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Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling


Just So Stories for Little Children, which includes tales such as How the Camel got his Hump and How the Leopard got his Spots, is Rudyard Kipling’s (1865-1936) fantastical take on Darwinian evolution and remains among the most loved of his work.


The stories also had a deeply personal resonance for Kipling: as they were originally invented for the entertainment of his own children and those of his friends. Throughout the stories Kipling addresses the reader as ‘Best Beloved.’ This is more than just an attempt to bring a sense of intimacy; it is an allusion to his daughter Josephine who died at the age of six, just a few years before the stories were published.


The book was originally published in 1902 with Kipling’s self-drawn black and white illustrations. In 1912 colour illustrations by Joseph M. Gleeson were added. Kipling’s cover design includes the ancient Hindu good luck symbol, which is often mistaken for a Nazi swastika.


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