I do love Rudyard Kipling’s writing, but I found this book difficult to get through. It took me a year to read little by little through all of the short stories and poems and essays, because I didn’t enjoy most of them.
Most of the time the setting of the stories were so entirely foreign to me that I had a hard time understanding what was going on. There are so many references to historical things and cultural ideas in India that are not explained. The author assumes that the reader already knows about these things, and so it is not clear to a modern reader what is happening. Unless you know the entire history of the British occupation of India and every battle and political upset from the 1800s, you will likely be lost.
I liked how this manga presentation of The Jungle Book actually followed the real stories from the original book, including not just the story of Mowgli, but also Rikki-Tiki-Tavi, The White Seal, Toumai of the Elephants, and others. I wish they would make another one for Jungle Book 2 with even more stories!
The artwork is so beautiful, and really brings the characters to life! I loved seeing the facial expressions of Mowgli and Rikki-Tikki and the others, showing their fierce jungle spirit. The action was easy to follow, since each panel shows what is going on very clearly. Really well put-together and beautiful art! Continue reading →