Monday, March 30, 2015

Discussion on the Jungle Book

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling (1894)

Back in July I put up a very short review of the Jungle Book (click here) in hopes that you would find time to read it. I have tried to think of ways I can make this discussion a little more interesting, so in that vein, I will postulate a few of your ideas and impressions from this delightful collection of stories and poetry.

1. How many of you knew that Rudyard Kipling was a poet?
     a. I loved the poems and songs at the beginning of each chapter or story. What a unique way to set the mood, the scene and introduce us to the personalities of his characters.

2. Which story do you feel would most interest your Children?
     a. Mowgli's Story  b. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi  c. Toomai of the Elephants d. The White Seal (This made me a little sad.)

3. Your second favorite character of all of the animals mentioned and why?
     a. I think mine was Akela, the leader of the Seeonee Pack. An old wolf who knows his days are numbered, but he is wise.

Mr. Kipling's style of writing and his descriptions truly takes us to India, into the sounds, the sights and the feel of the jungle or to the Islands of the Cold Northern Seas. We see with the eyes of the little boy Teddy as he looks out on his gardens from the Bungalow he shared with his parents, and sees the jungle life. We feel a little sorry and anxious for the Tailorbirds in Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and we are saddened by the fate of the Hollieshuckie in The White Seal and the Deep Sea Song of Lukannon. From Rudyard Kipling's words I can perfectly picture the animals, their look, the way they move and think. My favorite description is found in our first glimpse of Bagheera (who, by the way, is my favorite of all the animals):

"A black shadow dropped down into the circle. It was Bagheera the Black Panther, inky black all over, but with the panther markings showing up in certain lights like the pattern of watered silk. Everybody knew Bagheera, and nobody cared to cross his path, for he was as cunning as Tabaqui, as bold as the wild buffalo, and as reckless as the wounded elephant. But he had a voice as soft as wild honey dripping from a tree, and skin softer than down."

- Wow! Imagine the vocabulary and comprehension skills your children will develop if we read these types of stories to them along with Hop on Pop and The Monster at the End of This Book! Just typing that description makes me want to go back and read the book. If you haven't read this wonderful little collection of stories and poems, please make the time to do so. Read it to your children in Family story time. To help peak your interest I have made a little crossword puzzle for you. I will include the answers in the comments if anyone actually does comment and request it.

Happy Reading Dear Family. Don't let our Voxer Conversations and Weekly movies steal from us the joy of reading and sharing. I love you! - Mom