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Find out why the rhino is so wrinkly and the cat so contrary. Kipling's weird and wacky stories are a must-read for everyone intrigued by the oddities of animals
Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay in India in 1865 to British parents, and brought up by a Portuguese ayah (nanny) and an Indian servant, who would entertain him with fabulous stories and Indian nursery rhymes. He was sent back to England when he was seven years old, and lived in a boarding house with a couple who were cruelly strict. Fortunately he returned to India aged sixteen, to work as the assistant editor of a newspaper in Lahore. He began publishing stories and poems and eventually had great success with his book Plain Tales from the Hills. After his marriage Kipling settled in America, and it was here that he wrote The Jungle Book. He then moved with his family to England, where he wrote Just So Stories for his daughter Josephine who later tragically died of pneumonia. Rudyard Kipling was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907 and died on 18 January 1936.
"Hilarious, lively stories...drawn from the storytelling traditions of India and Africa" * Daily Express * "The Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling have always held a fascination for me, and doubtless sparked off my love of India" -- H.M The Prince of Wales "Today's children would do well to abandon their computers and iPods for an hour or two and read him" -- Griff Rhys Jones * Daily Mail * "Weird and wonderful" * Daily Telegraph *