The Jungle Book

From Academic Kids

Note: this page discusses the original Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. For information on the 1967 Disney cartoon version see The Jungle Book (1967 movie).

 , . Cover art by .
French edition, 1957. Cover art by Paul Durand.

The Jungle Book (1894) is a collection of stories written by the famous author Rudyard Kipling while he was living in Vermont. All of the stories were previously published in magazines in 1893-4. The best-known of them are the three stories revolving around the adventures of an abandoned 'man cub' Mowgli who is raised by wolves in the Indian jungle. The most famous of the other stories are probably "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi", the story of a heroic mongoose, and "Toomai of the Elephants", the tale of a young elephant-handler.

The Second Jungle Book followed in 1895.

The Jungle Book is used as a motivational book by cub scouts, a junior element of the scouting movement. This use of the book's universe was approved by Kipling after a direct petition of Robert Baden Powell, founder of the scouting movement.


Stories in The Jungle Book:

The complete book is on-line at Project_Gutenberg's official website and elsewhere.

  • "Kaa's Hunting": This story takes place before Mowgli fights Shere Khan. When Mowgli is abducted by monkeys Baloo and Bagheera set out to rescue him with the aid of Kaa the python. The "King Louie" sequence in the 1967 Disney cartoon is a heavily distorted version of this story.
  • "Tiger! Tiger!": Mowgli returns to the human village and is adopted by Messua and her husband who believe him to be their long-lost son Nathoo. But he has trouble adjusting to human life, and Shere Khan still wants to kill him. The story's title is taken from the poem "The Tyger" by William Blake.
  • "The White Seal": Kotick, a rare white-furred seal, searches for a new home for his people, where they will not be hunted by humans.
  • "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi": Rikki-Tikki the mongoose defends a human family living in India against a pair of evil cobras. This story has also been published as a short book.
  • "Toomai of the Elephants": Toomai, a ten-year old boy who helps to tend working elephants, is told that he will never be a fully-fledged elephant-handler until he has seen the elephants dance. This story has also been published as a short book.
  • "Her Majesty's Servants" (originally titled "Servants of the Queen"): On the night before a military parade a British soldier eavesdrops on a conversation between the camp animals.


The book's text has often been abridged or adapted for younger readers, and there have also been several comic book adaptations.

There are several Walt Disney cartoon adaptations based very loosely on the Mowgli stories. (Adaptations of The Jungle Book tend to concentrate on Mowgli's adventures.) It has also been filmed several times with varying degrees of authenticity. Disney's 1967 animated feature film, based loosely on the Mowgli stories, was extremely popular, despite (or possibly because of) the liberties it took with the plot and characters. "Toomai of the Elephants" was filmed as Elephant Boy, which later inspired a television series of the same name.

Live action movie versions:

Chuck Jones's made for TV cartoons Mowgli's Brothers, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and The White Seal stick to the original storylines more closely than most adaptations.

There is a Japanese anime television series called Jungle Book Shonen Mowgli broadcast in (1989). Its adaptation represents a compromise between the original stories and the Walt Disney version. Many of Kipling stories are adapted into the series, but many elements are combined and changed to suit more modern sensibilities. For instance, Akela, the wolf pack alpha eventually steps aside, but instead of being threatened with death, he stays on as the new leader's advisor. Also, there is an Indian family in the series which includes Rikki-Tikki-Tavi as a pet mongoose. Finally at the series' conclusion, Mowgli leaves the jungle for human civilization, but still keeps strong ties with his animal friends.

There was also a television series adaptation of Jungle Book by Doordarshan in India which was quite popular.

Related topics

External links

de:Dschungelbuch he:ספר הג'ונגל


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