Just So Stories: A Classic Work of English Literature Aimed for Children But Not for Children?

Another low-cost edition book from my sister who bought it in Doha. It's a Wordsworth classic written by Rudyard Kipling published in 1902. A children's fiction, a folklore, and was really meant to be for kids. However, in my opinion, just like Catherine Called 'Birdy' it has contents that doesn't seem fit to be read aloud to children less than 10 years old.

I think it's best not to let them 'lone with it. I may consider reading it to them with adequate explanation about it, or allow them to touch it when they already have enough sense of what fiction really is.

I enjoyed reading it as an adult though. It was entertaining, lyrical, and imaginative. Some words are made-up and showy, so I'm a little concerned kids might think it's correct and adapt to it.

I feel that children will appreciate it more when they already have a firm foundation of the English language and literature. There are also issues presented in the book that I don't personally agree with, morally, adult supervision is advised. 

There were instances that I believe doesn't serve as a good example for children too. Like the case of the very curios elephant who had his nose bitten by the crocodile. The intended moral lessons seem to me a bit shallow because it didn't even have an impact on the characters as they acted without remorse.

The creativity of Mr. Kipling writing and illustrations are praiseworthy. It's a good book really, but parents should exercise diligence in making sure the children would not take it too seriously.

Here are my favorites from the book:

'Some people do not know what is good for them.'


The Camel's hump is an ugly lump
Which well you may see at the Zoo:
But uglier yet is the hump we get
From having too little to do.

Kiddies and grown-ups too-oo-oo,
If we haven't enough to do-oo-oo,
We get the hump -
Cameelious hump -
The hump that is black and blue!

We climb out of bed wuth a frouzly head
And a snarly-yarly voice.
We shiver and scowl and we grunt and we growl
At our bath and our hoots and our toys;

And there ought to be a corner for me
(And I know there is one for you)
When we get the hump -
Cameelious hump -
The bump that is black and blue!

The cure for this ill is not to sit still,
Or frowst with a book by the fire;
But to take a large hoe and a shovel also,
And dig till you gently perspire;

And then you will find that the sun and the wind.
And the Djinn of the Garden too,
Have lifter the hump -
The horrible hump -
The hump that is black and blue!

I get out as well as you-oo-oo-
If I haven't enough to do-oo-oo!
We all get hump -
Cameelious hump -
Kiddies and grown-ups too!


I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
I give them all a rest.

I let them rest from nine till five,
For I am busy then,
As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
For they are hungry men
But different folk have different views;
I know a person small -
She keeps ten million serving-men,
Who get no rest at all!
She sends 'em abroad on her own affairs,
From the second she opens her eyes -
One million Hows, two million Wheres,

And seven million Whys!

You may also want to read:
Astounding Life Lessons I've Learned From Catherine Called 'Birdy'
Whatever Profession You Are In, Don't Forget the Basics! Tell Me Why?

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