Timed for the release of Warner Bros.’s film Mowgli in October 2018 and Disney's release of The Jungle Book 2 in 2019, here is a beautifully illustrated companion to Kipling's classic, by a writer of extraordinary storytelling ability, that explores its timeless themes in a careful update. This wise and witty companion to Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 classic is likewise a series of connected stories about the man-cub Mowgli and his adventures among the animals in the Indian jungle. It includes all the original favorites like Baloo and Bagheera and gives female characters, like Mother Wolf, a more prominent role in Mowgli’s upbringing. The timely theme of the possibility of understanding and empathy across species, cultures, and genders will resonate with contemporary readers.
Rundell (The Explorer) returns to the jungle in this retelling of The Jungle Book, a richly illustrated collection of five tales about the beloved characters, told to Mowgli as he dashes through the jungle. In one, Father Wolf recounts a story of Mowgli's lupine mother, an anecdote in which she earns a reputation for courage and intellect by outwitting the vicious tiger Shere Khan. Rapi, a "gentle-eyed and soft-eared" elephant, narrates a moving story about Bagheera's time in captivity with his sister, Gilhari, and their bold escape. The collection ends with Mowgli taking center stage to face off against the dangerous and mythologized White Ape, bringing the lessons of courage, family, and community full circle. Detailed, lushly colored collages of Victorian engravings by Williams (The Wonder Garden) are a pleasure to study. With its themes of nature and wildness, Rundell's collection offers more bite than many a retelling and addresses the lack of female characters in Kipling's original, providing a well-rounded collection of stories. Ages 8 12.