Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Jungle Book: A Pop-Up Adventure

The Jungle Book: A Pop-Up Adventure

Matthew Reinhart
Novelty Book
For ages 5 to and up
Simon and Schuster, 2006   ISBN: 978-1416918240

When a small baby boy is found in an Indian jungle, a family of wolves takes him in, protecting him from the great tiger Shere Kahn. Later the wolf pack, Bagheera the panther, and Baloo the bear all agree to protect the “man cub” and Shere Khan has to wait for another day to get his quarry. The tiger is patient though. He will watch and wait for the right moment.

As he grows up Mowgli makes friends with the creatures in the jungle. He even has a friendship with Kaa the python who helps Mowgli get away from the monkeys when the pesky creatures kidnap him. But there comes a time when Mowgli decides to try to live in the village. All goes well for a time but he is different and there are those in the village who cannot or will not forget this. Should he stay in the village or is he better off in the jungle? Will Mowgli ever be able to find a place where he can truly belong?

In this superb retelling of Rudyard Kipling’s classic story Matthew Reinhart has managed to remain very true to the original tale. The language has the feel of the original story and Reinhart perfectly captures the anguish that Mowgli feels as he tries to find his place in the world. Once again Reinhart’s pop-up creations and his artwork are truly splendid, bringing Mowgli’s jungle world to life in glorious color and with touches of foil.