Publisher: Udon Entertainment
Released: April 28th 2017
I received a copy of Manga Classics: The Jungle Book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Having never read the Jungle Book (but having grown up watching the movie) I was really excited to read the Manga Classics version. Imagine my surprise when I learned that the classic Jungle Book I knew of was really only one of several short stories! After getting over my initial shock, I found myself really enjoying the stories.
Mowgli’s Brothers is the story that most of us have heard (in one version or another). It includes many of the characters we’ve grown up loving; Mother Wolf, Father Wolf, Shere Khan (ok, him we didn’t love so much), Raksha, Baloo, Bagheera, and Akela. Naturally this one was my favorite.
Rikki-Tikki-Tavi probably sounds familiar to many, I certainly remember the song, and can’t help but hear the name as a song in my head. It’s the story of a mongoose named Rikki-Tikki-Tavi who’s adopted and raised by a British family. During his time with the family (whom he’s charged with protecting from cobras) Rikki has to defend them against two particularly bitter cobras, Nag and Nagaina.
Toomai of the Elephants is the tale of an elephant keeper, Toomai, and one very special elephant, Kala Nag. Toomai has known Kala all his life, and together they have many adventures.
The White Seal is a heartbreaking story about little Kotick. He’s a pure white seal, so naturally he stands out among the rest. Kotick becomes obsessed with finding safety for the rest of the seals, upon learning how humans treat them (killing them).
I’m happy to have read the Manga Classics version of the Jungle Book, because I can honestly say I probably never would have read it otherwise. This is one of the many reasons I love Manga Classics, they make them so much more approachable (and thanks to the artwork, beautiful). Once again I tip my hat to the creators for this one: Crystal S. Chan and Choy (and don’t forget the original author, Rudyard Kipling).