Just So Stories for Little Children: Rudyard Kipling’s stories retold. Illustrated by John Joven.



Harper Collins Australia

ISBN: 9781474938051

ISBN 10: 1474938051

Imprint: Usborne – GB

October 2019

RRP $24.99

Astute readers of this blog may have suspected that I have affection for the writing of Rudyard Kipling – yes, very old-fashioned I know – but it is what it is.

Therefore I was rather delighted to have this lovely new revamp of his stories arrive and to note that they are intended for younger children. The simplified narrative and colourful illustrations will be well-received by little people, who are invariably very engaged with animal stories.

This collection presents six of Kipling’s best: How the Camel got his HumpHow the Whale got his ThroatHow the Elephant got his TrunkHow the Rhino got his SkinHow the Leopard got his Spots and Why the Kangaroo Jumps.

The pages are alive with the simplistically styled illustrations with minimal text on each, allowing for plenty of perusal time for little ones as each story unfolds. With loads of onomatopoeia there will also be much fun to be had with joining in a read-aloud. I love that the various writers have retained Kipling’s device of authorial intrusion speaking directly to the ‘dear reader’ (albeit in different terminology to those he used himself).

All in all, it is always wonderful to see timeless classic stories being introduced to contemporary children with modifications that appeal to today’s child without losing any of the flavour of the originals.

I can highly recommend this to you for either your Junior shelves or your own.


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