My Alphabet Reading Challenge - J

Author: Anne

Date Published: Oct 28th 2018, 12:12pm

You really can’t escape from an acknowledgement that there are problems with the work of Rudyard Kipling. Kipling was a British Imperialist who worked as a journalist and writer in India and published a large number of short stories and novels which reflect very much his and society’s view at the time of Britain and its colonies. The problem also is that he was a superb writer capable of elegant descriptions and very imaginative writing. I accept the problems but continue to read his books, although I do try and make sure that I read a variety of local voices about this period. I may change this view in the future as I think further about these issues but Kipling’s writing has been an important part of my life for many years.

For my J book I have chosen “Just So Stories” by Rudyard Kipling, These are a series of stories obviously written for children which tell tales about animals and were originally illustrated. The stories are similar to folklore and the author has obviously taken that format from elsewhere but the imagination and word use is very much Kipling’s own. And the joy of these stories is in the amazing way they are told and the words the author uses. He structures them tightly with lots of repetition and a very adult wit. These were lovely and clever short stories and overall the book made me smile.

The stories also come with illustrations (at least they do in my version) which are original to the first publication and are amusing.

These are not stories that I think are accessible to the average teenager today, although I am prepared to be surprised, but I have long loved them and it was fun to read them again for this challenge.

We have been to India in this book for some of the stories and we stay in that area for my K book which is a novel.