Mowgli’s story comes to life in this classic retelling of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, featuring beautiful, vibrant illustrations by Migy Blanco.
The Jungle Book was the first Disney movie that my oldest daughter loved right after Frozen. She became obsessed with Mowlgi and his jungle friends and was especially taken with the song “The Bare Necessities.” I’m not ashamed that I began singing this song over and over since it was stuck in my head like a broken record.
Look for the bare necessities The simple bare necessities Forget about your worries and your strife I mean the bare necessities Old Mother Nature's recipes That brings the bare necessities of life
The Jungle Book has all the elements that make a classic children’s book. When Mowlgi is orpahed and adopted by a wolf pack, the man-cub not only survives, he thrives deep in the forest where he befriends wolf family, and his friends Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther. Things are going along swimmingly and he’s been learning the ways of the jungle until Mowlgi starts growing from a boy into a man. The riger, Shere Khan, wants his pack to turn against Mowgli, and while this is a painful part of the story for the man-cub, he does begin to realize he may not belong here after all. But what will happen when it’s time for the boy to leave the wolf pack that raised him to go live with his people?
While Mowgli has spent his life hunting and gathering food and becoming one with his jungle friends, his discovery of a nearby village meant that he realized that living in a village among other men may be the best place for him. They offer water, hot food, and, of course, FIRE. Mowgli even see his very first girl and he is smitten and while he is obviously upset to leave his jungle home, the timing for him to return to people and leave his jungle friends is coming to an end. While Mowgle still considers his wolves part of his family, as well as the many animals he befriended while growing up in the wild, his decision to remain in the forest could potentially damage the very animals he loves. With a heavy heart and a bit of excitement, Mowgli returns home around his human family and will never forget the animal family that raised him. This isn’t a Disney movie, it is closer to Rudyard Kipling’s original Jungle Book, so there is no singing or dancing involved. However, the Disney movie follows Mowgli’s path quite carefully, so the book is very close to Mowgli’s struggle with growing up as a man and not as a man-cub. It’s sweet, heart-breaking, and pays much respect to our animal friends and Mowgli is the center of the conflict between human and animal nature in story form. Two thumbs up!
About the Author: 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).
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