The Info List - Just So Stories

Just So Stories
Just So Stories
for Little Children is a 1902 collection of origin stories by the British author Rudyard Kipling. Considered a classic of children's literature, the book is among Kipling's best known works. Kipling began working on the book by telling the first three chapters as bedtime stories to his daughter Josephine. These had to be told "just so" (exactly in the words she was used to) or she would complain. The stories describe how one animal or another acquired its most distinctive features, such as how the leopard got his spots. For the book, Kipling illustrated the stories himself. The stories have appeared in a variety of adaptations including a musical and animated films. Evolutionary biologists have noted that what Kipling did in fiction, they have done in reality, providing explanations for the evolutionary development of animal features.


1 Context 2 Book

2.1 Approach 2.2 Contents 2.3 Illustrations 2.4 Editions

3 Adaptations 4 Reception

4.1 Contemporary 4.2 Modern 4.3 Evolutionary developmental biology

5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Context[edit] The stories, first published in 1902, are origin stories, fantastic accounts of how various features of animals came to be.[1] A forerunner of these stories is Kipling's "How Fear Came", in The Second Jungle Book (1895). In it, Mowgli
hears the story of how the tiger got his stripes. Book[edit] Approach[edit] The Just So Stories
Just So Stories
each tell how a particular animal was modified from an original form to its current form by the acts of man, or some magical being. For example, the Whale has a tiny throat because he swallowed a mariner, who tied a raft inside to block the whale from swallowing other men. The Camel has a hump given to him by a djinn as punishment for the camel's refusing to work (the hump allows the camel to work longer between times of eating). The Leopard's spots were painted by an Ethiopian
(after the Ethiopian
painted himself black). The Kangaroo
gets its powerful hind legs, long tail, and hopping gait after being chased all day by a dingo, sent by a minor god responding to the Kangaroo's request to be made different from all other animals. The Just So Stories
Just So Stories
began as bedtime stories told to his daughter "Effie" [Josephine, Kipling's firstborn]; when the first three were published in a children’s magazine, a year before her death, Kipling explained: "in the evening there were stories meant to put Effie to sleep, and you were not allowed to alter those by one single little word. They had to be told just so; or Effie would wake up and put back the missing sentence. So at last they came to be like charms, all three of them,—the whale tale, the camel tale, and the rhinoceros tale."[1] Contents[edit]

How the Rhinoceros got his Skin, woodcut by Kipling

How the Whale Got His Throat — why the larger whales eat only small prey. How the Camel Got His Hump — how the idle camel was punished and given a hump. How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin — why rhinos have folds in their skin and bad tempers. How the Leopard Got His Spots — why leopards have spots. The Elephant's Child/How the Elephant got his Trunk — how the elephant's trunk became long. The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo — how the kangaroo assumed long legs and tail. The Beginning of the Armadillos — how a hedgehog and tortoise transformed into the first armadillos. How the First Letter Was Written — introduces the only characters who appear in more than one story: a family of cave-people, called Tegumai Bopsulai (the father), Teshumai Tewindrow (the mother), and Taffimai Metallumai, shortened to Taffy, (the daughter). Explains how Taffy delivered a picture message to her mother. How the Alphabet
Was Made — Taffy and her father invent an alphabet. The Crab That Played with the Sea — explains the ebb and flow of the tides, as well as how the crab changed from a huge animal into a small one. The Cat That Walked by Himself — the longest story, explains how man domesticated all the wild animals except the cat, which insisted on greater independence. The Butterfly
That Stamped — how Solomon
saved the pride of a butterfly, and the Queen of Sheba
Queen of Sheba
used this to prevent his wives scolding him. The Tabu Tale (missing from most British editions; first appeared in the Scribner edition in the U.S. in 1903).

Illustrations[edit] Kipling illustrated the original editions of the Just So Stories.[2] Later illustrators of the book include Joseph M. Gleeson.[3] Editions[edit] As well as appearing in a collection, the individual stories have also been published as separate books: often in large-format, illustrated editions for younger children.[4] Adaptations[edit]

A 1938 black and white Soviet cartoon of "How the Rhinoceros got his Skin." The Just So Stories
Just So Stories
were adapted as a 1984 musical, called Just So. The Elephant's Child was made into a Soviet cartoon in 1967 from Soyuzmultfilm
studio. The Elephant's Child was made into a children's opera for the Kings Singers in 1996 by Daron Hagen. The Cat Who Walked by Himself, a Soviet drawn animation screen version created by Aleksandra Snezhko-Blotskaya at Soyuzmultfilm
studio in 1968. The Cat Who Walked by Herself, a 1988 Soviet animated feature film based on "The Cat that Walked by Himself" from a film studio "Soyuzmultfilm". Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories
Just So Stories
, a British, animated compilation of twelve of Rudyard Kipling's classic tales directed by Timothy Forder, created by Sanctuary Digital Entertainment studio in 1992. Just So Stories, a French-British animated co-production from France 3 was produced in 2008.

