Imagine growing up among wolves, being friends with a panther and a bear, and hunting the most fearsome animal in the wild—the man-killing tiger Shere Khan. Rudyard Kipling portrays the exciting and adventurous jungle upbringing of Mowgli in this timeless classic. Still amazingly contemporary even though it was written more than 100 years ago, the pacing, language, and characters will keep readers young and old turning the pages, and then begging for more.
Originally published in two volumes, this edition collects all the Mowgli stories and adds the very popular Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and Toomai of the Elephants. This edition will feature an introduction by Newbery-award winner Neil Gaiman.
About Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, India to British parents on December 30, 1865. In 1871, Rudyard and his sister, Trix, aged three, were left to be cared for by a couple in Southsea, England. Five years passed before he saw his parents again. His sense of desertion and despair were later expressed in his story “Baa Baa, Black Sheep” (1888), in his novel The Light that failed (1890), and his autobiography, Something of Myself (1937). As late as 1935 Kipling still spoke bitterly of the “House of Desolation” at Southsea: “I should like to burn it down and plough the place with salt.”
At twelve he entered a minor public school, the United Services College at Westward Ho, North Devon. In Stalky and CO. (1899) the myopic Beetle is a self-caricature, and the days at Westward Ho are recalled with mixed feelings. At sixteen, eccentric and literary, Kipling sailed to India to become a journalist. His Indian experiences led to seven volumes of stories, including Soldiers Three (1888) and Wee Willie Winkie (1888).
At twenty-four he returned to England and quickly tuned into a literary celebrity. In London he became close friends with an American, (Charles) Wolcott Balestier, with whom he collaborated on what critics called a “dime store novel.” Wolcott died suddenly in 1891, and a few weeks later Kipling married Wolcott’s sister, Caroline. The newlyweds settled in Brattleboro, Vermont, where Kipling wrote The Jungle Book (1895), and most of Captains Courageous (1897). By this time Kipling’s popularity and financial success were enormous.
In 1899 the Kiplings settled in Sussex, England, where he wrote some of his best books: Kim (1901), Just So Stories (1902), and Puck of Pooks Hill (1906). In 1907 he received the Nobel Prize for literature. By the time he died, on January 18 1936, critical opinion was deeply divided about his writings, but his books continued to be read by thousands, and such unforgettable poems and stories as ”Gunga Din,” “If,” “The Man Who Would Be King,” and “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” have lived on in the consciousness of succeeding generations.
About Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman used to be a journalist, but gave it all up to write comics, which he claims are a totally valid late-twentieth-century art form, and he’s even won awards for them, so that’s all right. He’s 5’11” tall, owns a number of black T-shirts, and although he’s not overly keen on banana daiquiris, is always very flattered when appreciative fans send him money (he’s read Terry Pratchett’s biography, and, although he doubts that this will have any effect, figures what the hell).