Into the Jungle

Katherine Rundell

Illustrated by Kristjana S Williams
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15 November 2018
9781529015096
222 minutes
Nicole Arumugam
Synopsis

Into the Jungle is a modern classic in the making, as Katherine Rundell creates charming and compelling origin stories for all Kipling's best-known characters, from Baloo and Shere Khan to Kaa and Bagheera. As Mowgli travels through the Indian jungle, this brilliantly visual tale, which weaves each short story together into a wider whole, will make readers both laugh and cry.

Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, first published by Macmillan in 1894, is one of the most enduring books of children's literature, delighting generations of children. Katherine Rundell has taken this as the basis of her new and enchanting tale, sharing the early years of favourite characters and informing the creatures they become in Kipling's classic, with stories about family and friendship, loyalty and jungle law, and a final battle which will decide the future of the forest.

These beginnings resonate with echoes of Kipling’s original and Just So Stories. They are written with mischievous scatological jokes, lively action and characteristic precision and surprise, because, as Baloo says, language “matters more than anything else”. The stories savour the profusion of the rainforest, as do Williams’s spectacularly lavish collages of engravings of animals and plants.

Sunday Times, children's book of the week

Witty, charming and steeped in the harsh truth of nature, this is an absolute must for all Jungle Book fans, young or old.

Daily Mail

The magnificent Rundell, [...] takes on Rudyard Kipling with these inventive back stories for everyone from Shere Khan to Baloo.

Independent