Reception[edit] Contemporary[edit]

"How the elephant got his trunk"

H. W. Boynton, writing in The Atlantic
The Atlantic
in 1903, commented that only a century earlier children had had to be content with the Bible, Pilgrim's Progress, Paradise Lost, and Foxe's Book of Martyrs. But in his day "A much pleasanter bill of fare is being provided for them". Boynton argued that with Just So Stories, Kipling did for "very little children" what The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book
had done for older ones. He described the book as "artfully artless, in its themes, in its repetitions, in its habitual limitation, and occasional abeyance, of adult humor. It strikes a child as the kind of yarn his father or uncle might have spun if he had just happened to think of it; and it has, like all good fairy-business, a sound core of philosophy".[5] Modern[edit] John Lee described the book as a classic work of children's literature.[6] Sue Walsh observed in 2007 that critics have rigidly categorised Just So Stories
Just So Stories
as "Children's Literature", and have in consequence given it scant literary attention. In her view, if critics mention the book at all, they talk about what kind of reading is good for children and what they are capable of understanding. The stories are discussed, she argues, by critics such as Elliott Gose "in terms of ideas about the child’s pleasure (conceived of in sensual terms divorced of intellectual understanding) in the oral aspects of the text which are said to prompt an ‘active Participation’ which seems largely to be understood in terms of the ‘oral savouring’ of repetition".[7] Evolutionary developmental biology[edit] Walter M. Fitch noted in 2012 (published posthumously) that the stories, while "delightful", are "very Lamarckian", giving the example of the stretching of the elephant's snout in a tug-of-war, as the acquired trait (a long trunk) is inherited by all the elephant's descendants.[8] Lewis I. Held's 2014 account of evolutionary developmental biology ("evo-devo"), How the Snake Lost its Legs: Curious Tales from the Frontier of Evo-Devo, noted that while Kipling's Just So Stories
Just So Stories
"offered fabulous tales about how the leopard got its spots, how the elephant got its trunk, and so forth [and] remains one of the most popular children's books of all time", fables "are poor substitutes for real understanding." Held aimed "to blend Darwin's rigor with Kipling's whimsy", naming the many "Curious Tales" such as "How the Duck Got its Bill" in his book in the style of Just So Stories, and observing that truth could be stranger than fiction.[9] Sean B. Carroll's 2005 book Endless Forms Most Beautiful has been called a new Just So Stories, one that explains the "spots, stripes, and bumps" that had attracted Kipling's attention in his children's stories. A reviewer in BioScience suggested that "Kipling would be riveted."[10] See also[edit]

Children's literature
Children's literature

Just-so story The Jungle Book


^ a b Karlin, Daniel (23 December 2015). "How the stories got their name: Kipling and the origins of the 'Just-So' stories". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 27 October 2016.  ^ "Illustrations by Rudyard Kipling". The Victorian Web. Retrieved 27 October 2016.  ^ Just So Stories, Rudyard Kipling, author and illustrator, additional color plates by Joseph M. Gleeson. Connecticut: Konecky and Konecky, ISBN 1-56852-377-7 (reprint of Doubleday & Co 1912 edition) ^ "Search results for 'ti: Just So Stories
Just So Stories
au:Rudyard Kipling' > 'Book' > 'Fiction' > 'Juvenile'". WorldCat. Retrieved 27 October 2016.  ^ Boynton, H. W. (May 1903). "Just So Stories, by Rudyard Kipling. A review by H. W. Boynton". The Atlantic. Retrieved 27 October 2016.  ^ Lee, John (July 2013). "Rudyard Kipling". Oxford Bibliographies. Retrieved 27 October 2016.  ^ Walsh, Sue (September 2007). "Kipling's Children and the Category of 'Children's Literature'". The Kipling Society. Retrieved 27 October 2016.  ^ Fitch, Walter M. (2012). The Three Failures of Creationism: Logic, Rhetoric, and Science. University of California Press. pp. 157–158. ISBN 978-0-520-95166-2.  ^ Held, Lewis I. (2014). How the Snake Lost its Legs. Curious Tales from the Frontier of Evo-Devo. Cambridge University Press. pp. ix–xi. ISBN 978-1-107-62139-8.  ^ "The New "Just So" Stories". BioScience. 55 (10): 898–899. 2005. doi:10.1641/0006-3568(2005)055[0898:tnjss]2.0.co;2. 

External links[edit]

has original text related to this article: Just So Stories

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Just So Stories.

