Groundwood Books Imprint Logo

Just So Stories, Volume I

Written by Rudyard Kipling

Illustrated by Ian Wallace

  • 64 Pages
  • 9781554982127
  • Reading age to 5
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / General
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Legends, Myths, Fables / General


Publication Date September 21, 2013

Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories is one of the best-loved story collections ever written for children. Now Ian Wallace, one of Canada's most accomplished children's book illustrators, reinterprets the famous tales with his vibrant art, bringing Kipling to a whole new generation of young readers.

Kipling wrote the stories for his young daughter, who would only sleep if they were told “just so.” The first edition was published in Great Britain in 1902, along with black-and-white illustrations by the author himself. The stories have remained in print ever since, delighting young readers all over the world. Many of the tales are origin stories, explaining how an animal came to be the way it is. They are ripe with imagination, inventive vocabulary and word play. This new edition, published more than 110 years after the original, has been edited to remove any racist language. The first handsome volume includes “How the Whale Got His Throat,” “How the Camel Got His Hump,” “How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin,” “How the Leopard Got His Spots,” “The Elephant's Child” and “The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo.” The second volume will be published in spring 2014.

Inspired by these remarkable stories from all around the world, Ian Wallace has chosen to make an annual donation to IBBY's Fund for Children in Crisis.


Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936) was an author of books for children and adults who achieved wide critical acclaim in his lifetime. Born in India, he was sent to school in England, where he endured difficult years with a foster family but discovered a love for reading. When he was seventeen he returned to India for a time, where he worked as a journalist before turning to poetry, short stories — for which he is best known — and novels. The Jungle Book became an instant classic and was followed by other much-loved children’s books, including Kim and Just So Stories. Kipling’s many awards include the Gold Medal of the Royal Society of Literature and the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Ian Wallace

Ian Wallace is one of Canada’s best-known children’s book creators. Over a long and distinguished career he has published many picture-book classics, including Boy of the Deeps and Chin Chiang and the Dragon’s Dance. His illustrations for Canadian Railroad Trilogy and Just So Stories have each received three starred reviews.

Ian has won the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award, the Mr. Christie’s Book Award and the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award, among others. He has been nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the Governor General’s Award and the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award.


Star Review

"Wallace invests each scene, including the humorous ones, with poetic gravitas...An elegant, timeless treatment for all those best beloved." Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW

Star Review

"[T]imeless tales, freshly interpreted through superb mixed-media paintings . . . [that] embrace the nuances of each tale and add to their sense of wonder." School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

"The illustrations blend playfulness with arresting imagery, providing an enticing entry point for readers." Publishers Weekly

"Highly recommended, especially for public library children's collections....At turns uproarious, ingenious, whimsical and somber." Midwest Book Review

"Wallace’s masterful renderings coupled with Kipling’s timeless imagination will complement any library’s collection of classic children’s literature." Library Media Connections