About the BookJust So Stories is a collection of 12 interesting stories with eccentric myths created by Rudyard Kipling. Most of the stories are fanciful revelations of how certain animals came to possess their distinguishing features. The characters are humorous and archetypal and most of the tales offer some affectionate caution and insight into the consequences of indulging in sinful traits like sloth, greed and envy.
Kipling is accredited with knowing how to weave a spell in children’s stories, and being playful and inventive with language. He takes us on an adventure to the wilds of Africa, sets his tale among a family of all kinds of animals, and creates a world where they all grow up together in harmony, much like a human family.
The stories in the book typically have the theme of a particular animal being modified from an original form to its current form by the acts of man, or some magical being. Kipling addresses the reader as “Best Beloved”, which strengthens the importance of storytelling, creating a bond between the reader and the author. The book is packed with songs, giving it a lyrical attribute.
Written in grand style with long, interesting expressions, these stories are just as delightful for adults as they are for children. The stories immediately became favourite of the English-speaking world, and are still read with great interest. They were adapted as a 1984 musical, called Just So. In 2007, the Farnham Festival commissioned the composer Paul Ayres to write musical settings of some of the songs from Just So Stories. This bears testimony to the continuing popularity of the book.