Just So Stories
Just So Stories
at Project Gutenberg Just So Stories
Just So Stories
public domain audiobook at LibriVox Full text of the stories, including Kipling's illustrations "The Elephant's Child", free audio story, Storynory, January 24, 2006 "How the Elephant Got His Trunk", archived audio recording by ArtsSmarts The Just So Stories, read by Tim Bulkeley, Bib Bible

v t e

Rudyard Kipling


The Light that Failed
The Light that Failed
(1891) Captains Courageous
Captains Courageous
(1896) Kim (1901)


Plain Tales from the Hills (1888) Soldiers Three
Soldiers Three
(1888) The Story of the Gadsbys
The Story of the Gadsbys
(1888) In Black and White (1888) The Phantom 'Rickshaw and other Eerie Tales
The Phantom 'Rickshaw and other Eerie Tales
(1888) Under the Deodars
Under the Deodars
(1888) Wee Willie Winkie and Other Child Stories
Wee Willie Winkie and Other Child Stories
(1888) From Sea to Sea and Other Sketches, Letters of Travel (1889) Barrack-Room Ballads
Barrack-Room Ballads
(1892, poetry) Many Inventions (1893) The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book

"Mowgli's Brothers" "Kaa's Hunting" "Tiger! Tiger!" "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi"

The Second Jungle Book
The Second Jungle Book

"Letting in the Jungle" "Red Dog"

All the Mowgli
Stories (c. 1895) The Seven Seas (1896, poetry) The Day's Work (1898) Stalky & Co. (1899) Just So Stories
Just So Stories
(1902) The Five Nations
The Five Nations
(1903, poetry) Puck of Pook's Hill
Puck of Pook's Hill
(1906) Rewards and Fairies
Rewards and Fairies
(1910) The Fringes of the Fleet
The Fringes of the Fleet
(1915, non-fiction) Debits and Credits (1926) Limits and Renewals (1932) Rudyard Kipling's Verse: Definitive Edition (1940) A Choice of Kipling's Verse
A Choice of Kipling's Verse
(by T. S. Eliot, 1941)


"The Absent-Minded Beggar" "The Ballad of the "Clampherdown"" "The Ballad of East and West" "The Beginnings" "The Bell Buoy" "The Betrothed" "Big Steamers" "Boots" "Cold Iron" "Dane-geld" "Danny Deever" "A Death-Bed" "The Female of the Species" "Fuzzy-Wuzzy" "Gentleman ranker" "The Gods of the Copybook Headings" "Gunga Din" "Hymn Before Action" "If—" "In the Neolithic Age" "The King's Pilgrimage" "The Last of the Light Brigade" "The Lowestoft Boat" "Mandalay" "The Mary Gloster" "McAndrew's Hymn" "My Boy Jack" "Recessional" "A Song in Storm" "The Sons of Martha" "Submarines" "The Sweepers" "Tommy" "Ubique" "The White Man's Burden" "The Widow at Windsor"

Short stories

".007" "The Arrest of Lieutenant Golightly" "Baa Baa, Black Sheep" "Bread upon the Waters" "The Broken Link Handicap" "The Butterfly
that Stamped" "Consequences" "The Conversion of Aurelian McGoggin" "Cupid's Arrows" "The Devil and the Deep Sea" "The Drums of the Fore and Aft" "Fairy-Kist" "False Dawn" "A Germ-Destroyer" "His Chance in Life" "His Wedded Wife" "In the House of Suddhoo" "Kidnapped" "Learoyd, Mulvaney and Ortheris" "Lispeth" "The Man Who Would Be King" "A Matter of Fact" "Miss Youghal's Sais" "The Mother Hive" "Ortheris" "The Other Man" "The Rescue of Pluffles" "The Ship that Found Herself" "The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo" "The Taking of Lungtungpen" "Three and – an Extra" "The Three Musketeers" "Thrown Away" "Toomai of the Elephants" "Watches of the Night" "Wireless" "Yoked with an Unbeliever"


Bibliography Bateman's
(house) Indian Railway Library Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer

Iron Ring

Law of the jungle Aerial Board of Control My Boy Jack (1997 play) Rudyard Kipling: A Remembrance Tale (2006 documentary) My Boy Jack (2007 film)


Elsie Bambridge (daughter) John Kipling
John Kipling
(son) John Lockwood Kipling
John Lockwood Kipling
(father) MacDonald sisters
MacDonald sisters
(mother's family) Stanley Baldwin
Stanley Baldwin
(cousin) Georgiana Burne-Jones
Georgiana Burne-Jones
(aunt) Edward Burne-Jones
Edward Burne-Jones
(uncle) Philip Burne-Jones
Philip Burne-Jones
(cousin) Edward Poynter
Edward Poynter
(uncle) Alfred Bal