R. Kipling’s The Jungle Book is still useful and important for today’s children
In the following text I will explain you why Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book (1894) is still useful and important for today’s children although it is very old and often is read by adults with pleasure as well. Therefore I will give you some examples from the book and show you to what extent children can learn from these stories.
The Jungle Book contains of seven tales and they are all about life in the jungle, mostly with Mowgli as the main character. The stories are about relationships, family, nature and living in society. These are important aspects children and humans in general have to deal with all their life. They learn how to behave towards others in certain situations, whom to trust and what friendship means - fundamental values in our life.
“Children, and adults, make sense of their world by creating a narrative of events that they experience. Children also learn from the stories that they hear told and read by adults.” So by reading The Jungle Book the reader has the chance to observe Mowgli while doing his experiences and learn with or without the help of an adult how he can adopt the story in real life and gain huge experiences. My intention is to show you by reference to these passages why The Jungle Book is still useful and important for children today.
In the very beginning of my explanations I would like to say that it’s important to know that animals in Kipling’s stories can speak like a human that’s why I will treat them like persons. In the first tale Mowgli’s Brothers there is a scene with Tabaqui, a golden jackal who is known as a “dish- licker” because he feeds on the scraps from the wolves, Father Wolf and Mother Wolf. Tabaqui tells that Shere Khan, a Bengal tiger and the antagonist of Mowgli shifted his hunting- grounds and therefore will hunt among the hills where Father and Mother Wolf live. Father Wolf becomes exasperated with this news and grouse “He has no right! By the Law of the Jungle he has no right to change his quarters without due warning.” This quote illustrates children that animals as well as humans have to comply with the rules of the society they live in, here the law of the jungle. Furthermore Father Wolf speaks of rights one has or has not; this is another important aspect children have to learn.
 Supporting Children’s Learning in the Early Years, Second edition, 2010: Abingdon, p. 114
 Kipling, R., The Jungle Book, 1908: London; p. 3