The Adventures of Mowgli
Rudyard Kipling
Durga Bai
age group: 
9+ yrs
Number of pages: 
nature and wildlife jungles animals
fiction, fantasy

“Mowgli’s story, from his upbringing with the wolf pack, through his jungle adventures and his final return to human civilization is, is an epic of great imaginative writing.” Says Ruskin Bond in his introduction to the book.

A collection of stories that revolve around noble qualities such as loyalty, honor, courage, tradition, integrity, and persistence, these stories are timeless and the fact that they have never gone out of print since they first appeared in 1893 and 1894 speaks volumes for their popularity.

Mowgli, a little boy baby was found abandoned by a she wolf and she decides to bring him up as one of her own. Later, his upbringing, in fact, very survival is ensured by two doting godfathers, namely, Baloo, the genial bear and Bagheera the panther, who teach him amongst other things, The Law of the Jungle which quite contrary to human expression to denote lawlessness, was actually a law by which the Jungle was governed in order to enable animals to co-exist peacefully.

Mowgli learnt the language of the animals, birds and insects. He learnt for instance how to speak politely to the wild bees, and how to apologise to the bats if by chance he should disturb them during the day and how to warn the water snakes in the pool before he stepped in to splash in the water.

He also learns the hard way that somehow that humans, the race that he actually belonged to could be untrustworthy and were actually more prone to vengefulness and pettiness, swayed often by greed, superstition and mob mentality as compared to the animals that killed merely for sustenance not killing anything more than they needed. The only exception being Sher Khan, the tiger, who was always aspiring for power, pretty much like the humans.

A collection of eight stories, which have devolved around the different denizens of the jungle, make for a fascinating read for children of all ages from eight to eighty years of age!

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee