An adaptation of the well-known adventures of Mowgli, a boy reared by a pack of wolves, and the wild animals of the jungle.
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Kindergarten-Grade 6 As well done as this retelling is, a substitute for The Jungle Book it isn't. McKinley retells "Mowgli's Brothers," "Kaa's Hunting" and "Tiger! Tiger!" in uncluttered prose, preserving much of Kipling's dialogue. The stories about Mowgli are readable, fast-moving and true to their original plots (although many digressions are eliminated). Smith's full-color illustrations slightly anthropomorphize the animals' expressions and are most effective with Mowgli's adversaries, terrifying Shere Khan the tiger and Mowgli's menacing monkey captors. However, even this well-illustrated, well-written retelling should not pretend to be Kipling. Lost are the music, rhythm and color provided by Mowgli's originator. In simplifying the language, its power is diluted. The message is true, but the language of the retelling has been so muted that is its more akin to an echo than to the powerful resonance of the original. These tales will appeal to reluctant older readers who may never read Kipling, or offer an introduction to Kipling to younger independent readers who will eventually read the original. Carolyn Noah, Worcester Public Library, Mass.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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