonee Pack": A hunting song used by the wolves of the Seeonee.
  3. "Kaa's Hunting": This story takes place between when Mowgli is adopted into the Seeonee wolf pack and when he fights Shere Khan. When Mowgli is abducted by Bandar-Log monkeys, Baloo and Bagheera set out to rescue him with the aid of Chil the kite and Kaa the python. Maxims of Baloo are added at the start of the story.
  4. "Road Song of the Bandar-Log": A song the Bandar-Log as they make their way to the Cold Lairs with Mowgli as their prisoner.
  5. "Tiger! Tiger!": Mowgli returns to the human village and is adopted by a woman named Messua and her husband, who believe him to be their long-lost son Nathoo. But he has trouble adjusting to human life, and Shere Khan still wants to kill him. The story's title is taken from the poem "The Tyger" by William Blake.
  6. "Mowgli's Song": The song Mowgli sings once he returns to the wolf pack with Shere Khan's pelt.
  7. "The White Seal": Kotick is a rare white northern fur seal, searching for a new home for his people, where they will not be hunted by humans.
  8. "Lukannon": A lonesome song lone bachelor seals sing while on their travels.
  9. "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi": Rikki-Tikki the mongoose defends a human family living in India against a pair of cobras, with the help of a pair of tailorbirds and a muskrat. This story has also been published as a short book.
  10. "Darzee's Chaunt": Darzee the tailorbird sings this after Rikki-Tikki kills Nag the cobra, singing praises of the mongoose.
  11. "Toomai of the Elephants": Toomai, a ten-year-old boy who helps to tend working elephants, is told that he will never be a full-fledged elephant-handler until he has seen the elephants dance. This story has also been published as a short book.
  12. "Shiv and the Grasshopper".
  13. "Her Majesty's Servants" (originally titled "Servants of the Queen"): On the night before a military parade, a British soldier eavesdrops on a conversation between the camp animals.
  14. "Parade-Song of the Camp Animals" parodies several well-known songs and poems

Characters

Adaptations

Disney's 1967 adaptation of The Jungle Book is a famous departure from the tone of the novel. Major changes include Baloo and Bagheera's reversal in roles (Baloo becomes more fun-loving and goofier compared to his stern book counterpart, and Bagheera becomes a more stern but loyal character) and Kaa becoming a slapstick villain (he was more heroic and wiser in the novel). The 2016 live-action remake has a balance between the original animated film and the novel, with Mowgli using human tools to help survive in the jungle.

Chuck Jones created three versions of Mowgli's Brothers, The White Seal, and Rikki Tikki Tavi. The first two are narrated by Roddy McDowall, and Rikki Tikki Tavi is narrated by Orson Welles. Chuck Jones's adaptation of Mowgli's Brothers is notable for being the only adaptation to have Shere Khan be a white tiger; white tigers are often said to have difficulty surviving in the wild due to their white fur not blending into the grass.

Inspiration

Because of the morals seen in the book, it's used as inspiration in the Cub Scouts. Akela, the head wolf in Mowgli's stories, has become a senior figure in the movement, the name being traditionally adopted by the leader of each Cub Scout pack.