cover image Just So Stories Volume 1

Just So Stories Volume 1

Rudyard Kipling, illus. by Ian Wallace. Groundwood (PGW, dist.), $19.95 (64p) ISBN 978-1-55498-212-7

In the first of two planned volumes, Wallace uses a mix of watercolor, crayon, pastel, and chalk to honor the wild invention and wilder language of Kipling’s classic tales of anthropomorphic animals, adventure, and absurdity. Six stories appear—including “How the Whale Got His Throat” and “How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin”—and Wallace contributes four or so full-page images for each tale. The illustrations blend playfulness with arresting imagery, providing an enticing entry point for readers. In the fiery, sunset-hued opening scene of “The Elephant’s Child,” the snub-nosed elephant “with his ’satiable curiosities” gets a firm kick from his aunt Ostrich, while the camel in “How the Camel Got His Hump” is shown in skeletal profile as his impertinent “Humph!” is transformed into his trademark hump. Ages 5–up. (Sept.)