7 Classic Just so Stories to Read to Your Children ...


Rudyard Kipling was a famous English author known for his children’s tales, such as The Jungle Book and the Just So Stories. While The Jungle Book is a wonderful story, Kipling’s Just So Stories are some of my favorite works. They are short tales that explain how animals got to be the way they are. These explanations are not scientific; rather they are made-up and amusing. Once you read the Just So Stories to your children, they will be asking you to read them over and over again. They are such great tales!

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How the Whale Got His Throat

How the Whale Got His Throat “How the Whale Got His Throat” is one of the Just So Stories that is fun to read. It features a gluttonous whale who ate almost all the fish in the sea, which left him looking for other food sources. There was one fish left who recommended the whale try eating people. The whale jumped at this opportunity. However, the man he ate was resourceful and found a way out of the whale’s belly, which involved creating the whale’s throat.


How the Camel Got His Hump

How the Camel Got His Hump According to this tale, the camel got his hump by being lazy. At the beginning of the world, all the animals were supposed to work for man, but the camel would not work. When the other animals asked him to work, he said “Humph.” This went on for three days until a magic genie intervened and gave the camel a hump and put him to work.


How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin

How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin This is a clever story about why the rhinoceros has wrinkly skin. Originally, he had smooth skin that he could take off like a suit. However, that changed when he rudely ate a man’s cake. To get revenge, the man stole the rhino’s skin and put cake crumbs in it. When the rhino put his skin on, it itched so much that he rubbed wrinkles into his skin.


How the Leopard Got His Spots

How the Leopard Got His Spots This story features a leopard, who hunted giraffes and zebras on the plains with an Ethiopian man. Eventually, the giraffes and zebras hid in the forest, and they developed spots and stripes. When the leopard and man came to the forest, they could not find their prey because of the camouflage. Liking the idea of camouflage, the man turned his skin dark and gave the leopard spots.


The Elephant’s Child

The Elephant’s Child Everyone has a favorite Just So Story, and “The Elephant’s Child” is mine. In this story, a curious elephant sets off to the Limpopo River to discover what crocodiles eat for dinner. When he got there, a crocodile tricked him and tried to eat him. The young elephant was able to pull away from the crocodile, but it resulted in his nose stretching out and becoming a trunk.


This story serves as a whimsical explanation of how the elephant got its long trunk, blending humor with a lesson on the virtues of curiosity and cleverness. The Elephant’s Child is not only memorable for its charming narrative and quirky characters, but Kipling’s language dances off the tongue, enchanting young listeners and readers alike. Moreover, it paints a vivid picture of the African landscape, and provides a delightful way for children to learn about the importance of asking questions and the value of perseverance when faced with challenges.


The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo

The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo This is a short story of how kangaroos came to have long legs that hop. A kangaroo asked a god to make him popular and sought after, and to make him different from all the other animals. In response, the god had a dog chase the kangaroo over a long distance. At the end of the chase, the kangaroo had long legs that hopped and he had been chased after!


The Beginning of the Armadillos

The Beginning of the Armadillos In “The Beginning of the Armadillos,” a young leopard sets out to find a hedgehog and tortoise to eat. However, he doesn’t know which is which. As a result of his confusion, the hedgehog and the tortoise switch places, creating a whole new animal, the armadillo.

The Just So Stories are clever stories that kids of all ages will enjoy. They are classic stories that have been popular since they were published in 1902, and they are wonderful stories to share with your children. Which of the Just So Stories is your favorite?

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